The Things You Would Have Said

The Things You Would Have Said

The Chance to Say What You Always Wanted Them to Know

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  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101561119
  • 208 Pages
  • Plume
  • Adult


A collection of extraordinary letters expressing the joys, sorrows, and surprises of ordinary lives.

We’ve all missed the chance to say something important. Friends fall out of touch, loved ones pass away, or sometimes the courage required is simply lacking — and thank-yous, regrets, feelings, and secrets are left unshared. In 2009, Jackie Hooper came up with a way to help people recapture a moment that had once passed them by — she began asking them to write letters.

Based on the popular blog The Things You Would Have Said, this extraordinary collection of letters brings together the moving, surprising, and inspiring stories of ordinary people. By turns heartwarming, funny, sad, and wise, the letters showcase a remarkable range of voices and subjects. From the indignant young boy urging his bully to become "a better man," to the woman apologizing to the girl she picked on in high school, to a man thanking the woman who protected his family from Nazis, the letters bring together an outpouring of emotion that is as compelling as it is cathartic.


"Raw, revealing, intimate, and affecting, The Things You Would Have Said reminds us that our most profound personal struggles are universal."  — Davy Rothbart, creator of Found magazine

 "These heartfelt letters of hope, joy, pain, and despair combine to form a collective message: always choose love, and endeavor to live a life without regret. Can a single letter change your life? Yes–and this book is proof." — Chris Guillebeau, author of The Art of Non-Conformity

"Jackie Hooper had a terrific idea: chronicle stories of important things left unsaid. The result is this poignant, humorous, and uplifting book. A fascinating read, it offers the motivation we all need to say what needs to be said — while our loved ones are around to hear it." — Karl Pillemer, author of 30 Lessons for Living