The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Whew. That title is a mouthful. Anyways, I am an ardent admirer of historical fiction; it's probably my favorite genre. I am also a lover of all things British and European. And what do you know, this book combines them both!
Written entirely in letters, it is set in 1946, just after the end of World War II. Juliet Ashton, a writer living in London, finds herself corresponding to a resident of Guernsey (one of the small islands in the English Channel--see here). She learns that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club formed by some of the islanders during the German occupation. Juliet exchanges letters with several members of the Society and becomes drawn into their descriptions of their wartime experiences. She then visits the island and the people that have changed her life.
I thought this book was very enjoyable. It was humorous in some parts, emotional in others. The characters, particularly Juliet, were well-drawn and realistic. The unique style of the writing, all in letters, made it interesting and more personable. Read it!
by Laurie Halse Anderson
This is one of those books that I'd always see on the shelf and hear about but never actually pick up and read. Well, for some reason I decided to check it out the last time I went to the library.
It's narrated by Melinda, a girl entering her freshman year of high school. She busted an end-of-the-summer party by calling the cops, and now no one will talk to her. Her life is just one endless whirlpool of monotony. Her parents are hardly ever home, her grades are slipping, and she has a terrible secret that she can't admit. It gets harder and harder for her to talk, for her to speak up.
How do I say it? This book was depressing. I could relate to it to a certain extent, you know, feeling left out and such, but her life just seems so boring and sad. I felt bad for her but I can't help feeling she could have tried a little to reach out to somebody. Regardless of my feelings about her, the book was very readable; it kept me up into the night. I'm glad that it lifted up in the end, because if it hadn't I might have had to chuck it at the wall or something.
The Penderwicks at Point Mouette
by Jeanne Birdsall
For the last review, I thought I'd pick something a little more light-hearted. The past two deal with war, the Holocaust & teen problems, but this one is more fun.
This is the third in the Penderwicks series (I recommend reading the other two first), which is about four sisters and their misadventures together. In this installment, the younger three head off to a few weeks on the coast of Maine with their Aunt Claire, while their parents are in England and Rosalind is with her friend. Batty, Jane, Skye and Hound, their dog, meet new neighbors and friends, and reconnect with old ones. They get into plenty of shenanigans: dog-related accidents, love surveys, undiscovered musical talents, horrific haircuts, bonfires and much more. Even a quick trip to the Moose Market is exciting.
Overall, it was a good book. Very sweet, endearing & funny at times, it makes me wish my sisters were like the Penderwicks. It's not my favorite in the series--I kind of wish that Rosalind had been in it more, because eldest siblings are the best--but I like it all the same. Can't wait for the next one!
So, have you read any good books lately? What about these ones? What were your thoughts?