Friday, January 20, 2012

What I've been reading lately....The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

I was not completely candid with you in my last letter.  In the interests of delicacy, I drew a veil on the true nature of that group and their founder, Elizabeth McKenna.  But now, I see that I must reveal all.

World War 2.  What do you think of when you read those words?  To be honest I feel a little removed from it all.  The only exposure I've ever had is through what I've read or watched.  At school and at work we have always acknowledged Remembrance Day, but I never really thought about its significance until I had children.  Holding a newborn baby in your arms and thinking about how precious that child is to you I was suddenly aware of the sacrafice; the toll it takes on any family who have to endure their loved ones going away to war.
Of all the things that happened during the war, sending children away to try to keep them safe was surely the most terrible.  I don't know how the parents endured it.  It defies the animal instinct to protect your young.  I see myself becoming bearlike around Kit.  Even when I'm not actually watching her I'm watching her.  I f she's in any sort of danger (which she often is, given her taste in climbing), my hackles rise - I didn't even know I had hackles before - and I run to rescue her.  When her enemy, the Vicar's nephew, threw plums at her, I roared at him.  And through some queer sort of intuition I always know where she is.  Just as I know where my hands are - and if I didn't, I'd be ill with worry.  This is how the species survives, I suppose, but the war put a spanner in all that.  How did the mothers of Guernsey live, not knowing where their children were?  I can't imagine.
I think if you're a book blogger you will especially like this novel it as it reminded me of the sort of conversations or musings you would have and relate to others about what you read.  We get to know the characters in this book through letters and at times you have to remind yourself that it is a work of fiction, so real does the writing seem.  There is a real sense of the 1940's, evoked through the book's vernacular and imagery.

The author Mary Ann Shaffer was a seventy year old former Librarian and sadly she didn't get to see her book in print as she passed away in 2008.  Sadly for us readers this means there won't be any more beautiful works coming from this author.

I knew this book was a bestseller when I bought it (actually for my mum for christmas!) and I can see why.  However I will say that it did take me about a third way in to really get into it.  To properly work out who's who, and this may seem off putting to some.  However if you haven't read it then do so, I don't think you will be disappointed.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...