Thursday, February 25, 2010

Part one of the letters

Because of the format of the book I haven't had much to say on it this month and my apologies if you are a faithful reader of the blog. In the beginning some say the book is slow going. And I can see that, but I have to say that I didn't have a problem getting into it right away which may be because of how much authors, books, history and the like interest me so. Rather than recount our start and what the book is about which you know if you are reading is jump right in to two of my favorite quotes. I especially love two of the first thoughts Juliet shared with us in her very first letter to Dawsey Adams:

"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."

"That's what i love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight and for no other reason than shear enjoyment."

I love Juliet's English humor that is shown through her letters and her thought process. It is neat isn't it how we end up with books that belonged to those who have come before us and the common interest that we show in them. Amazing how books can bring people together. And I love what she says about one book leading to another. I can certainly agree with that wholeheartedly as I have a reading list because of this process that expands to 150 books plus! Juliet has a job to do for an article for the times and becomes interested in the Literary Society that Dawsey Adams mentions. And so begins the correspondence between her and the members. We learn how the society came about with the unusual name. On the off chance you are interested here's the recipe I found online for a Potato Peel Pie... I would try it at your own risk if I were you! Here it is word for word from the site:

"Here’s a recipe for a potato peel pie, but I warn you, it tastes like paste. The more authentic it is, the nastier. These ingredients will make a very small pie (expand at will):

1 potato
1 beet
1 Tablespoon milk

Peel the potato and put the peelings in a pie pan. Don’t cook the peels, because you’re in the middle of an Occupation and you don’t have any fuel. Boil the potato and the beet together in salty water, but not for very long, due to the fuel problem. Just until you can stick a fork in the potato. Take them out and mash them up with the milk. Pour the glop in the pie pan. Bake at 375 for as short a time as is consonant with digestion (fuel again), say, fifteen minutes.

The finished product will look quite attractive and pink. If you squint, you can almost imagine raspberries. Don’t be fooled. It looks a lot better than it is. However, if you forgot that you were in the middle of WWII and added a bunch of butter and milk and salt, it could be quite tasty. "

Blech! Don't believe I will do any pretending with that dish anytime soon. But this is the truth in what the Island was restricted with, how thankful we should be for all we have today. We learn history of what was going on with the island of Guernsey during WWII through the letters of the Society members writing to Juliet. It is quite amazing reading all these different stories and how books pulled them all together. It is amazing how you could never have been a reader before and all it takes is that one right book to pull you in to the wonderful world of literature. I dare say this has happened to some of you since we started this club as several of you tell me all the time.

It's interesting reading the letters from the individual who is disapproving of the Society and I am glad the author also made this perspective for us. I enjoy the fact that books helped one man romance a woman to be his wife and begin his new love of reading. And with this, I have come to the conclusion that there is nothing you can't do if you are willing to pick up a book and read about it. The letters that go back and forth captivated me and are quite believable. The author gives you a great sense of feeling as if you know these people. We come to the end of Part 1 and Juliet is off to Guernsey to meet all those she has been writing back and forth with and the adventure is just beginning for her.

1 comment:

Christy Bledsoe said...

I can't imagine that someone thought that the book started off slow. I was captivated the moment that I started reading this book and it continued to the end. I loved it!! Probably because it is about books and reading and history and romance all in one. (Which are a few of my favorite things) I love how Juliet loved the quirkiness in people. Like when she was on the boat and said that Isola was smiling and frantically waving in the wrong direction and she immediately fell in love with her because of it. I'm sad that I finished it.