Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blogosphere Book Circle Book of the Month

February is month one in our online book club (see Penny's blog on the side bar for the full list of participants). Our first book was:

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society / Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows.

Synopsis (copied from Penny, she who oganises our book circle):
"Set in London/Guernsey just after the war, this book is written in the format of letters to one character to another which takes a little getting used to... Julia Ashton is looking for her next book topic and discovers it when she is contacted by a man who has bought a copy of a book that used to belong to her. Thus begins a correspondence that quickly evolves into more as Julia gets to know each member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and their life on the island during the German occupation. Each letter reveals a little more about their stories, their perspectives island life, characters who live there and connections. Julia eventually visits the island and finds more than just her book."

Did you like/dislike the book, did it affect you in any way?:
I LOVED this one. It's probably not the type of book that I go for so I am rapt that in month one the Book Circle has turned up trumps. I loved how the book was entirely composed of letters. I felt sad at the end when I read that the author died before the book was published. I loved that the content was both frivilous and shocking. The accounts of war experiences were not what I had expected when I started readiong. I loved how some of the most memorable lines were in letters from not the main characters but from the bit characters.I loved the quaint turns of phrase. I liked the humour and the heartache.

These little snips tickled my fancy so much that I wrote them down before I returned the book to the library:

"I have a parrot in my keeping - her name is Zenobia and she does not like men" (This made me laugh out loud.)

Which contrasted considerably with this:
"The SS forced the prisoner's orchestra to play music as we lugged the corpses- and for that I hope they burn in hell with polkas playing"

And this:
"He looked like the German you imagine - tall, blond hair, blue eyes - except that he could feel pain."

And this:
"My aunt says she will never set foot in our house ever again, and Mother hasn't spoken to me since. I find it all very peaceful."

I tried to read it slowly (unlike my usual reading style) to savour it for a bit longer. I was disappointed when it was over.

10 out of 10.


Anonymous said...

I loved it too and I must I couldn't put it down. I loved the letters format it made for an interesting read. While I was reading the book I imagined who the characters would be in the movie.

Penny said...

I'm so chuffed everyone has enjoyed this book. I'm sure it won't always happen that way!

Love those quotes too and now I'm wishing I'd done the same because there were some rather funny ones. The letters between Julia and her friend reminded me a lot of my sisters and I.

I think I may have to succuumb and buy it which isn't my usual practice.

mimbles said...

Great quote selections, the parrot one made me snort too.

I loved the way it ended, even though I too wanted there to be more.

suzannah | the smitten word said...

it was wonderful! and i would have never picked it up on my own, so i was thankful to have the "assignment."