Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Hatbox Letters

The Hatbox Letters

A Novel

Beth Powning

St. Martin's Griffin


Trade Paperback

A luminescent debut novel following one woman's journey through love, loss, grief, and renewal

In her rambling Victorian house, surrounded by heirloom gardens and the gentle sounds of a river, fifty-two-year-old Kate Harding faces her second winter since the untimely death of her husband. In her living room are several hatboxes filled with letters recently brought by her sister from the attic of their grandparents' eighteenth-century Connecticut house. Kate remembers the sense of permanence and refuge that she felt in her grandparents' apple-scented world, as well as, more recently, with her husband. As she begins to read the hatbox letters, she discovers that what to a child seemed a serene and blissful marriage was in fact founded on a tragic event. As Kate's eyes clear to the truth of the past, a new tragedy unfolds, and her own house, filled with the shared detritus of marriage and motherhood, becomes the refuge where Kate can connect the strands of her unraveled life.


Praise for The Hatbox Letters

“Powning's writing is lyrical, with its focus on the hatboxes' secrets and the earthy beauty of the Canadian countryside. The author poignanty and creatively draws parallels between Giles' trials and Kate's tragix loss and ability to rediscover life on her own.” —Romantic Times, four stars

“Powning has a delicate and lyrical touch.” —Kirkus

“Powning does an excellent job of portraying Kate's Sadness, divulging the tales of her family and focusing on the quiet beauty of her surroundings.” —Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Beth Powning

Beth Powning is the author of Home: Chronicle of a North Country Life, and Shadow Child: An Apprenticeship in Love and Loss. Born in Connecticut, she now lives in Sussex, New Brunswick.

Beth Powning

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Griffin

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