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84, Charing Cross Road
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July 2016: Biography Memoir > 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff- 4 Stars

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message 1: by Joi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joi (missjoious) | 3832 comments Never would have picked this up if it wasn't for PBT so thanks. I tried not to read review till after I wrote my own, but seems my thoughts were pretty similar to everyone here's. I'm now suggesting this book to my mom.

The best word I can think of to describe this book was 'lovely'. It was tiny, and lovely. Helene Hanff, a writer and playwright forms a bond with a bookshop seller across the Atlantic ocean, and we watch their relationship grow. It starts with Helene simply purchasing books from a stranger, and it turns into a budding friendship. They forget the formalities, and become friends. We see the outside characters jump in and out as well, from other booksellers, to family and it proves how strong the friendship the two have built stands.

Written entirely in letters, the only reason I didn't give this 5 stars was because of the repetitiveness. I understand the letters and entire book were for the purpose of buying books but the transaction section of the letters was tiring.

I loved and appreciated the fact that this kind of friendship doesn't even exist anymore now. Now a days, no one even writes letters anymore- and if they did the two would be under scrutiny of everyone (wives, friends) of a romantic relationship. Gone are the days of platonic friendship, and this makes me sad about how complicated this is now.


Anita Pomerantz | 6675 comments Great review, Joi, and happy you were glad you picked it up. I do agree with you about the repetitiveness, but somehow the ending trumped that for me and landed it with the fifth star. I do think the average reader would feel the way you did . . .so it is a good thing to warm about in the review.


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