So how are you guys liking the book so far? Although it took me a bit to really get into it/ established with the characters/scene, I like how it's slowly developing. It's all unfolding through these characters' letters so I'm not exactly being gripped and shocked and thrown for loops here. To me, the story feels more like it's on a slow simmer - for now anyway - and I'm patiently waiting for it to come to a boil.
Here are some of my thoughts on the first third of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society:
- I love the language used in these letters. It's pure poetry! Imagine receiving one in the mail? Makes me wish we still took that much care in the words we chose. Mayhaps I shall commence writing as such to my dear pen pal? I think she'd love it so!
- I wonder how fast these letters got to their destination. I know it's a work of fiction, but it perplexes me when I see several letters sent back and forth within the same day! I set the scene so far back I imagined horses being involved (or perhaps carrier pigeons?), but the real question is why is the USPS so stinking slow? Also, I like how they have no qualms about sending off letters with just one word. (God forbid I receive a one-word text.) It's like old-school instant messenger...minus the instant.
- Speaking of the back and forth, even though the language is a bit more "proper" than the butchered Americanism of today, they're so witty. What makes it even better (for me) is the unexpected humor I stumble upon in these letters.
- The overall theme here: books, the love we have for them and their power to comfort. The opening quote still remains in my head: I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.
How many times haven't I started a book only to realize once I'm knee-deep in it, that I'm reading exactly what I need to read at that moment in my life, stumbling into answers I never thought to find then and there? And if not answers, then just soothing words that make me feel less alone in my troubles.
Growing up, I always kept a book underneath my pillow. I'd read myself to sleep in the dark, using the hallway light to make out the words. And if I had no books within reach, I'd read the backs of my mom's hairspray bottles on the dresser by my bed. I really just wanted to devour every sentence there was.
(P.S. I loved Juliet's reason for breaking off her engagement with her fiancé, by the way. That, I thought, was the best insight to her character.)
- Another quote that stuck out: When my son, Ian, died at El Alamein - side by side with Eli's father, John - visitors offering their condolences, thinking to comfort me, said "Life goes on." What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't. It's death that goes on; Ian is dead now and will be dead tomorrow and next year and forever. There's no end to that. But perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it.
- So far my favorite character is Juliet herself and though I've yet to meet her, I've taken quite a liking to Elizabeth. I hope she's found soon so that I may read her letters too.
Feel free to comment on the beginning portion of the book or add your link if you've written a post about it (as long as there are no spoilers)!