Wednesday, June 30, 2010
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Wow, this book moved my spirit. I love a book that speaks to my heart and soul and moves me to hope, laughter and tears. There are some books that I love so much that I want to carry it with me at all times and sleep with it under my pillow so that I can dream about it. This is one of those books for me. It is beautifully written in epistolary style with 20 different voices in the novel. I truly didn't want it to end.
The book begins when Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger who lives on the Island of Guernsey. Dawsey writes Juliet because he spent the war years reading a book by Charles Lamb that she previously owned and decided to write her. Guernsey is a English Isle that was under German Occupation during WWII and the people there were hungry for books, news, plants, shoes, everything they missed out on during the war. Juliet decides to write back and it forever changes her life and those around her. The year is 1946.
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book.
"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of honing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." (page 10)
"That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive-all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment." (pages 11-12)
"Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person's name suddenly pops up everywhere you go? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence and Mr. Simpless, my parson friend, calls it Grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and "fruitlessness" is drawn in." (page 116)
Such poignant writing. If you love English Literature, WWII History and reading other people's letters from a period of history long gone, you will like (love) this book.