Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, whose failing health kept her from being able to complete work on this debut effort, and Annie Barrows, who finished it, is a novel told in letters, notes and telegrams. I liked it and am passing it along to Mother. I think she'll enjoy it, too. It's not the first book of this type I've read, and it does remind me a bit of 84 Charing Cross Road.

There is a discussion guide in the back of the book (reprinted online here), and Barnes and Noble has some discussion questions online here. The first question in the "Questions and Topics for Discussion" in the book is this:
What was it like to read a novel composed entirely of letters? What do letters offer that no other form of writing (not even emails) can convey?
I disagree with the assumption that emails differ from letters in some essential way. I know that emails can't be tied up with ribbon and saved in a box, but people do save emails and treasure them in that same spirit.

from the back of the book:
January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

The Christian Science Monitor calls it "a labor of love". The Guardian has a positive review.

No comments:

Post a Comment