A Letter About Letters

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dear Readers,

I've just finished a book that will go down as a favorite:

I cannot begin to describe it fully, but I will tell you this - the entire book is a series of letters. It took me a few pages to adjust to that style, but soon the ebb and flow of the writing took me away. As I crawled into bed each night and turned my light on to read, I could not wait to get back to Guernsey, and its characters.

The book takes place just after World War II, and tells the story of Germany's Occupation of Guernsey, a Channel Island. Juliet, a writer from London, learns about Guernsey, and certain resilient residents, and wants to tell their story. Their accounts of the war are bone chilling, but important to hear. At the same time, the play between the characters is often amusing. Near the beginning of the book, as they are getting to know one another, Amelia, an Islander, asks Juliet to tell her a little more about herself. (After all, if Amelia is going to tell her story to Juliet, she wants to know more about Juliet.) Juliet writes back,

Since you should know something of me, I have asked the Revered Simon Simpless, of St. Hilda's Church near Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk, to write to you. He has known me since I was a child and is fond of me. I have asked Lady Bella Taunton to provide a reference for me too. We were fire wardens together during the Blitz and she wholeheartedly dislikes me. Between the two of them, you may get a fair picture of my character.

That made me laugh out loud. What a great personal reference! I wonder who in my life would be the "very fond of" person, and who would be "wholeheartedly dislikes me" person? I'm sure between the two you would get an accurate description of the real me.

If you haven't already, read this clever book. It will take you back in time, to an interesting and beautiful place. You will learn something, love the characters, and you will want to read more.

Your Friend,

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3 Responses to “A Letter About Letters”

  1. Courtney,
    I love letters. . .letter writing is such a lost art! I know I would love a book written in this style. I wish I discovered this book a few days ago. It was my turn to pic for book club, and I was scrambling. I'll have to check it out soon!

  2. Found you through Bloggy Moms and happy to read about a mom who feels she can be an encouragement in the blogosphere!

    Just wanted to say hi, reading a Scripture-based book about boundaries in marriage right now...

  3. Sounds like I would LOVE this book!!! Thanks for the rec.