Saturday, February 14, 2009

Guernsey, Channel Islands

I was thinking today of the travels that we make thanks to others, and their exploration. This can be in the form of a travel log, stories that we tell over kitchen tables, television shows or in books. Some books, like this one have captivated me from beginning to end. Some books can prompt us to pack up our own bags and visit there ourselves. And sometimes, we are introduced to a place we never would have known about. That happened to me this morning.

I picked up a book I borrowed from our local library. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a novel set here. Having never travelled there or talked to anybody about it, I didn't even know about Guernsey Island until today - it is one of several Channel Islands in the English Channel between Britain and France. They are closer to France than Britain, and are not a part of the United Kingdom but they are British Crown dependencies. Complicated.

This novel is set shortly after the Second World War, and is a collection of letters between a London writer and the members of the Society, as well as others, and unfolds the story of the forming of this unique book club during the German Occupation.

There is an array of entertaining characters, and the exchanges between them. I found the letters to be compelling as it gradually gives me a strong picture of their lives, and who they are.

The two authors, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, have created an entertaining piece that so wonderfully takes us into the written word - the specialness of letter writing. Here is the website..

For those of us who love books and love writing and have a fascination with travelling, this book does it all.

BTW, Happy Valentine's Day!!

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