Hollison Journey

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.” – Don Williams Jr

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

on September 10, 2009

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

eng The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This was the book selected for September Bookclub over at 5 Minutes for Books. I’m a little late on my post, but that is ok; I’m going to participate anyway.

Melissa wrote some great questions, so I am going to tackle them:

~Is this your first book of letters — fiction or non-fiction? If so, do you like this particular writing style? Why or why not?

No, this is not my first book of letters. I am surprised by so many people who said it was. Did no one read Dear Mr. Henshaw growing up? Anyway, I do enjoy this writing style, but it has to be very well done, and in Guernsey, it is very well done. I liked that author prefaced each letter with a tag like “Juliet to Dawsey”, though after awhile it was almost unnecessary because you got to know the characters so well.

~Do you think Guernsey would have been the same if the author had employed the typical fiction narrative? Would it have been better, or worse?

Hard to say, but I would venture that it wouldn’t be so funny. With the letters format, each character’s voice was heard, not just what the narrator thought of the character. It really was like getting to meet a whole bunch of people instead of just one person and then all the other characters through that one (though there are a few characters who get written to, and never write themselves – it’s not bad, I promise)

~Who is your favorite character? Why?

Oh, I have several. I like Juliet. I like Amelia and Kit as well. Although she is an unlikeable person, I like Adelaide Addison precisely because of how unlikeable she can be (if that makes sense) – she makes me giggle.

~How does the reading that brings the Society’s members together become more than an alibi? What do their literary choices say about each character?

Well, it becomes their link to each other and their escape from troubles.

~In her last letter, Juliet says that she is “…in a constant state of surprise these days.” What do you think she means by that?

I think she means that nothing is turning out the way she thought it would – yet, I think she likes it that way.

I very much recommend this book (MJA: you will like it!). There is very little language issues and it is a fast read. I can’t decide if I want this to be a movie or not. According to imbd.com, it is in development. Part of me wants to see the characters and laugh at their antics. But part of me fears that the movie will not be able to live up to the written word, especially the letter format, and I worry that I will not like who they cast as each character. I know that’s a fear for all book-to-movies, but I think in this case, it’s a big concern.

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One response to “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

  1. nicole says:

    Loved this book too. I’m going to start writing letters to friends. It was such a touching story, but funny too.

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