Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Better Late than Never

My new reading habits are beginning to bear fruit (that is, they’re driving my cheerier disposition). Especially my latest read: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Though I’m only halfway through it, I recommend it.

I know, I know. This is old news to most of you; I’m late to the party. The movie is already in production with Kate Winslet. But when the book was first published, my workaholic tendencies prohibited me from reading for pleasure. I missed out when everyone was talking about it and recommending it to me. On the other hand, I confess I didn’t make time for it either. The era it is set in—post-WWII—didn’t appeal to me. Has never appealed to me.

Thank heavens I finally forced my nose into the book. It’s full of sweetness and smiles.

First, the story is conveyed in letter format, a structure I’ve always been fond of. Second, though the war details are grim, they’re tuned to the daily routine of civilians (as opposed to the mechanics and strategies of military personnel), which I found intriguing, and (third) the details are buffered by the engaging, quirky characters who share their lives. Fourth, the whole plot is a tribute to readers and reading. What’s not to like?

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is pure charm and a welcome reprieve from my animal welfare reading. It could easily be your welcome reprieve from whatever burdens you.

[Art by Henry O’Hara Clive.]

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