Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Book Recommendation: THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I know exactly two Myrnas (one of which you know, too), and they both recommended this delightful book to me. Actually, Myrna Number One recommended it, and then I couldn’t remember the title (it is a little cumbersome), and then Myrna Number Two recommended it on her blog, and I was like, “Oh, right, that’s the book Myrna Number One told me I should read a few months back.” So I read it--and loved it:)

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY is an epistolary novel (wow, how often do you get to use that word in real life?), meaning the story unfolds through a series of letters. Our main letter writer is Juliet Ashton, a British newspaperwoman whose collection of wartime articles was just published in a single volume. With the war over (the Second World War, that is), Juliet casts about for a new book idea, finally settling on the tale of a small group of Britons, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, who took up reading as a means of resisting the German occupation of their tiny island in the English Channel.

In addition to educating me on a piece of World War Two history I didn’t already know, GUERNSEY thoroughly drew me into its pastoral world and made me lament the lost art of letter writing. I exchanged letters, real, actual letters, with Honey Bear for two years before he was my husband, and those letters are now a prized possession. I ought to stick them in page protectors and organize them chronologically in a three-ring binder. It’ll be like having my very own GUERNSEY.

Definitely give this book a read. (Did I mention it includes an adorable romance?) And go write someone a letter, a real, fold-it-up-and-slap-a-stamp-on-it letter. You just might make that person’s day.

7 comments:

Charity Bradford said...

We read this in my book club last fall. I loved it too! It is a fun, easy read that anyone can relate to, especially writers. All the characters are so memorable too.

Matthew Rush said...

I always love to see novels with a different sort of format than a standard third or first person narrative. Sounds like a fun read, thanks for sharing Krista.

Shameless self promotion warning:

If you have time please stop by, read and comment on my guest post for today over at Justine Dell's blog:

http://justine-dell.blogspot.com/

It's an interesting topic that will hopefully spark some discussion.

Thanks!

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Ah, letters! Even my kids were lamenting the other day that we don't ever get mail (and don't send mail anymore, either) unless it's the electronic variety. I remember when we lived in HK my dad would send my grandparents a letter once a week. That was pretty much the extent of our communication with them -- except maybe a once-a-year phone call. Times have certainly changed!

Yes, treasure those letters you sent your husband! Was he on his mission? Where did he go?

Amy

Liesl said...

Yes, I need to read this book. I've seen so many of my friends reading it. It's time.

Krista V. said...

Charity, it's definitely a great pick for a book club.

Thanks, Matthew, for the heads-up about your guest post over on Justine's blog.

Yeah, Amy, he was on his mission. He was originally called to serve in Peru, but the Peruvian government kind of collapsed right about then and stopped issuing visas. So he was reassigned to the Michigan Lansing Mission, Spanish speaking.

Liesl, glad to add another book to the stack on your nightstand, or wherever it is you keep your to-be-read books:)

Myrna Foster said...

I'm happy you read it and agreed with me.

One of my older sisters has her mission letters in a binder. Last week, she pulled it out and was reading some of the letters I wrote to her when I was in fifth grade. They were pretty funny.

Krista V. said...

Myrna, how fun to be able to read about your eleven-year-old self:)