Books, life the universe

Saturday, 5 July 2008

An unusual book

I finished reading a strange book last night - 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' by Mary Ann Shaffer. Set in 1946 and written in the form of letters - reminiscent of the original novels. It starts off with Juliet - a writer - who has found fame and fortune with a newspaper column and a book of that column. She receives a letter from Dawsey - a shy farmer living in Guernsey, who has come across a book which Juliet once owned. His letter starts a correspondence which gradually draws in more people from the island until several of them are writing to Juliet. She is writing an article for the Times about the psychological benefits of reading. The letters tell her how reading helped the islanders during the German occupation. They made me laugh and they made me cry. There were glimpses of the cruelty of the Germans and also of their humanity and there were examples of courage and the steadfastness of the human soul in impossible circumstances. I loved it and I'm sure it will acquire a devoted following.

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