After many recommendations, I finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society yesterday. Awesome book. It was one of those gentle, interesting books that I could read a bit of and put down without a pang of "WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?" I enjoy books that grab you by the throat, as Isola or Juliet said in Guernsey Literary and PPP Society, but my life isn't conducive to them. Last week I read Best of Friends by JoAnna Trollope, (another English author--more modern day) and she has that knack of letting significant things happen and then moving on to see what is happening with another character without telling you all the reactions and repercussions of what happened. So I spent all day last Monday reading and accomplished nothing. Which is fun, but not sensible or gratifying when you have three small children who have been busy making a mess while you were trying to sort out every one's life in a fictional town in England. I should just stick to short story collections.
Anyway, back to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society ( I refuse to write that one more time). I actually had a difficult time getting into it because it is all letters. Letters from this person to that person and then that other person and then back again. I don't typically like letter books, but after resisting reading it for a few days, I decided that was stupid because I liked Anne of Windy Poplars and that is a letter book. (I know, I don't have the most distinguished reading repertoire, if Anne of Windy Poplars is the only letter book I can pull out of it.) So I buckled down and got on with it. And I am glad I did. It is about the period immediately following WW II in England, which is an interesting time by any account, but particularly this one. The main character, Juliet, lives in London and begins corresponding with people on Guernsey (which is a British island in the English Channel--much closer to France than England, interestingly enough) . Guernsey was the only part of Britain that was invaded and occupied by the Germans during the war. They invaded in 1940 and were there throughout the war. Juliet eventually goes to Guernsey and it sounds beautiful and I want to visit. There is supposedly a church with walls made up of a mosaic of broken china and ceramics. How bizarre. Juliet says the pastor must have made house calls with a sledgehammer. But it has the sea and fields of flowers and grass... Anyway, enough about scenery. Altogether, the book is a lovely combination of interesting history bits, a romance, characters who love books, and a main character I would love to have tea with. If I liked tea. It was a little disconcerting though to have the man I thought she would end up with put out of the running half way through the book. Then I had to shift my focus and think about this other guy who I had not paid over much attention to. I didn't like that. I felt like I needed to go read the first half over again so I could get all the nuances that I missed. But I didn't. It just goes to show that you never can tell. And you shouldn't have preconceived notions about things you never can tell. So read it without notions. But do read it!
Yes I am shirking the report of our fabulous weekend. But my camera is at Mom and Dad's (I think) and it seems silly to tell you all about it without the pictures! So just you wait. It will be great.