This is the very charming story of a gentle friendship between the author Helene Hanff, a writer trying to get by on her meagre earnings in New York, and the genteel English bookseller Frank Doel, who works at Marks & Co. Booksellers, at 84 Charing Cross Road, London.
It is told entirely through the letters exchanged between Helene and Frank (and later, his family and colleagues). What starts as a business correspondence when Ms Hanff is seeking some books, soon becomes a true friendship as she sends gifts of food during rationing, and they learn about each other’s lives and friends.
It is a gentle and charming book, and some of the letters written by Helen Hanff, who has a fabulous sense of humour and turn of phrase, made me laugh out loud.
The book is undemanding, but delightful. A gentle true story which I am sure I will read many more times in the future.