Sunday, January 25, 2009

new book to my favorites list

this is easily one of the most beautiful books i have ever read.
of course, it's set in my favorite time period and place, so it was easy to get lost in this series of letters that unfolded into a gorgeous story about books, the German Occupation of the Channel Islands (Guernsey), the powerful binds of friends and a unexpected romance.

i may be slightly ignorant of history, but i had no idea that the germans occupied these islands, and that the people living there were cut off from the world. did you? actually don’t say if you did, it would just make me feel bad.

i think that one of the things i really loved about this book is that people who weren’t necessarily book people, but they became book-lovers out of necessity of precarious situations. a community is built because of one person has a pig and tells a fib to a german officer…

it’s preposterous to even contemplate a situation that would be similar for today—the world was such a different place. we’re sometimes over-scheduled, we often don’t know our neighbors, and we may not be comfortable into a group of strangers. and what are the odds of being cut off from the rest of the world (although, I sometimes feel that way in Idaho) when we have many more devices for communication than letters and telegrams? and why don't we write more letters? i love the thought of getting something other than dish bill in my mail box!

i suppose, it’s a romantic time to think about… the end of war, rebuilding and freedoms won. such a hopeful time. this is probably why I love books from this point in history. and i know that i’ve idealized the times, but it’s nice to look back and see how a world ravaged by war turned itself around. i suppose it also gives me hope for the future.

if you also like this slice of history, have I told you how much I love Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher? it’s my all-time favorite book! it's about a girl who is left to attend school in england, while her family (mom, dad and sister) live in singapore right before the war. judith is one of my favorite characters because she wasn't a milquetoasty girl who wallowed in self-pity about being left behind, nor did she sap on and on about needing a man. she pulled herself together and relied on herself to get her thru. she inspires me to be a stronger woman!

so that's my favorite book … what’s yours?


Alyce said...

I loved this book too! I haven't heard of the Rosamunde Pilcher book, but it sounds like it would be a good read.

Laura Essendine said...

I'm based in the UK and I too love Rosamunde Pilcher. I've read everything she's ever done.

If you like the setting, may I recommend some other authors. Maeve Binchy writes the most wonderful stories centred on Dublin. Judith Lennox's books aren't quite as thick as Rosamunde's but she has written some beautiful historical novels, particularly The Shadow Child, Footprints in the Sand and The Winter House. She's just been nominated for the Romantic Novelists Award.

One of my all time favourite books must be Windfall by Penny Vincenzi. She's slightly more "posh" than the other authors and her novels centre around more wealthy families. However, they are just wonderful. I loved the Lytton Trilogy which is 3000 pages in all but you never want the books to end.

Post again if you have read/ or read in the future, any of the above. I'm waiting to get hold of the Guernsey book but it's not yet been in my library. Can't wait now.

Laura Essendine
Author – The Accidental Guru
The Accidental Guru Blog
The Books Limited Blog

Sue W. said...

Like you, I am loving Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber. I am about 2/3 of the way through Dragonfly and although it is long, it is terrific. I love Claire and her strong will and of course Jamie is a real hunk. You can't go wrong with this series. Of course I am way behind on the books I have won or picked up but I figure there is always time to read.