I read this book because it is the selection for the book club at my church. It is not the usual genre I would read, but I did truly enjoy this story.
The book is very different in that the entire story is told through the correspondence of letters or telegram.
The setting is England, 1946 and Juliet Ashton is a British journalist who has lost everything (including her book collection) and is looking to start anew. She receives a letter from a resident from the island of Guernsey that has a second-hand book that has her name and address written in it. The correspondence with the many islanders of Guernsey begins with members of the literary society writing about the books they enjoy and why. However, Juliet begins to want to meet the people she's corresponding with and has an idea that she could write a book about these people. She decides to go to the island to interview them and becomes involved in her new friends lives.
It was a bit confusing at first getting to know all the characters in the book and keeping who was who straight through the correspondence of the letters. Also, sometimes the way the letters were written the tone fell flat for me and a lot of the characters started to blend together. Maybe this shows that it is difficult to develop a character's personality just through letters? It was definitely a different kind of book and one that book lovers may enjoy. Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the book.
"I would like to write a book, but I am having trouble thinking of a subject I could live happily with for several years." ---Juliet Ashton before she knows what she's going to write about
"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books." -quote from Isola Pribby
"I did not want to spend my time reading about people who never were, doing things they never did." -quote from Clovis Fossey, one of the book club members and why he didn't initially want to be a part of the society. This quote reminds me of my husband and how he justifies not reading books!
" 'Women like poetry. A soft word in their ears and they melt a grease spot on the grass.' That's no way to talk about a lady, and I knew right then he didn't want the Widow Hubert for her own self, the way I did. He wanted only her grazing land for his cows. So I thought, if it's rhymes the Widow Hubert wants, I will find me some." -quote from Clovis Fossey on how he started reading poetry, started going to the society meetings and discovered the works of Wadsworth.