My novel, The Sender, follows the journey of a mysterious and inspiring unsigned card, interconnecting the lives of four women from different backgrounds and cities who are all facing unique adversities. The card instructs each woman to hold it in their possession for six months before choosing another woman in need to send it to, and invites them to meet in Edinburgh two years from the date of its inception.
The card seems to hold an extraordinary quality that helps the women face their challenges head-on, though none of them can imagine who the anonymous sender is or why they were the chosen ones.
This interview is with the instigator – The Sender.
Toni: First of all, it’s a pleasure to meet you and I’d like to say I wish there were more people like you in the world. What was the reason behind your decision to send the card?
The Sender: I watched my friend going through a terrible time in her life and I felt helpless. She was devastated by what was happening to her and I knew she felt scared and vulnerable. I just wanted her to know she was strong enough to get through it and that she had someone looking over her.
Toni: Why did you decide the card should be anonymous?
The Sender: I thought it would be more meaningful that way. I think there’s something special about receiving a gift from someone who doesn’t want to be thanked for it. It has an air of mystery about it and that means the thought lingers longer.
Toni: Did you have the idea of ‘paying it forward’ in mind when you decided to send the card? Is that why it was to be sent on again and again?
The Sender: That’s right. Not only would those receiving it experience the feeling of being in someone’s thoughts, they would also get to pass that gift on to someone else. That’s a win-win situation and I hoped the message would spread.
Toni: Was there any significance in having four women meet two years after the card was first sent?
The Sender: Firstly, the card has a four leaf clover inside and each woman is asked to take a leaf from the clover before they send it on. It was symbolic of the good fortune I hoped they’d be experiencing since receiving the card. And secondly, I thought that having the card for a six month period might be long enough to help their healing process take hold. I then wanted them to meet to celebrate the good deed they’d done for each other and to let them share their stories. That worked out to be a two year timeframe.
Toni: Why did you instruct them to choose another woman to send it to and not include men? Surely anyone would be touched to receive this card?
The Sender: I did ponder that one for a while. I settled on women because I wasn’t sure the card would necessarily be sent on as I intended. I thought it was more likely that women would do it. Next time I’ll include men. It would be interesting to see if that works.
Toni: Does that mean you intend to do this again?
The Sender: That’s the plan. I think small acts of kindness can have disproportionately large effects on people and the more of that we have in the world, the better.
Toni: Thanks for your time. It’s been great to chat with you.
The Sender: My pleasure. I’m only too happy to spread this message.
This post is brought to you by Toni Jenkins.