The story of this funny named book revolves around Guernsey the island that was occupied during WWII by the Germans, its residents, and Juliet, our heroine, a column writer turned book writer from London. By turn of fate, Juliet was first contacted by Dawsey, a resident of Guernsey, about a book that was found. Their written conversations lead to stories about Guernsey Literary Society and more correspondents with other residents of Guernsey who fascinate Juliet.
I’m not usually drawn to feel-good books, which I classified this as (before and after reading), nor anything to do with war. At the end I picked it up because I was looking for a good audiobook. I thought the epistolary format was just perfect for audiobook, it won The Audie award for Fiction (2009), and of course, it has been read widely around the blogosphere. The last straw was when Michael Kindness gushed about it several times.
I had mixed feelings about the narrators. Juliette’s narrator was really good, but the rest of the women sounded very old (like a bunch of grandmas when the characters are not!) and the male narrators sounded a bit stiff (might be just because I have listened to Andrew Sachs reading and he’s so awesome), and again, old. It’s probably just me but I had some difficulties to distinguish the voice of the large number of characters.
Since the story revolves around a literary society (or book club, if you may), there are many references to books and reading, which I found enjoyable. I was more attached to the heartbreaking stories rather than the fairy-tale like, both in which the book contains. Recommended for people who are interested about minor occupation in gentle non-dark way and those who love conversations about books and reading (don’t you all?).
2008, 8 hours
Delicious alternate covers: (Right is Australian cover. Left?)
Also reviewed by
Dolce Bellezza | Rebecca Reads | Farm Lane Books Blog | kiss a cloud | Suko’s Notebook | Serendipity | Sarah Miller: Reading, Writing, Musing | Ripple Effects | One Swede Read | The Reading Life | Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? | A Guy’s Moleskin Notebook | Bending Bookshelf | Maw Books Blog
I’m sure I missed tons of you!