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Surrey, United Kingdom

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

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

Have been off sick today and yesterday and managing to occupy my time quite well. Spent yesterday catching up on Criminal Justice (BBC drama) which I missed last week. Harrowing, beautifully acted and certainly raised a number of questions in my mind about the nature of justice, the purpose of prisons and how exactly we are meant to deal with these kind of cases. A very brave and well executed drama - yet another justification of our licence fee.

Today, I started the day by reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. This is a book I had heard a great deal about but didn't really have any inclination to read. It just didn't strike me as something I would enjoy reading. But, then it was recommended to me by a friend who had just finished reading it and really loved it. So, I thought I would give it a go. I did enjoy it, and I was really moved by some of the stories told by the islanders about their experiences of German occupation during WWII. The problem was that I found those parts of the story infinitely more interesting than any of the story about the narrator. I like the way the book was written and I found some of the letters amusing and all of the characters very well drawn and memorable. It's just that, overall, I think I would rather have read a solidly factual book about the experiences of people living in Guernsey during the occupation than enjoying the few glimpses of this fascinating, traumatic and inspirational story of how people cope and pull together when they are faced with true horror and their lives, and those of their loved ones, are threatened.

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