Author : Helene Haniff
Rating: 4 out of 5
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It is an anthology of letters between Helene Hanff and Frank Doel buyer of Mark & Co in 84, Charing Cross Road, London from 1949 over 20 years..This book explores how love for book and reading can develop bring close to you friends transcending the distance..
Hanff reads a newspaper advertisement by Frank Doel chief buyer of by Mark & Co, specialist in procuring out of print book...Going by it and with no background knowledge of the company she encloses a letter about her pressing problems of book, initially she gets a formal reply from Frank addressing her issues, but quickly Hanff's sense of wit, humor and open mindedness loosen up Frank's formal stature and it blossoms to a wonderful friendship not only with Frank but also other staffs of the store, when war bring pressing problems to the staff in the store,she even sends parcel containing food, thank you notes and gifts..They all write and slip notes along bill..She even ends up developing friendship with Frank's wife and neighbor, his neighbor sends her gift too..But the sad part is she never makes it to the store until Frank's death, and the book store is closed down when she makes it...
Its so wonderful to know how much reading and love for book can contribute positively building up friendship around..Helene Hanff is a struggling writer , she loves to read, but her only problem is all books around her place are expensive...That is how she ends u befriending Frank...Her kindness come across as we read..The strength of the book is its style, everything is in letter format and I would say it becomes its weakness too....The letters speak about varied subjects and people not just about books... At times there are boundaries to which the reader get to know the character, there were times when I wanted to know more of things and wanted them to talk more openly though Hanff's unique style did cover up more still, there were those moments when I wanted more...For all those who love books and reading, this book would be a good read..I am looking forward to read her next book..