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Monday, February 1, 2010

A word-savoring, smile-inducing, tear-choking-back book

Jespy's review...

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (aka the “potato book” or “GLAPPS”) is easily one of my favorite books we’ve read in the history of SRBC. In fact, I was only a few letters into the book when I realized I was in love with it and began declaring it a masterpiece via text to all my reader friends. And then I continued to read it real slow-like, because I did not want it to end. Alas. It did.

Of course, I do recognize that a part of me fell in loved with it because it reminded me of our own ragtag group of misfit book clubbers, practical strangers bonding through our mutual love/hate of great/bad books. But reading all the letters from the GLAPPPS who had just discovered books for the first time in their lives… it made me recall exactly how I’d felt when I first discovered my love of reading. I still remember the first book, where I was when I finished it, what the weather was like, how desperate I was find another one exactly like it, how poor I was, how car-less I was, how Kmart was within walking distance, and how I could just make grilled cheese for dinner again so I would have money to buy another book. There were no literal Nazis involved (only figurative Nazis), but still. Twas life-changing, that moment I discovered books.

I loved that GLAPPPS was told through letters, and many POVs and that all the characters had distinct voices. Did having two writers help accomplish this? I wonder if they took on different characters or if both wrote for both. Who was the voice of Juliet, I wonder.

I loved that the book was unpredictable with lots of twists and surprises, even though some of the surprises were hard to swallow and made me stare off into space for a few minutes while I came to terms with the news.

I loved watching these friends persevere.

Juliet. Witty. Charming. Real. How can I be more like her? Is it too late?

Sydney. I think the author(s) did that on purpose. Made us fall in love with Sydney, and then pulled the rug out from under us. Well I’m still in love with him, so the jokes on them.

Dawsey. He is an amazing human being, and super hawt. His letters implied this, Juliet confirmed, and I trust her judgment.

Isola. Strange, funny lady. She won me over when Sydney confided in her. He wouldn’t have told just anybody what he told her. And she made me laugh a lot when she began her “detection notebook” and determined she would be a better detective if she lowered her eyelids and looked out of the corner of her eyes. “Practice this!!!” she wrote. And then how “skittering” her eyes sideways all the time eventually caused strain and eyelid-ache.

Favorite exchange between Sidney and Juliet (severely paraphrased):

Sydney: Trip home delayed. Fell off horse. Broke leg.

Juliet: Which leg? So sorry.

Sydney: It was the other one. Don’t worry.

Juliet: So happy it wasn’t the one I broke.

^^Spoke volumes. Brilliant writing.

Thanks Shel/Sam/Meg. Love love loved it! See ya tonight!

1 comment:

Dianne said...

I just read your review of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I read the book last year and I agree with you that it was absolutely wonderful. I was hooked on the first page and when I finished, it went immediately to my list of favorite books ever. I think it's terribly sad that the author passed away shortly after writing the book. I can't help but wonder what other wonders she might have produced. I like your blog, I'll be back to read more.