Put Your Heart on Paper by Henriette Anne Klauser is supposed to be a book about writing sentiments down for yourself (journaling) or for others (letters). It is neither of those things. It’s actually a memoir of the author’s friends and families and lame notes they wrote to each other. One in particular was really offensive.
2 out of 10 stars. This is one of those books on Amazon with tons of positive reviews written by the friends and family of the author disguised as legitimate reviews. I fell for it. I admit it. I thought this would be a nice accompaniment to another book I purchased on making little homemade books. This one went back.
This book is supposed to be about journaling and writing your thoughts on paper, but it’s really a collection of anecdotes about people who wrote small notes to those they love. It’s very similar to the Chicken Soup for the Soul books but with stories shorter than one page each. The notes themselves were disappointing. They weren’t particularly emotional or earth-shattering and yet the author describes them as works of art. By far the majority of them are from the author’s family and friends.
Particularly disturbing was the chapter with the husband’s letter to his wife after 46 years of marriage. It was a single lame paragraph and completely underwhelming. It was also the first time this man had thanked his wife in 46 years. He is not worthy of a page written in this book. He should be shamed, not applauded.
Another paragraph talked about a woman in Israel who had a repairman make four visits before he actually fixed the broken appliance because he kept “forgetting” to bring the proper equipment and parts. So each time they sat down and had a cup of tea. The author remarks that this is a good thing because it built a relationship. I prefer to build relationships with people I’m not paying. I’m sure on the repairman’s part it was about getting more money and sitting and drinking tea, than about making a lasting relationship. That’s not how real relationships are formed.
Most of the suggestions about writing sentiments were common sense and there were precious few considering the title of this book. Like list-making. Most people make lists and brainstorm. It’s nothing new. That’s not top secret information.
Most of the notes in this book are three lines or less and take up less space on a piece of paper than a post-it note. I don’t need six pages of analysis of those three lines of text to fill a book. I can figure it out fine on my own.
2 out of 10 stars. This reads more like the author’s memoir of her family and her life than a book on writing sentiments.
Reviewed by Erin.
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