Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
Everyone was sickly from so little nourishment and bleak from wondering if it would ever end. We clung to books and to our friends; they reminded us that we had another part to us.
World War II has passed. Juliet, a writer in London, is in need of an idea for her next book. Perhaps the key to what she needs can be found with a hodgepodge of book club members on the island of Guernsey in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by authors Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
So. Did I read this book on account of the recent release of its corresponding film? Yes. And no.
It wasn’t the film that brought the novel’s existence to my attention. A copy of the novel had been sitting on my bookshelf for years. Once the film released, I was intrigued enough by the looks of it to want to watch it. But not before I read the book.
First things first, you know.
Having also read The Book Thief earlier this year, this is the second novel I’ve recently read with the intertwined themes of the blessing of literature and the horror of WWII. Also, being a writer myself, I love running across novels and movies about writers.
Now, I didn’t fall in love with this book. Admittedly, stories told by way of characters’ written correspondence isn’t the easiest sell for me. Though it allows for some nifty plot development, it does make me feel as if I’m reading bits “about” a story instead of reading the story itself, and my interest flowed in and out during the mishmash of bits here. While I admired Juliet during a moment involving a gift of wood, I didn’t exactly come to feel more than calm indifference for her altogether. I tend not to love a story if I’m not all that into the main character.
Even so, some of the cleverness, irony, and quirky characterizations in the novel reminded me of reading L.M. Montgomery’s writing, with which I’ve had an…interesting relationship, over the years. And the bibliophile in me could still recognize why many others do love this book.
Note to my blog readers: this novel contains a minimal amount of profanity.