Mary-Louise Parker came to Iowa City to promote this book and I didn’t even consider going to see her. I assumed this was a “celebrity book” and though I’ve enjoyed some “celebrity books” (most recently Mindy Kaling’s Why Not Me) I didn’t have particularly high expectations for Dear Mr. You. I was not prepared by how deeply, deeply affecting it would be.
It is series of letters written to various men in her life (and one woman) both real and imagined. Some are funny. Some are heartbreaking. All are, as I said, deeply affecting. As soon as I finished it I sent a letter to a good friend and asked her, “Would you please do me a huge personal favor? Would you read this book?” I’d never recommended a book to her before but there is a certain audience for this book, people who like slow, thoughtful, pristine prose. People who can appreciate vulnerability and sincerity.
I could have easily devoured this book in a single setting but I’m glad I didn’t. I read a letter or two every day and I believe that’s how this book was meant to be read. Most letters gave me pause and left me thinking all day about the people in them and the people in my own life.
In short: This is the real deal. Y’all should read it.