logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: mary-ann-shaffer
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2020-04-10 21:31
Charming and warm
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer,Annie Barrows

It is odd, but for all this book made me cry, I laughed too, and it left me happy. It very much IS a feel good book.

For all the bleak things that the anecdotes in these letters tell you about, there is warmth and humanity underpinning them. Through bombings, gun enforced curfews, children sent away for years, captives and capturers starving alongside, and concentration camps, there are books, and there is friendship, and dignity, and courage.

 

I don't know that it is a perfect book, or even that the plot is that tight (what plot), but there is a bunch of lovely and strange, and even ridiculous, characters being good friends and sharing the good and the bad, all because of books and one absent woman. And that's good. It feels cathartic, and lovely. It's... restorative.

 

I quite enjoyed the experience and I'm glad I took the recommendation.

 

And hey, I got a new favorite poem, because of this first stanza quoted (and I don't usually even enjoy poetry much, but this one resonates)

 

IS it so small a thing
To have enjoy'd the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved, to have thought, to have done;
To have advanced true friends, and beat down baffling foes;

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2020-04-04 11:34
Reading progress update: I've read 67 out of 274 pages.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer,Annie Barrows

This is charming all around, and it's making me all teary for the profound love of literature and forever coming back idea of it as a raft in times of darkness.

 

It seems to me the less he said, the more beauty he made. Do you know what sentence of his I admire the most? It is, ‘The bright day is done, and we are for the dark.’ I wish I’d known those words on the day I watched those German troops land, planeload after planeload of them—and come off ships down in the harbour! All I could think of was, Damn them, damn them, over and over again. If I could have thought the words, ‘The bright day is done, and we are for the dark,’ I’d have been consoled somehow and ready to go out and contend with circumstance—instead of my heart sinking to my shoes.

Like Reblog Comment
review 2020-04-03 02:24
Delightful
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer,Annie Barrows

This is a lovely piece of epistolary and historical fiction that focuses on the German occupation of the (British) Channel Islands during WWII, a part of that historical time period that I knew little about.


It's also got a delightful heroine, thoughtful friendships, a simmering romance, and is basically a love letter to books as well.


Worth the read. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-06-26 18:57
A love story you won't soon forget
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer,Annie Barrows

I struck gold because I didn't think I'd fall so deeply in love with a book so quickly after finishing up The American Way of Death Revisited but then along cameThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows & Mary Ann Shaffer. GUYS. This book was a joy to read from start to finish. I gobbled it up in 2 days and then felt absolutely bereft when it was over. If you enjoyed 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (this is the reason I picked it up) then you will love this book too. Told in letters and telegrams this is the story of a group of people living in a small town in the Channel Islands called Guernsey and their interactions with a Londoner (and writer) named Juliet. Juliet had made her name (except it was actually not her name but a pen name) writing a popular humor column during WWII but at its close (and the beginning of our story) we find her in a bit of a writing rut and looking for her next challenge. This is when she receives a letter from a man in Guernsey who has found a book about Charles Lamb with her name written inside the front cover. This is the beginning of her interest in the place, its people, and its creation of a literary society which saw them through the war and their occupation by German soldiers. While it starts with correspondence between Juliet and Dawsey (the man with the book) it soon blossoms into back-and-forth communication with the other members of the Society (and a few Islanders hellbent on its dissolution). A common thread runs through much of their remembrances of the occupation and the start of the Society and it seems to center around Elizabeth McKenna who while not an Islander came to play a pivotal role in so many of their lives. There were quite a few "WHOA" and "THAT explains it!" moments while reading this book (as well as quite a few tears I ain't gonna lie). I think it's impossible not to fall in love with this book and its characters. 10/10 and absolutely gutted there won't be more books written by Shaffer in the future.

 

PS Someone informed me they adapted this for film and I AM LIVING FOR IT. (Lily James is one of my faves so ya'll know I'm gonna be watching this at my earliest convenience.)

 

What's Up Next: Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan

 

What I'm Currently Reading: I don't even know anymore

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-04-25 14:21
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer

When Juliet Ashton receives a letter from Dawsey Adams on Guernsey she thinks it a friendly and welcome piece of correspondence. She writes back, unaware that doing so will spark an idea to circumvent her writer’s block, set up many new correspondences, introduce her to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (and discover the reason for its name), lead her to new friends and to discover what life was like under German occupation. When she visits the island little does she realise that her life will never be the same again.

 

Don’t be fooled by thinking that a book composed of letters won’t be engaging or interesting. This book is  both and then some. From the first letter this reader was caught up in the lives of Juliet, Sidney, Dawsey and the other Guernsey residents. It may be that some find the writing style difficult to engage with. Usually I’m all for not struggling with a novel. In this instance I’d recommend persevering. Soon the reading letters instead of chapters becomes second nature.

 

The epistolary technique works in such a way that the reader is left with the feeling that they are intimately involved with the characters; that they have become true friends. The style of the book requires some filling in of gaps, reading responses to unseen questions but it soon feels as if this is the only way the story could be told. Each character is defined by their letters. Their style of writing, of relating incidents and histories is laid out in each correspondence. They are rounded out by portrayals and discussions in other letters so that a full picture can be formed. There are characters that never write letters who become integral to the story, Elizabeth being the main one. She is the one that ties the characters together, that helps bridge any gap between Juliet and the islanders.

 

The story goes much deeper than a literary society and writer’s block. It is story of the German occupation of Guernsey, an insight into what life was like cut off from the outside world. It is a story of friendship, both old and new, of loyalty and of love.

The moment I turned the last page I wanted to immediately return to the beginning, so loath was I to leave the characters behind. A warm, moving, funny, all-encompassing novel.

 

Highly recommended.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?