Mandy Oviatt: Author

Letter to Olisbeth from Vanessa Thomas (Book One spoilers)

Dear Olives,

 I hope you don’t mind me using the familiar name my daughter calls you, but my children talk so much about “Olives” that I can’t help but think of you by that name.

As you have probably already deduced, I am Vanessa Thomas, AJ and Phoebe’s mother, and I’m writing you because I know that you have made a positive impact in the life of both my children. For this, I want to thank you.

            You don’t know what it means to me to hear my daughter praise someone my son is in love with. I know the sort of girl he usually dates; vapid, brainless girls who give women bad reputations. For the longest time, I always thought that would be the only kind of girl my son loved. I understand that you are beautiful, charming, but mostly, brilliant. Thank Heavens!

            To hear my son talk of you reminds me of when I first met his father. He never talks to me about his girlfriends, but he told me that he’d “met a girl” early this semester and that she was “someone special.”
            I know you’ve only dated my son a couple of months, and I know young romances have a way of falling down the drain, but, if I am right, and I usually am about these things, my son loves you very much. He may not have told you yet, but I’m telling you. My son loves you.

            Take care of my son, Olives. Like most men, he has this rough outside. He tries to push people away, especially those he cares about. And, like most men, he’s more delicate than he appears.

            You may by now, have already looked through the contents of this care package with some confusion. I already know from long talks with my children that you love olives, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite brands with you. The sweets, well, what’s a care package without a few sweet treats? The Vitamins are because I want you to take care of your health. I hear that you have frequent headaches, and while these won’t take care of your head, they might help you otherwise. Sometimes, I’ve noticed that when my students have chronic illnesses they focus so hard on the chronic issue that they neglect their health in other areas. Take care of yourself.

 beach babies


The photograph is one that I adore of my children when they were three. One of these days I hope to show you the entire album (maybe you can come over during the Christmas Holidays?) That was a glorious day: AJ and Phoebe were making a sandcastle when Phoebe leaned over and bit Arthur on the arm. He dumped sand in her hair, and then they started laughing. That’s the way they fought as kids, one of them would do something, the other would instantly retaliate, and then all was forgiven.


The last thing in this package will be the most confusing, and I’m not even certain why I’ve packaged it except for the fact that I feel you need to have it. This ring belonged to my mother. My father gave it to her when they first got engaged, while they still lived in Greece, so I guess you could call it her engagement ring. They didn’t have a stone because the Greeks don’t often use stones in wedding rings. Mother wore this ring till the day she died, and willed it to me, with the instructions to give it to Arthur’s wife, should he ever find one. I know this is pre-emptive, but please consider it. Don’t wear it until you’re certain he’s the one you want.


With a mother’s love,

Vanessa Thomas


PS: please call me if you decide to come visit at Christmastime, so I can arrange a ticket. I would also be more than happy to host your family in my home as well.




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