Monday, August 08, 2011

So I *finally* finished a book that didn't have PhD level words peppered throughout it ... or discussed the appropriate strategies for working with a struggling reader ... or that had a specific deadline for finishing it up -- I refuse to consider a library's due date a deadline, clearly, as I've been harassed numerous times via email to BRING THE DING-DANG OVERDUE BOOKS BACK!

It took me ... are you ready for this? It took me the ENTIRE summer to read this book!

That's sad, isn't it?

Don't answer that.

I will answer it for you.

IT'S SAD!!!! SAD, SAD, SAD ... head-hanging, hand-wringing, sad. Pitiful.

I will say that it was A.) a busy summer
B.) a boring book

Okay, maybe not a completely boring book, but it was boring enough ... Okay, it was three quarters boring. The last quarter was very good. It was just the first three-fourths of the book that just about did me in.

But I was invested, and for whatever reason, I stuck with it .... until the bitter end. Except the end wasn't bitter; it was rather endearing.

See, the whole book centers around a series of letters. Well, I can write plainer than that. The entire plot is told through letters ... letters from the main character Juliet to her friends, to her boss, and to a group of people she's introduced to at the conclusion of World War II.

Juliet was a popular wartime columnist that wrote fluff, assumedly in an effort to lightened a pretty somber mood. So popular was the column that the best were compiled and published in book form that, while popular, was not something she ever intended to have happen. Juliet actually hates the fact that she's known for the wartime column and that those columns turned into a best-selling book. She searches out her next writing project, something that she wants to be substantive. It's in that search that she discovers a search book society on the English island of Guernsey, and she's thrust into the wartime horrors of these amazing people. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society help Juliet find her way to a book subject that will move her and her readers. They help guide her way in life, and they help her find her way to love.

I think it's because the genre was written as a series of letters that first annoyed and bothered me. But I tend to find it bothersome when two authors share the writing duties of the same book. For whatever reason, I sense the incongruity of it all, and it doesn't settle with me. Call me crazy ...

However, the book itself has an endearing quality, and I believe that's what made me want to stay with it. Admittedly, I am glad I did. I ended up loving the characters in the literary society, and I was thrilled with how the plot evolved.

I'm not giving it a complete "thumbs up," but I'm not giving it a "thumbs down" either. It was a good book ... once you got past the boring first half ...

I'd suggest it as a read for those that like a little different spin on things.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

1 comment:

meppybn said...

Just cam across your blog and Have to write that I LOVED GLaPPPS!!!! Loved it so much i bought my own copy and have read it twice over the last year!! Loved the letter format - shades of 39 Charing Cross Rd, Griffin and Sabine..... The reason for the 2 authors was that main author was diagnosed with cancer as she was finishing it up and her niece took over the task and it was published after her death. Yes, I agree no Phd words in it but enjoyable read all the same and definitely not BORING.