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Friday, May 6, 2011

Wednesday, 4th May, 2011 - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (chosen by Je)

It was lovely to see Ge at our meeting tonight.  There were surprise shouts from those delighted by her unexpected visit!! Fingers crossed that she joins us again next month!!  :)

What We Discussed:

The book was a light-hearted and charming read.  Some of us had read it before, and were reading it again for the second time.... but we felt it was good to have the opportunity to discuss it together.   We talked about the authors, how Mary Ann Shaffer wrote the book but was unable to complete it as she was too ill to continue and how her niece, Annie Barrows tied up all the loose ends and eventually got the book published.  We talked how Mary Ann Shaffer found inspiration for the book after stopping in Guernsey and becoming fascinated with the island.

Je read us a quick summary of the history of Guernsey and gave is an insight into the island, it's population and what actually happened during WW2.  Most of us knew little about Guernsey and were shocked to hear that it had been abandoned during the War and under German Occupation for 5 long years.  We talked about how the people were given the option to leave and how children had been sent across to the mainland to live in homes of others in order to be kept safe. We then went on to discuss the book.

We considered how it felt to read a book that was entirely written in letters.  Some of us said that it felt personal, almost as if we were peeking into the private lives of the characters, by reading their mail!! Others said it broke the book up into little sections and brought the characters to life.

We talked about some of the characters and decided on who our favourite characters were, .... our initial impressions of the characters (eg some of us felt that Dawsey was older than he really was) ....  the quirkiness of some of the characters (Isola!!) and how quaint and charming the whole place seemed to be.  We talked about Juliet's reaction to Mark Reynolds and how she rejects his proposal.  We talked about Sydney, about Remy and about Kit.  We pondered about Juliet and Elizabeth and if there could have been seen as kindred spirits.

Some interesting discussion links are found here:

Random House on the book (make sure you look at the interesting map that takes you to all the places in the book on this website)

We ate too much delicious food... talked about all kinds of other things ... and also looked at Ant's latest pop-up book orders from BetterWorldBooks which were absolutely gorgeous.  The meeting ended all too soon.  We missed Su tonight as she was busy and unable to get to the meeting.  Our next meeting will be at An's place where we will be discussing Corduroy Mansions.


Natalie Hayllar said...

hello. I just found your blog from the australian womens bloggers list. I love good books and LOVED this one - the Guernsey L&PPS was such a lovely read. I am always looking for good books, and occasionally feature some book recommendations on amongst lots of food and travel stories. thanks Natalie

escape said...

Hi Natalie! Yes, and it is a pity that Mary Anne Shaffer did not live to see how much the world loves and enjoys her book, but so good that Annie Barrows helped fulfil her dream. By the way, you have a lovely blog. We have added it to our blog list for others enjoy :)

Natalie Hayllar said...

lovely yes, it is such a shame she did not get to see her success, such a beautiful heartwarming book, one of the inspirations for starting eat read love. we are following escape too on the eat read love blog roll. thanks again. natalie