"Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books
that brings them to their perfect readers."
--The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, page 10
I love when things are a little out of the ordinary.
I've always loved sitting or lying down in places where people didn't normally sit or lie down.
In a corner, under the dining room table, in a tree.
I take great pleasure in little things.
Vibrant rainbows, the cute little waddle of groundhogs or other creatures with large bellies, baby giggles, big hearty laughs.
I especially love reading books that are a little out of the ordinary, whether that's due to how they were written, why they were written, or who wrote them. For this third book in the #yearof50books, I loved the non-traditional epistolary format. (I know there are many books in letter form, but there certainly aren't more than there are traditional novels!) Reading letters written between characters makes me feel like I'm right there with them, and yet leaves so much to question at the same time. It's certainly an exercise in inference, especially when letters don't explicitly connect.
This book, the third in my year of reading, is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer.
What a delightful--though sometimes heartbreaking--story! I loved every character and enjoyed reading their correspondence. This novel takes place in 1946 after the German occupation of the Channel Islands during World War 2. It's rare for a novel to inspire me to do so much research, but I've thoroughly enjoyed my time spent checking Guernsey out on Google Maps! I would like to visit the island someday.
The spunky female characters--Juliet, Isola, Elizabeth, Amelia, Kit, and more--made me chuckle often, but could break my heart in the next beat with something so meaningful and poignant. Although I've learned about World War 2 in school, I never knew about the occupation of the Channel Islands nor considered how such situations would affect the everyday people who lived there. I can't imagine going through what they did during that time--completely cut off from England, completely occupied by German soldiers.
This is what books are supposed to do, right? Find their "perfect readers" and inspire them to learn more about this world of ours and the people who live in it. What a wonderful thing.
Stories like this that demonstrate how necessary the arts are--creative writing, visual arts, performance arts--always tug at my heart. I love reading about how books bring people together and change the lives of people in the process. There is tremendous power in words..never forget that.
Book four is already in progress..another non-fiction read! I'm looking forward to sharing it with you!