Frank is on the 88 Bus when a gorgeous red headed girl gets on at Clapham Common. A conversation starts, Frank wants to be an actor, the girl an artist. She gives him her telephone number, but Frank loses it. Always in the forefront of his mind, Frank spends countless years on the 88 Bus looking for that red headed girl.
Libby, heartbroken at her split from her boyfriend is on the 88 Bus on the way to stay with her sister as she has nowhere else to be. Libby starts talking to Frank and learns his story. Something in it resonates with Libby, especially the said girls freedom at doing what she wanted and go to art school. Frank wants to thank her for the choices he went on to make and Libby wants to make that dream come true.
With nothing else to do Libby along with a quirky bunch of helpers wants to find that girl, on that 88 Bus, that spoke to Frank. And we are along for the journey in this heartfelt and warm novel which makes you think of the choices made and the routes that we all take when we get on and off at certain steps.
As with Freya’s debut novel, she focuses on characters both young and old with equal measure, no one is really that dominant as the book progresses, they develop and perhaps become less annoying and more intriguing as time passes. Some of them almost challenge your perception of what they are going to be like and Freya manages to make sure that even the reader is as challenged as Libby.
A simple story of dreams and real life. You must buy a ticket for the 88 Bus and find your own journey.
Thank you to the publisher via netgalley for the opportunity to read this book.
The Girl on the 88 Bus is out now.