Jojo Moyes on the Events That Inspired ‘The Last Letter From Your Lover’

How did Jojo Moyes come up with 'The Last Letter From Your Lover'? Inside the real-life occurrences that inspired the time-hopping tale of love and tragedy.

Joshua Lezmi - Author

Jul. 29 2021, Published 2:15 p.m. ET

Jojo Moyes on the Events That Inspired ‘The Last Letter From Your Lover’

The Netflix film The Last Letter From Your Loverbased on the novel of the same name by Jojo Moyes (Me Before You) — has all the hopeless romantics fawning. The premise is simple: After finding a stash of long-lost letters from the 1960s, a journalist (Shailene Woodley) sets out to solve the mystery of a decades-old affair. 

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Though the story is not exactly based on real-life events, Moyes explained to CBS News how the tale came about. Moyes’ young cousin’s romantic life — and a lack of old-fashioned gestures from various suitors — helped inspire the novel.

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Moyes' 20-something cousin never received a love letter.

It all started with Moyes eavesdropping on a conversation between a couple of women working to decipher a text message. And, as is the case with any strong author, she listened in, likely hoping to hear something worth stealing, something worth transforming into a work of art. Moyes is “horribly nosy,” she explained.

She then shared that, at about the same time, her cousin divulged details about her love life: “My gorgeous 20-something cousin confessed she had never received a love letter. Nor had most of her friends.

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"It got me thinking about how my generation might be the last to write love letters, and how new technology may have actually muddied the waters of romance. I just can't believe a Facebook update or a texted booty call has the same emotional impact, or lasting joy of a handwritten letter, tied with ribbon and hidden lovingly in a box somewhere.”

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The Last Letter From Your Lover bridges the past with the present. A modern love story and a mid-century affair work in harmony to create a romantic (yet also tragic) tale filled with gorgeous gowns and classic cars. 

The film also stars Callum Turner (The Only Living Boy in New York, Emma), Joe Alwyn (The Favourite, Mary Queen of Scots), Felicity Jones (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Theory of Everything), Diana Kent (Morlang, Heavenly Creatures), and more.

Stream The Last Letter From Your Lover on Netflix now.

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