Crayon Chick » An indie business of old crafts and new tricks, designer/maker, artist and keen on elevenses.

Book Club – now I want to go to Guernsey!

So this is what’s happened, I finished the book the other night and haven’t been able to bring myself to put it on the bookshelf. It still sits on my bedside table so I can flick through it each night and re-read some favourite bits. Now that hasn’t happened in a while. And I’m so delighted, although it has got in the way of my immersion into the next novel lined up to read from the pile next to the bed.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows inspired me from the start simply by the fact it’s a first novel from 70 year old former librarian Mary Ann Shaffer who tragically died without seeing her book in print. A ‘first’ at 70! Isn’t that wonderful!
Her niece Annie is also a writer and when Mary Ann’s health began to fail it was Annie who responded to the book’s editor to make some changes that required some substantial re-writing. And I think I can ‘feel’ the bits from Annie’s pen, there’s something in the way the novel moves towards the ending that isn’t as ‘sparkly’ as the beginning. Not as witty? Not as sassy? Which is bizarre as the heroine, a 30-something writer from London in 1946, is probably closer to Annie’s age than Mary Ann’s. Despite that I can’t seem to tuck this novel into the bookshelf so it clearly hasn’t disturbed me too much!

Some bits I loved the most:
  • It’s written as a series of letters and it’s a style I’ve enjoyed reading.
  • I didn’t know much about the WWII Occupation of the Channel Islands or of Guernsey. I now want to go to Guernsey – which is what a good book does, it takes you to a place and makes you long to see it.
  • I love Juliet.
  • It reminds me of one of my all time favourite novels, Diary of a Provincial Lady by EM Delafield. I must dig around in the bookshelf and pop that on the pile next to the bed for another reading ……


I do like a bit of British Make Do And Mend (“Keeping Family And Home Afloat On War Rations”), London in the blitz, and Greer Garson’s Mrs Miniver (stop it, I’ll start crying and never get to sleep!).

Image from IMDB
And did I say how much I now want to go to Guernsey? If not the island then a happy consolation would be this fabulous vintage travel poster!
This one has nothing at all to do with Guernsey, I just love the image! It’s called Seniorita On Beach With Banana Leaf. Of course!
And just while I’m at it, I found this fabulous poster for the Tour de France, which I can hear on the tv as I put this together. I love the Tour!
One last poster to indulge in. And now I’m just getting carried away, you did know I’m a bit of a francophile? Yep. Any excuse to continue the fantasy of a little french holiday is good with me, probably not when I’m still recovering from my recent lurgy and really should be getting some sleep. When will I learn!
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July 6, 2010 - 4:05 am

yardage girl - I LOVED that book too when I read it a year ago. I was the same – I had no idea about that part of war history. It is a lovely, lovely story. I might read it again, actually!

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