Monday, 1 July 2019

84 Charing Cross road by Helene Hanff

A cool breeze on a summer night, warm sunshine on a wintry morning and a rain shower on a scorching day. This book is everything which can make you feel positive, happy and loved. Helene Hanff is a reader and an aspiring writer in New York who contacts the bookshop by the name of 84 Charing crossroad in London for certain edition copies and from here on starts the series of letters exchanged between two bibliophiles which develops into a friendship, so real and across boundaries. It was heartwarming to read about it. The author with her wit and humour makes the journey of reading this memoir pleasant.

There is a second part to the book mostly referred as the sequel - The Duchess of Bloomsbury, which sees Helen Hanff travelling to London for the events in line to her published book(84 Charing Cross road) and making more friends, one’s which make her stay in London worthwhile and memorable.

I don’t think I will ever read a light, endearing and a happy memoir such as this. It talks of literary connects, Helene’s book choices and favourites as a reader and a traveller who humorously draws out differences between her home country and the one where she’s a tourist. There is no way a passionate book lover and keeper will not nod along to the bibliophile-way-of-life described in the novel.

I absolutely recommend reading this book because it reminds us that we need such little things to make good friends and be content. The friends might not stay along forever in our journey of life but they can always be a part of something beautiful that life is. If I plan to write a memoir some day, I would want it to look as blithely positive as this one.

It reminded me of the Bookstagram community too. How all of us here bond over books and how it has been a starting point for many to get into life long friendships. Has it not?

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