Thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for the ARC of The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg.
Doris is 96 and lives alone in Stockholm. In between weekly Skype calls with her only living relative, her great-niece Jenny, she reflects back over her life. In her red address book, she has recorded the name of everyone she has met, and she uses this as a starting point to capture her memories, starting with her childhood in Sweden, and travelling to France, the US, and England. Switching between the present day and Doris’ written memories, we learn her life story.
I found this story a little slow to begin with, and I considered not finishing it, but I’m so glad that I persisted because it turned into such a beautiful book. Doris’ present situation is heartbreaking but there are also hints of humour from her. But it is her memories that really bring the story alive, especially from when she arrives in Paris. There are so many interesting characters in this book, but I found Allan to be the character who made me want to keep reading. The ending of the book was perhaps a little overly sentimental, but it was in-keeping with the personalities of the characters.
This is a great debut from Sofia Lundberg, and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
4 stars out of 5
The Red Address Book will be published on 24 January 2019.