Jan 28, 11
Recommended to Barbara by:
Elizabeth, Susan & Rose
Read in September, 2009
Initially I hesitated whether to read this book. Everyone knows that you should not judge a book by its cover, but that warning should also include "or its title". As I started this work, I viewed the format, correspondence, with suspicion. It did not take much time for me to become spellbound by the unwinding story contained in these wonderful letters!
Rather than dwell on recounting this story, it would be important to state that the authors have adeptly and lovingly developed their characters. Their images of the lovely island, the plants, the ocean and the sky became vivid with their descriptions. One could feel the privation and suffering that the island residents felt at the hands of the Nazis.
As I considered this story, much seemed familiar to me. In part, it was because I was acquainted with Guernsey's wartime history. I then recalled watching a DVD from my library of a Masterpiece Theatre 2005 presentation of "Island at War". This fine serial captured much of what Shaffer and Barrows have included in their book, some exceptionally similar. Certainly this could be due to its historical content, but some of the characters bear a resemblance. It would be of interest to see if others have compared these factors in the same way.
I have discovered that Mary Ann Shaffer has died this past year. She had become suddenly so ill that her niece, Annie Barrows, also a writer, stepped in to complete her work. Unfortunately, this is Shaffer's only published work, but it is a true tribute to her talent that she was able to produce such a delightful/sad narrative.
It would have been helpful to have half stars for ratings! I'm still wavering about whether to give it 5 stars.