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‘Letters From Sandy Hook-Newtown’ Ready For Release

UPDATE (December 9, 2013): Suzanne Davenport will be at Byrd’s Books, at 213 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, from 5 to 7 pm on Friday, December 13. An incorrect time was initially provided for this story, which was been updated to reflect the time of the event.

Ms Davenport has also changed the times for her appearance at Everything Newtown on December 13. She will be at the Church Hill Road location from noon to 2 pm.

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As promised by Suzanne Davenport, Letters From Sandy Hook-Newtown To The World will be officially released on December 10.

The book, compiled and edited by the Sandy Hook resident and being published by Karuna Publications, a new, nonprofit organization, features letters from residents about life in Newtown. The collection is about life in town, and not just about the events or aftereffects of 12/14.

Some letter writers chose to write about how they were affected by the events of 12/14, but many more wrote about growing up in Newtown, places in Newtown, interesting people who have lived and played in town, and thoughts on how Sandy Hook and Newtown shaped the lives of many. The first person Ms Davenport approached with her idea of the book was First Selectman Pat Llodra. Mrs Llodra was the first person to submit a letter reflecting on her connection to the community, for the book, Ms Davenport told The Newtown Bee in September.

Monsignor Robert Weiss, pastor of St Rose of Lima Catholic Church, wrote about the love he saw demonstrated 12/14 as he waited with the families at the Sandy Hook firehouse that day. Msgr Weiss also provided the foreword for Ms Davenport’s book.

Each participant was asked to submit a letter by e-mail. After initial editing, the letter writer was requested to submit a handwritten copy.

“I knew that I wanted handwritten letters to be part of the book,” Ms Davenport said. “To me, it shows more love. People just don’t actually write letters anymore. A couple of people said that it had been so long since they had written anything by hand, that it took them four or five days to get it right. But they did it,” she said. “All of the different handwriting looks so wonderful, to me,” she added.

Most letter writers signed their submissions. Some preferred to remain anonymous.

Ms Davenport has ordered 300 copies for the initial release. Her first public events will be on Friday, December 13, when she has two book signing events planned. She will be at Everything Newtown, 61 Church Hill Road, from noon to 2 pm; and then at Byrd’s Books, at 213 Greenwood Avenue in Bethel, from 5 to 7 pm.

The book is available for purchase already at Everything Newtown, and will be available beginning December 10 at Byrd’s Books. It can also be ordered online at www.lettersfromsandyhook-newtown.com.

She will also be at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street in Newtown, on Wednesday, December 18, from 4 to 6:30 pm.

Copies are $29.95, a slight drop from the $35 Ms Davenport had originally thought she would be charging. All proceeds from the book’s sales will be donated to The Newtown Memorial Fund, and other charities in Newtown and Sandy Hook.

In addition to the local book signing events, Ms Davenport is scheduled to be a guest on Better Connecticut, which airs on Channel 3-WFSB at 3 pm. She has been invited to be on the December 12 episode.

A few copies of the book will be signed by many of those who contributed letters for the project. Those copies of the book, according to Ms Davenport, will be used for special events to raise more money for The Newtown Memorial Fund.

“As special events, like auctions, come up, I will give one of the signed copies of the books to groups so that they can use it to raise more money,” Ms Davenport explained. 

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