Saturday, July 19, 2008

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

My daughter and I love British movies and shows. We recently read about a movie starring Sir Anthony Hopkins called 84 Charing Cross Road and are looking forward to watching it soon (Netflix has it to rent or as a instant watch). In reading the review, I saw that it came from a book so, of course, I had to read the book first. Fortunately my local library had it.

What a charming book! I learned that this is a true story which makes it even more sweet!

Helene Hanff was a script editor and writer back in the mid-twentieth century. She also loved old books, especially British copies of old books. She preferred the delicate paper they used and the charm of their covers and bindings over the mass market editions found the the U.S. One day she wrote to a used book store in London called Marks and Company and a lovely relationship began. Over the course of 20 years she corresponded with the members of the Marks and Company staff and even with some of their family. She purchased many books from them and supplied them with lovely treats at a time when England was living under a ration.

84 Charing Cross Road is a compilation of letters... those she wrote and those she received. I doubt every letter is here.. but many are and they are wonderful! Letter writing is an art form in and of itself!

This is a small book... easily read in one sitting. It is the perfect book for a quiet afternoon and a cup of tea!

1 comment:

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Now, this books sounds interesting. Not my usual reading taste, but, then again, I'll read just about anything!