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review 2016-11-19 00:58
Connecting through letters
84, Charing Cross Road (includes The Duchess of Bloomsbury) - Helene Hanff

If you haven't read 84, Charing Cross Road then you MUST GO READ IT IMMEDIATELY. I had never even heard of this book or this author until I read the review of it in SF where my interest was piqued. The book consists of letters sent between Helene who lived in New York and a man named Frank Doel who worked at an antiquarian bookstore called Marks and Co in London. The first letter was sent by Helene in 1949 and their correspondence continued for 20 years. Eventually, other coworkers from the store would start writing letters to Helene and she would develop a friendship with Frank's wife and daughters. I was so moved by these letters. They were real and beautiful. Helene is hilarious and crotchety. Frank comes across as uptight and somewhat aloof (until Helene breaks him of that). The second half of this book which was not a part of the original print...well I don't want to spoil it for you. Let's just say that it was extraordinarily easy for me to see myself in Helene's place. This is a woman that wrote from the heart and it's like...gosh. Ya'll I can't find the words to describe just how much I loved this book. I want to start right back at the beginning and I just closed the back cover. This has high rereadability. (Google tells me that isn't a real word but I refuse to believe that.) Go forth, readers. You won't regret it. 11/10

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2013-10-01 00:00
Slightly Foxed
Slightly Foxed - Jane Lovering Slightly Foxed started out great with a healthy dose of British humour I so adore. Unfortunately, I soon realised that while certain passages were incredibly funny, some major parts didn't turn out to my liking at all. First of all, the heroine's daughter is a bitch. I know she's 16, a teenager which excuses a lot of hormone-driven bad behaviour. But through all the 40% of the story I have read, she treated her mother at times abominably which, of course, didn't endear her to me at all.

Secondly, I had some major problems with Alys, the thirty six years old heroine. Alys has some serious insecurities and while I understand (though I don't deem it normal, at least not in real life) that she put her sex life on hold, I really started getting annoyed with her because she constantly belittled herself. Often in a humorous way, but JEZUZ, she's thirty six not fourteen. She has a bad paying job in a book shop and a boss who doesn't appreciate her skills. She's as poor as a church mouse which isn't a shame, but why stay at the same job for ages and not trying to move on if it's so lousy? Her ex-husband is rich and I take it the separation wasn't hunky dory, but talk about false pride and missing self respect. DNF
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