The Red Address Book

The Red Address Book

by Sofia Lundberg

Overview: 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 colorful 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, unlock the secrets of their family and finally look to the future? And whatever became of Allan, the love of Doris’s life?

Carole Zwicker (03/11/19): The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg was first published in Sweden in 2017. The book has since been translated to English by Alice Menzies and is available as of January 2019. This novel documents the sentimental journey of Doris, a 96-year-old woman living alone in Stockholm. Her only living relative is Jenny, her grandniece who lives in the US with her young family. The two women skype once a week and have a close and loving relationship. Doris was given a red address book by her father when she was a child. Throughout her long life, she wrote in many names of people who were part of her journey. In her old age, she started to write the story of each person in her book so that Jenny would know the history of Doris and herself. In failing health, Doris cannot forget one man who passed in and out of her life. Whatever happened to him? This small novel is a beautiful story of one woman's life. It is a little gem. Highly recommended.
Rating: *****

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