My first Allyson Richman book was The Lost Wife, which I feel in love with instantly. Although this charming novel had a lot of heart, the novel was more of a portrait of Elodie’s life in Italy as the country entered WWII, than the plot driven espionage tale I expected. I was disappointed that The Garden Letters was a story that evolved slowly as the author focused on the love lives of several people surrounding Elodie, all of which were mediocre at best. Having a young protagonist made the plot feel a little simplistic, especially given that she constantly worried about getting home before her parents scolded her. The writing in this book was a bit basic. For these reasons, Elodie’s love story felt more like a teenage infatuation than true love, which made it difficult to accept the relationship between her and a leader of the Resistance. As I waded through Elodie’s young life as a music student in Italy, I found myself wishing the story focused more on how Elodie joined the Resistance and her covert act of carrying secret messages. Even when I reached that portion in the story, Elodie accomplished her mission and defied the Germans with too much ease, removing any hint of suspense. Although, this wasn’t my favorite Richman tale, I would still try other books by this author.