Meet Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. She has few visitors, but her weekly Skype calls with Jenny―her American grandniece, and her only relative―give her great joy and remind her of her own youth.
When Doris was a girl, she was given an address book by her father, and ever since she has carefully documented everyone she met and loved throughout the years. Looking through the little book now, Doris sees the many crossed-out names of people long gone and is struck by the urge to put pen to paper.
In writing down the stories of her colourful past―working as a maid in Sweden, modelling in Paris during the 30s, fleeing to Manhattan at the dawn of the Second World War―can she help Jenny, haunted by a difficult childhood, to unlock the secrets of their family and finally look to the future? And whatever became of Allan, the love of Doris’s life?
The main draw of this book for me was the promise of a plethora of exotic locations across the story, which is always something I enjoy in a work of fiction if well done, and the fascinating study of an older character which Cleo describes as being unstereotypical. It sounds as if the author has put a lot of care into the character of Doris and telling her story accurately, and I think it has an interesting and charming premise. Doris is obviously a character that Cleo admired as a protagonist, which made me trust that she would be someone I could rely on to carry this fascinating-sounding story. Plus, I love the cover!
Cleo’s blog has been silent for the last six months, which is a massive shame and I am hoping that she has no abandoned it entirely, but it just taking a break, as it is a blog I have enjoyed following very much in the past. I really love the way Cleo is so forthright in her opinions, you always know exactly what she thinks of a book, clear about why she loves it or not and make an easy judgement about whether it may or may not be for you. She has enjoyed a lot of the same books as I, so our tastes mesh fairly well. I hope all is well with you, Cleo, and if anyone knows why she has stopped blogging, I’d love to hear. I miss seeing her reviews in my inbox.
If you would like to get your own copy of The Red Address Book, you can get a copy here.