Friday, April 29, 2011

The Indiscreet Letter - by Eleanor Hallowell Abbott

I ran across The Indiscreet Letter (- UK edition no longer available-) by chance and was struck by the rave reviews.  As the book was published in 1915, I do not think the reviews were planted by the author’s relatives!

5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the most adorable story I've ever read: The Traveling Salesman, The Young Electrician and the Youngish girl meet on a train from Halifax to Boston and discuss life, love, and indiscreet letters.  I don't know if I can convey quite how cute this is, but I've just reread it after reading it for the first time about a year ago, and I have no doubt I'll be reading it again sometime

5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely little story!: What a great little story. Times may change but human nature doesn't. I wish the story continued!

Who could resist such enthusiasm!  (I salute  the first reviewer, re-readers are rare these days; but many of you here are giving books a second look.)

“The voice of the Railroad Journey was a dull, vague, conglomerate, cinder-scented babble of grinding wheels and shuddering window frames; but the voices of the Traveling Salesman and the Young Electrician were shrill, gruff, poignant, inert, eternally variant, after the manner of human voices which are discussing the affairs of the universe.

"Every man," affirmed the Traveling Salesman sententiously—"every man has written one indiscreet letter during his lifetime!"

"Only one?" scoffed the Young Electrician with startling distinctness above even the loudest roar and rumble of the train.

With a rather faint, rather gaspy chuckle of amusement the Youngish Girl in the seat just behind the Traveling Salesman reached forward then and touched him very gently on the shoulder.

"Oh, please, may I listen?" she asked quite frankly.

With a smile as benevolent as it was surprised, the Traveling Salesman turned half-way around in his seat and eyed her quizzically across the gold rim of his spectacles.

"Why, sure you can listen!" he said.”

Let’s listen, too!

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