"The word is the making of the world." - Wallace Stevens

Sunday, May 2, 2010

84 Charing Cross Road - Helene Hanff

This is the first time I've ever read Ms. Hanff's writing. I would love to have met her, what a character. You can tell from this novel she was brave, funny, energetic, and had a dry sense of humor. She seems like she was a little temperamental, but it makes her a fiesty writer. I loved learning why the Thames is pronounced "Temmes." It was also nice to learn that Helene was someone who needed solitude; she didn't like writing where she could be disturbed. (I know I need time to myself to space out and daydream when I write in my journal. Or blog for that matter...) Time goes by pretty quickly in the first half of the story, which is made up of letters between Helene, Frank Doel, and the other people she corresponds with for years at Marks and Co, a rare and secondhand book shop in London. Call me a romantic, but reading letter correspondance really gives you a chance to get to know the writers and I love it. The second half of the book is entitled "The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street" and describes her adventures in England, when she finally gets to visit in the summer of 1971. Very charming story and lovable main character.

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