I recently re-read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, a book I liked. Upon second reading, I re-liked it all over again…but even more. I LOVED it on the second read.
Why? Well, could it be attributed to growing older (I first read it
in 2009)? Or experiencing more loss and pain in life? Or maybe just
being in the mood for a sentimental book?
Well, whatever it was that made me change my GOOD read to a GREAT
read, I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this story. There is something
for everyone here…romance, history, sentimentality, friendship, etc.
One of the things I forgot was how immersed you get into the world of
Guernsey and the period of the story (post-WWII). I remember adding
Guernsey to my “must see” travel list right after I finished this book
the first time. Well, this time, I wanted to RUN there. Between the
sense of place and the sense of history, I felt like I was right there,
in 1940s Guernsey, chatting with the characters and partaking of some
potato peel pie. The characters all jump off the page so it is easy to
imagine them conversing with me about books and travel and the hardships
of the war.
Told exclusively through letters exchanged from Guernsey natives to
Juliet, a writer who is searching for her next story, this book begins
in 1946, after the Germans left Guernsey. Juliet lives in London and
somehow, one of Guernsey’s residents comes across a book that has
Juliet’s name in it so he writes to her. This letter strikes up a
series of events that leads to Juliet and some of her friends traveling
to Guernsey and becoming one of the Guernsey family.
No, it is not one of the finest books ever written. But, sometimes
you just need a book to transport you to another world for a little
while…something that takes your mind away from the ordinary and the
mundane. For me, this was that book. Maybe it will be yours too.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
This is my second Tasha Alexander novel featuring Victorian Lady Emily Ashton and maybe because this one is set in Venice, a city I love, I enjoyed it even more than the the first one I read (A Fatal Waltz). Alexander, like Donna Leon, another author who writes mysteries set in Venice (though featuring a male detective), does a brilliant job of breathing life into Venice. And Lady Emily is a force to be reckoned with...a kin to Deanna Raybourn's Lady Julia Grey (set in Victorian England). Unlike Raybourn's heroine, who sometimes is too tough and "un-Victorian" for the times, I felt Alexander and her Lady Emily hit just the right tones of passion and passiveness. Though the ending got a little convoluted (I began to get some of the characters confused because of their titles and their flowery names...not to mention all of the place names), I still highly recommend this series for anyone who likes historical mysteries, female-based mysteries or vivid depictions and/or senses of place.
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
This novel with its realistic portrayal of contemporary families is heartbreaking in its tragic elements but appealing in its devotion to the protective instincts that are the core of the love between mothers and children. The twists and turns in the thriller are so well done that the culprit is revealed deftly in the final pages.
Readers of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and Broken Harbor by Tana French will devour Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton.