by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Historical Fiction, Published 2008
From the Cover:
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’d never met, a native of Guernsey, the British island once occupied by the Nazis. He’d come across her name on the flyleaf of a secondhand volume by Charles Lamb. Perhaps she could tell him where me might find more books by this author.
Every book lover will love this book. This beautiful novel is written through a series of letters during the late 1940s from London to Guernsey Island. It begins as Dawsey Adams who has lived on Guernsey his entire life finds Juliet Ashton’s name on the inside cover of a Charles Lamb book and wants to know if there’s more out there just like it. Juliet herself has been effected by the bombings in London and all her precious books have been destroyed, but she and her friends and family are for the most part unharmed. She quickly becomes enamored by the lives of those living on Guernsey Island and how they were so deeply effected by the war. The Nazis had invaded the island and forever changed the lives of the Guernsey people.
The letters are written from the members of the Guernsey Literary Society to Juliet telling her all about their adventures and hardships during the war and how reading and the literary society has changed their lives. You will not be able to put this one down as you read the letters along with Juliet and yearn with her as she awaits to receive the next letter from Guernsey. Letter after letter, Juliet quickly falls in love with all the Guernsey people and longs to be a part of their lives and she just has to attend one of their literary society meetings!
I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.
Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person’s name suddenly pops up everywhere you go? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence, and Mr. Simpless, my parson friend, calls it Grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and “fruitfulness” is drawn in. -From Juliet to Dawsey (p. 116)