Firstly, happy #worldbookday!
“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”
Recommended to me by a lovely lady via Twitter, I simply didn’t want this to end. A series of letters jsut after the Second World War, between a London newspaper columnist and a group of unlikely friends on Guernsey (who invented the society to hide a dinner party feasting on a forbidden pig which eventually evolves into reality), this tells the story of the effect the Nazi occupation had on the lives of the Guernsey people and how the bonds of friendship helped them cope with the daily monotony and atrocities of their occupation.
I couldn’t put this down. I’m not normally one who enjoys multiple view-point books, and written entirely as an Epistolary novel (taking the form of letters) to and fro each of the characters establishing who they are and the events, this book charmed my socks off. I also didn’t know a whisker about Guernsey.
It’s a soft, charming, sad and funny book, and one you open it, you will struggle to put it down. I’m a sucker for anything London (you would think living here I would be sick of it, but no) and anything War related, and this was no exception. The American authors Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows made a very credible post-war England and Guernsey, and I can imagine walking down the streets. The braveness of Elizabeth is heartwarming, and she epitimoses the war spirit a lot of people had in such harrowing times.
I was sad to see the book end – I laughed, I cried, it made me yearn to explore the small island and find out more. The authors are American, but write with believable conviction. There is criticism floating around that it’s not a challenging read (umm, hello read War and Peace if that’s what you are looking for) and that the characters all ‘wrote’ in the same ‘voice’ but I think they didn’t, and to exaggerate the individual voices any more would skew them slightly.
I loved it!
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