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P.O. Box Love

A Novel of Letters

Paola Calvetti, translated by Anne Milano Appel

St. Martin's Press

A charming epistolary novel that chronicles the love story between Emma and Frederico, former high school sweethearts who meet again thirty years later.

At Dreams & Desires, 50-year-old Emma’s quaint bookshop in Milan dedicated to romantic fiction, the passionate bookseller serves coffee and tea to her customers and completes order slips in pen rather than using a computer. One day, she finds a mysterious handwritten note stuck between the pages of a novel. The message is from her high school sweetheart Frederico, who is now a successful architect in New York and whom she hasn’t seen in thirty years. When she finally meets Frederico again, Emma is convinced that her life is about to turn into a romance novel – an intercontinental fairy tale between Milan and New York, between two post office boxes and two lovers that are separated by the Atlantic Ocean and half a life. But Frederico is married, and their epistolary romance, punctuated by once-a-year sojourns on the island of Belle Ile, seems to have no future. Paola Calvetti's PO Box Love is an ode to old-fashioned relationships (the ones that last a lifetime), old-fashioned habits (such as writing letters by hand in fountain pen) and old-fashioned notions (such as politeness, and the great lost art of conversation), and will enchant readers of such perennial favorites as 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff and Same Time Next Year by Bernard Slade.


BOOK EXCERPTS

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I wake up early now.
But first, that very first blissful moment between sleep and wakefulness is given over to Alice and the bookshop. The moment comes around 6:00 A.M., 6:15 at the latest, when the herbal potion that has replaced the dream-suppressing pills has done its job and I find myself riveted to the bed with my eyes wide-open and a unique surprise: It is in the empty silence of my room that my best ideas are formed.
And my heart settles down.
There is an annoying aspect to my precocious awakenings: Right after lunch, I slip into a deplorable state of lethargy
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    A charming epistolary novel that chronicles the love story between Emma and Frederico, former high school sweethearts who meet again thirty years later.

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REVIEWS

Praise for P.O. Box Love

P.O. Box Love is a wonderfully engrossing and romantic novel that takes the reader from Milan to New York and back again through the letters Federico and Emma mail to each other. Paola Calvetti’s book will captivate your mind and steal your heart.”--Isabella Rossellini

"Paola Calvetti takes readers on a delicious trip through Italy, books, letters -- and love, reminding us all of the joys of a completely compelling read."--Cathie Beck, author of Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship

“I was charmed by Paola Calvetti’s story. This is an enchanting evocation of long-distance love, a book that’s tender, witty and wise.”--Margaret Leroy, author of The Soldier’s Wife and Yes, My Darling

"Emma’s loving descriptions of her bookshop—its content and layout, staff and customers—are an ode to the written word and a wonderful backdrop. Calvetti’s evocative, unhurried prose is fittingly old-fashioned compared to modern communication, and bibliophiles will delight in the setting, passionate book talk, and fanciful anecdotes about the Morgan library and its first librarian, Belle de Costa Green, J.P. Morgan’s mistress. Federico’s letters to Emma are filled with romantic longing..." -- Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Paola Calvetti, translated by Anne Milano Appel

  • PAOLA CALVETTI has been a journalist with La Repubblica and a publicist for Milan's La Scala Opera. She is the author of five novels and lives in Milan.
  • Paola Calvetti Alessandro Albert
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P.O. Box Love

A Novel of Letters

Paola Calvetti, translated by Anne Milano Appel

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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