The Red Address Book by Sofia Lundberg
January 24, 2019
Dear Mr. Hemingway,
I am wondering how many people these days use an address book. Not the kind stored on your iPhone or computer. I mean a physical address book. You know, the paper ones with the letter tabs to alphabetize your contacts. What if your address book had every person that was in your life from when you were young? Imagine the story it could tell. In Sofia Lundberg’s debut, The Red Address Book, readers get a sneak peek at 96-year-old Doris’ life by going through the pages of her address book. Doris lived a very full and colorful life. Her 96 years were jam-packed with the good, the bad, and everything you can imagine in between.
Doris is a 96 year old woman living alone in her Stockholm apartment. At this point in her life all of her friends and family are long gone, except for her grand-niece Jenny from America. Doris is lonely. Her only social interactions are with the caregivers who briefly stop by to check in on her and with her grand-niece via Skype. At 96, all she has left are her memories. To pass the time, she begins to look through her red address book that she has meticulously kept since it was given to her by her father when she was 10 years old. As she strolls down memory lane, she decides to write down her story to share with Jenny, her only living relative. Doris flips through her address book with caution and care. She shares her 96 year old journey with Jenny, one address at a time. From her humble beginnings in Sweden in the 1920’s to being sent out on her own to fend for herself at an early age, Doris experienced a great deal of highs and lows. She takes us through her her modeling career in Paris in the 1930’s, the dawn of the Second World War and finding then losing the love of her life. From Paris to Manhattan and back to Sweden again, Lundberg’s book will take readers on a voyage like no other.
The Red Address Book is not only about growing old and preserving memories for those we leave behind. It is the ultimate love story. Doris’ address book was essentially a diary, her life’s map. Her story slowly unfolds with each page of her book. When Jenny comes to visit Doris in the hospital towards the end of her life, she is fascinated by Doris’ story and the love of her life who disappeared through the years. Her story also unlocks some of the family secrets from Jenny’s own past. While Jenny is visiting, she is determined to give Doris not only a few more memories for her book, but possibly the most memorable moment of all.
Filled with love and laughter, sadness and tears, Sofia Lundberg’s book will have readers contemplating their own lives. This book is filled to the brim with nostalgia. Doris’ ninety-six years and counting covers a lot of ground. Readers will soar through each page of this story until way after their bedtime. The Red Address Book is an absolute winner! I look forward to more books by this lovely author.
Happy Reading Everyone!
Your Biggest Fan,
P.S. If you enjoy this book, check out Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove. It pairs well with The Red Address Book.