In simple terms, I thought this book was very good but not outstanding and I’ll do my best to explain why.

First, I absolutely love the premise... two unrelated people on opposite sides of the Atlantic form a lasting friendship for 20+ years over their mutual love of books. How could I not be completely enamored by this premise! I was initially apprehensive that Helene’s brash, New York-style humor would be positively received by a formal, professional London bookseller and then so relieved when Frank responded to Helene’s letters with his kind, endearing, accommodating nature.

Second, I love that kindness is a key theme that runs through Helene and Frank’s friendship and even extends to other family members, friends and co-workers. Kindness can never be undervalued or unappreciated!

Third, although letter writing is sadly a lost art, the opportunity to create long-distance friendships is not! The spirit of Helene and Frank’s relationship is alive and well through the medium of Bookstagram!

Finally, you may be wondering what element I think is missing in order to elevate this book from good to outstanding? My answer is that I want more! The amazing reviews and high accolades for this book set my expectations at the level of an 8-course gourmet meal and, in my humble opinion, the book ended after the appetizer was served. I simply wanted more!

If you enjoy books about books and book lovers, don’t miss this gem!


Book Details:

Title: 84, Charing Cross Road

Author: Helene Hanff

Publisher: Penguin Books

Format: Paperback

ISBN: 978-0140143508