One of my favorites these days -- though not a novel -- is 84 Charing Cross Road. It's letters between the writer Helene hanff and a bookseller in London. The very reserved bookseller gradually becomes a friend. This one is a novel: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It's about a "book club" (not really a book club) on a British island occupied by the Germans during WWII. I loved these two as a kid and still do (except for the prejudice I now see in some of the letters): Dear Enemy and Daddy Long-Legs, both by Jean Webster. They're about an orphanage and the love that blossoms there.
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