Thursday, March 11, 2010
"That is what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason other than sheer enjoyment~Julia in a letter to Dawsey
Sometimes life can change in the blink of an eye by a seemingly random occurrence. We always assume that there needs to be a cataclysmic event for this to happen, something dramatic, something dark. Usually though, it is small acts that set off a chain of events that can be life changing. Many times, changing our life for the better and brighter.
For the main character in this book it was as simple as receiving a letter. The time was January 1946. The main character Juliet Ashton is a British author who along with everyone else in Briton after WWII is simply trying to move forward. She opens her mail one day to find a letter from a stranger with with a simple request that sets her life moving in a direction that she never dreamed of.
This book is written in an epistolary form, usually a style that I find stodgy. However, the characters in this book are vibrant and original, an eclectic mix that somehow works. The writing flowed so well, that I forgot I was reading letters. Juliet learns about the letter writer and his friends, as well as how the war affected the people of the Channel Islands. I didn't have a clue that there was British Territory that was occupied by the Germans in WWII. Somehow, I always thought all the occupation was on the continent.
I found many laugh out loud moments, few sad ones, and several clever quotes that stayed in my mind long after the book was done. If you are looking for a book about bold adventure and intrigue with heart stopping moments, this is not the book for you. If you like a gentler story about the strength of human nature, having a sense of humor and human triumph I would recommend this in a heartbeat.
Below, is a link to the real Channel Islands. It was a wonderful virtual trip, although, sadly I didn't get a suntan. :-)