A strange, sad, and yet interesting book. It's not one of those books I'll tell people, "You have got to read this!" but it held my interest and madeA strange, sad, and yet interesting book. It's not one of those books I'll tell people, "You have got to read this!" but it held my interest and made me think. I might have even enjoyed it more had I listened to it as an audio book as opposed to the written form, if the story teller was a talented one who did characters voices - especially country-folk complete with accents - quite well.
The Beans made for a great book club selection, as we we had a very colorful conversation about it this morning. Most of us had the original 1985 edition, but a couple in our group had the more recently published version in which there were small changes made by the author and a very curious postscript that comes off defensive and at times bizarre. That was just as fun discussing as the book itself!
Apparently there was a movie based on the book, too http://www.amazon.com/Forbidden-Choic... I kept imagining adapting the book for film when I was reading it. Reading about these characters, I couldn't help but try to imagine them in the flesh. What a bunch! All in all, I felt that character development left me wanting, especially in regards to the central characters at the heart of the story, and the book left me wondering about what happened to other characters. Definitely left room for speculation and allowed my imagination to have some creative pondering....more
The young can exasperate, of course, and frighten, and condescend, and insult, and cut you with their still unrounded edges. But they can also drag yoThe young can exasperate, of course, and frighten, and condescend, and insult, and cut you with their still unrounded edges. But they can also drag you, as you protest and scold and try to pull away, right up to the window of the future, and even push you through.
There was no sense in assuring her that she would have a good day, or, for that matter, a hard one; Cora didn't know what lay in store, for this day or any other. She could only promise to be there at three, to console, to celebrate, or to strategize, to help this child as best she could, to hold her hand and lead her home.
Was it mad to at least try to live as one wished, or as close to it as possible? This life is mine, she would think sometimes. This life is mine because of good luck. And because I reached out and took it.
Got as far as the chapter "Alice and Billups." My loan ran out before I could finish it. It's probably better that way, because at the rate I'm goingGot as far as the chapter "Alice and Billups." My loan ran out before I could finish it. It's probably better that way, because at the rate I'm going with finding time for recreational reading, I need to get started on the next book for April 4th....more
Eh. Kind of lame. A fluff read. No depth. Though, given the subject matter, you'd think there would be.
On a positive note I found one quote from the bEh. Kind of lame. A fluff read. No depth. Though, given the subject matter, you'd think there would be.
On a positive note I found one quote from the book that rang true with me: "I had a huge thick biography of Harry Truman that I'd begun before the accident. But I coudnn't seem to make much headway in it. 'Reading is the first to go," my mother used to say, meaning that it was a luxury the brain dispensed with under duress." page 52 I, from experience, can testify this is absolutely true.
Oh, and one more: "I used to toy with the notion that when we die we find out what our lives have amounted to, finally. I'd never imagined that we could find that out when somebody else dies." page 155...more
At first I was a bit intimidated by the epistolary writing style. And, if you are the same, please don't let it put you off or prevent you from readinAt first I was a bit intimidated by the epistolary writing style. And, if you are the same, please don't let it put you off or prevent you from reading this book. Give it time and you will see that this writing style is what drives you to fall in love with the unforgettable characters in this book. Also, it will make you appreciate the art of letter writing, and fret for its demise in modern society. This was an uplifting read in spite of the theme of war. Prepare yourself to fall in love with the island of Guernsey and it's diverse and quirky inhabitants.
Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. p 10
Will Thisbee was responsible for the inclusion of Potato Peel Pie in our society's name. Germans or no, he wasn't going to go to any meetings unless there were eats! So refreshments became part of our program. Since there was scant butter, less flour, and no sugar to spare on Guernsey then, Will concocted a potato peel pie: mashed potatoes for filling, strained beets for sweetness, and potato peelings for crust. Will's recipes are usually dubious, but this one became a favorite. p 51
Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life. p 52
I, too, have felt that the war goes on and on. When my son, Ian, died at El Alamein - side by side with Eli's father, John - visitors offering their condolences, thinking to comfort me, said "Life goes on." What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't. It's death that goes on; Ian is dead now and will be dead tomorrow and next year and forever. There's no end to that. But perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it. p 104 ...more
"I'm not Persephone. I'm not going to cheat on Henry no matter what season it is, and I don't care how much time passes. That isn't going to change." "I'm not Persephone. I'm not going to cheat on Henry no matter what season it is, and I don't care how much time passes. That isn't going to change." "What if things never get better?" said James. "What if Henry never loves you the way you deserve? What happened to Persephone... I don't want to see you repeat her mistakes. You shouldn't have to go through that kind of pain - you or Henry both. He's set in his ways, and he's never going to change. There's no shame in admitting your marriage isn't working - " "Just because we have some problems doesn't mean it isn't working." He sighed. "All I'm saying is that you have a choice, Kate. Understand that, please, and don't go running in the direction of Henry because you think you can fix him." "I'm not," I snarled. "I'm with him because I love him." "Then it shouldn't be too hard for you to make me a promise," said James. He was crazy if he thought I was going to promise him anything though. "Think about the possibility of living your own life instead of the life Henry and the rest of the council want you to live - and I don't mean consider it for half a second. I mean imagine what it'll be like if Henry never loves you like you love him. Imagine how it'll feel coming home to a cold bed and a husband who would rather do anything else than spend time with you. Because like it or not, if you stay, that's a possibility. And in return, I'll stop badgering you."