Book Review: If you Find This Letter

I literally can't say enough about this book. But I'm going to try. 

...books change you. They mess up your insides. They make you drool over the prospect of being a better human and a better lover and a better friend. They pull at your stomach and leave you raw and open and naked. Books can straight up mangle you and sometimes it’s just better if you let them do their work.
— Hannah Brencher


  • Author: Hannah Brencher (website)
  • Genre: Memoir
  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Howard Books
  • Release Date: March 10, 2015
There is something remarkable about just the thought of someone sitting down for you. Taking out a piece of paper for you. Focusing their mind on the words they write for you. And through sloppy cursive and a cramped hand, they manage to tell you all the things that have ever mattered, in between the lines: “I care. I’m here. I see you. You’re more than just words on a screen to me.
— Hannah Brencher


If You Find This Letter is Hannah's memoir and how she finds her purpose by writing letters to strangers.

Love letters. 

Which, in a sense, is kind of a peculiar activity, because how in the world do you write a love letter to someone you don't know? Yet Hannah demonstrated this so well in this memoir. It starts after she graduates college, where like many of us, she's looking for purpose and to make a difference and an impact on this world. She moves to New York to do a year of service and in that time, suffered through depression, loneliness, and a desperate search for God. Yet while going through her own struggles, she started to take note of the people around her and began leaving them love letters to let them know they're seen and to keep pushing through life, because they matter. 

“Agape” is loving a person for exactly who they are - not who we hope they’ll become with enough fixing. It’s this idea that every person has their layers, so you can never confine a person to only what you know about them from the first glance. It’s stacked on the premise that to love anyone is to hope in them always.”
— Hannah Brencher


Picking up this book, I thought it would mainly be about the love letters and the project she started, but laced throughout it was the undeniable power of what love can do when it's released. Unfiltered, selfless love can literally change a person and reading this book demonstrates just that. Yes, it talks about the love letters and the impact that they've had on other people and on Hannah, but this entire book is a love letter. It's such a beautiful reminder of what happens when we start to see other people, or at least we recognize that other people need to be seen. People need to know that they're not alone and that they matter. That there are people in the world cheering for them to just keep swimming, even if they don't know them. That people will rally behind you and uplift and support you right when you need it. Hannah was struggling with depression during the memoir, and even while she was uplifting and supporting other people, God was bringing people in her life to uplift and support her. 

Throughout the book, Hannah talks very openly about her relationship with God, how she's desperate to find Him, to understand Him and to be used by Him and I love how raw she is about it. I love how Hannah's journey wasn't necessarily a quest to find God, but he was woven all throughout her story. The way He continued to show up in her life as she writing things for strangers that she couldn't write for herself, demonstrates how God will find you right where you are and still use you. 

Don’t always get so caught up in doing what you love. Instead, do what is necessary. Do what others need.
— Hannah Brencher


There will come a time in your life where you will come across a book that will rock you to your core. That will have you questioning everything you think you are, and everything you hope to be. Books that stay with you long after you've finished reading them, books that leave an indent in your soul.

This book was it for me.

This book challenged me in the way that I see people. How I need to take the time to really see people and to be that source of love that they need. I want my entire life to be a walking love letter, ultimately reflecting back to Christ and this book was just the kick in the pants that I needed. I want to change the world after reading this book and I believe that any books that stirs up the need for change is a book worth buying. 

Do yourself a favor, run, don't walk, and go buy this book.