Wednesday, April 8, 2015
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
This is the selection for my book club's meeting next week and it was an absolute delight. I had no idea what the book was about, but I fell in love with it right away.
The book is a series of letters that passed back and forth between Helene Hanff in New York and Frank Doel, a bookseller in London. Helene sees an advertisement for his shop in a magazine and begins what becomes a 20-year, transatlantic correspondence. In the process a friendship develops between the two, along with his wife and other members of the shop's staff. She sends gifts to help them through the post-WWII rationing in England and often plans visits which always fall through for various reasons.
Both correspondents are fun and witty and their letters are delightful. Their discussions of antique books are fascinating (especially when her dislike of any sort of fiction is shattered by reading Pride and Prejudice).
It is 97 pages long, with some of those pages being short letters. It is a very light, very quick read. I highly recommend it for an easy, fluffy read. You won't regret it.