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Kelly’s review of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
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Dec 24, 2008 09:36PM
Well, makes me glad I took it back to the library unread!
Dec 25, 2008 09:22AM
Janssen wrote: "Well, makes me glad I took it back to the library unread!"
I should have been more wary, but the premise sounded good. I think a good, well-established and experienced writer could take the bones and make it good. You're not missing much. Time for better things, right?
Jul 15, 2009 08:17AM
Your review of Guernsey is SPOT ON! I could not even care about the characters. I was confused by all the characters and couldn't get myself to pay enough attention to keep them all straight. Thanks for a great review!!
Mar 07, 2010 10:26PM
Maybe on another day you'd feel differently. I've started books, put them down, picked them up later, and loved them. I can see how the revolving cast of characters would confuse. Susan and Sophie just about did me in, but once I got past that and got sucked into the plot, I couldn't put this book down.
Nov 23, 2011 06:22PM
Your review is right on the money. This is a poorly done book on so many levels.
(last edited Sep 20, 2012 01:14PM)
Sep 20, 2012 01:13PM
Yes,I thought this book was a bit twee(Brit Slang for Cutesy) in spots. & Elizabeth was a bit too Unrealistically heroic for me @ times & i did get confused at the beginning w/whom was who due to letter format used. However,the story won me over. Sometimes I just want to read a book that's uplifting & it highlighted an event of WW2 that history books have seemed to ignore. Sorry to read about the main author's demise.
Mar 04, 2013 08:15PM
What on earth are you talking about, Juliet marries one of her "subjects," which would probably get her fired? She's not an anthropologist or a college professor. She's an author who can date/marry who she pleases. Dawsey isn't her subject. He's a man she befriended via mail. Her boss didn't "let" her "skip town and not do her work." Again: she's an author. She wanted to write a book about Guernsey and went to research it, which is a completely typical among authors. Most authors don't work at a 9-5, M-F job where they are expected to sit at a desk and crank out a specific amount of tangible work every day. They have some freedom to come and go and work at their own pace. Sidney is her publisher, not her boss. He doesn't get to dictate when, where, and how she works, only whether or not he, personally, will publish her work.
May 11, 2013 04:23AM
Mary wrote what I was about to write you. Dawsey was not her subject, Elizabeth and Guernsey were. Juliet keeps on writing Sydney about her writing and how it is going. So she is working when she is there. And yet she is also falling for Kit and Dawsey while working. Doesn't it happen to us all to have a professional activity and go on with our lives?
Mar 05, 2015 07:07PM
I agree with the two comments above.
In addition, I do understand your concern over lack of character growth and of plot, but I have found in my experience of writing, reading, and analyzing texts that the stories that can catch one's interest the most are the ones that defy the supposed rules of writing and storytelling. Even great books such as Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings defied, in some ways, the previously set ideals, in those cases concerning larger books for younger readers and the whole concept of high fantasy.
I, and I admit this is ultimately a subjective opinion, found this book to be refreshing.
Very little character development, and even voice in most cases, can be conveyed through letter format. Letters are not real if their sole purpose is to convey voice and development. Some people express very little in letters, but long letters often simply tell various happenings and stories, sometimes humorous, sometimes serious. Any expression of personal growth or insight can become very tedious to a reader who is not intimately familiar with the writer and who doesn't particularly care for their insights, so very often the happenings can convey more than insights...and also leave the reader to bring to the story whatever insights he or she may have.
The idea of plot is a sticky one. Again, I found this story refreshing in its free and light flowing. A rigid plot structure, I grant you, has endured since it was developed in Classical Greece for a reason, but just because there is such a thing as a classical ideal doesn't necessarily mean that anything that does not fit in that ideal is wrong/poorly written. That's a false dichotomy. Even Homer's Odyssey doesn't follow the rigid plot structure (for obvious reasons considering it's an epic poem and the plot structure mentioned above was mainly reserved for the great dramas such as Oedipus Rex), and it has been considered one of the top five greatest epics for centuries. Now, I don't mean to compare this simple, refreshing, light read to the Odyssey, but I do believe that more variety of this sort is of value. The loose plot structure of this novel conveys the loose plot structure of common lives...which the whole book is about: how everyday people with their common lives on a little seemingly insignificant island were affected by a catastrophic war that shook the world and caused so many of those lives to be destroyed.
Well, this comment ended up far longer than I thought it'd be.... I just started thinking and wanted to share this.
I do want to thank you for bringing a colorful variety to the reviews however. Least of all, it made me think. That's one of the beauties of reading: how everyone can have so different and yet so real an experience with an author's expression and then share those experiences with others.
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