The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

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.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

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.

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Note to my blog readers: this novel contains a minimal amount of profanity.

 

Gift of Gold by Beverly Butler

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.

Gift of Gold by Beverly Butler

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cathy lost her sight as a teenager, and now as a college student, she’s working to become a speech therapist. When the head of her school’s speech department suggests Cathy’s choice of profession is unrealistic for a blind person, Cathy becomes all the more determined to succeed. But after a doctor’s appointment gives her hope of regaining a measure of her sight, Cathy may roll out a new plan for her future in Gift of Gold by author Beverly Butler.

I remember the day I first came across this novel in my adolescence, seeing the old-fashioned cover art depicting a woman in a green head scarf, holding the harness of a service dog. I had no idea then that the author herself was blind or that I’d be revisiting this novel years later, and then more years after that.

But now having read this book three times, I can say it’s just as powerful as it was to me the first time. Maybe more so.

Yes, I still like the old-fashionedness of it, the plastic rain scarves and typewriters and all. Nevertheless, what I may love most is that this isn’t some predictable, run-of-the-mill tale merely about goals and dreams. This is a complex, soul-searching kind of read. It’s smart in style with wit and wisdom. Not at all fast-paced, but anything but flat.

In the last quarter especially, Cathy’s journey pulls no punches. It even gets pretty depressing for a while, but I find it all the more compelling for not being too easy. The truth, growth, and hope in Cathy’s story is earned. Plus, there’s a nice little thread of down-to-earth romance tied in.

A novel about not only facing your outward challenges but taking a deep, honest look at yourself—so worth the read.

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Gift of Gold is the sequel to Light a Single Candle, an award-winning book I’ll admit I’ve never read. 🙂 Though the sequel stands alone just fine, you may want to check out both books.

  

 

Winners: Favorite Reads and Favorite Covers 2017 Giveaways

My hearty thanks to everyone who entered 2017’s Favorite Reads and Favorite Covers giveaways!

I’m happy to announce that Shamekka won a copy of Home by Ginny L. Yttrup, Cassandra won a copy of Loving Luther by Allison Pittman, sbmcmh won a copy of The Last Operative by Jerry B. Jenkins, Kathy won a copy of The Illusionist’s Apprentice by Kristy Cambron, Linda won a copy of Weaver’s Needle by Robin Caroll, and Pat won a copy of Egypt’s Sister: A Novel of Cleopatra by Angela Hunt. Congrats!

  

  

Be sure to check out all of this year’s Favorite Reads and Favorite Covers for great books to add to your reading list.

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World of the Innocent

When It’s Time Series

 

Tea & Cream Debbie

Tea & Cream Debbie
A Sequel Short to Dream Debbie
(Chick Lit/Romance)

There can be a right way to apply a cliché.

Debbie? She’s always been a dreamer. And some of the bright dreams of her past come back to her mind in the presence of the special man in her life. (Ah. Stuart.) But at this point in their relationship, is the remembrance of those dreams a good thing or not?

This short story also includes a bonus: an excerpt from The “She” Stands Alone, a romantic comedy found in a sweet romance collection, Inspiring Love.

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Tea & Cream Debbie is available as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo, and Smashwords.

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