Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff

Oh how I adored 84 Charing Cross Street, a book of letters from an American reader in New York to an English bookseller in London. Then to discover that there was a film version, which I watched with trepidation - would the movie ruin it all for me, as many film versions of books tend to? And especially, how would all these letters translate into visuals? Fortunately, it was extremely watchable, helped along by Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins (after writing this, I feel like watching it all over again). And now when I picture Helene Hanff, Anne Bancroft pops into my head.

And why was I picturing Helene Hanff? Cos I just read The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, that's why. Helene finally makes it to London and gets to meet Frank's family. It wasn't as lovely as 84 Charing Cross Street, but it was a quick and fun read, a nice break from reading of the horrors of genocide in Rwanda. Hanff is conversational, occasionally funny, but it was just nice to read about England, and by someone who is so enamoured of this country. It made me want to book a ticket to London!

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