Friday, June 19, 2009

The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society..

Even in Guernsey, there are some bad guys... people who inform on their neighbors for flour, stockings and cigarette cases. There are the opportunists and the by-the-rules .. clipboard loving Christians with no charity and other trouble makers. But, for the most part there are neighbors, who though an odd collection of folks .. get a long and help and love and respect each other quirks and all.
This is a book with a soul and it is beautiful. This is a book which helps us visualize all the reasons great art is more like food and oxygen than we realize.. We must have it to live.
Some of the characters read only a few pages of something great, but as they read just a line or two, they found another universe, or words that broke open their hearts, or words that described the darkness they were encountering under the occupation, but they were changed and enlightened and comforted by art and better able to comfort and understand each other. Books make good friends.
The author Mary Ann Shaffer for whom this book is a great and lovely swan song wrote, "If nothing else, I hope these characters and their story shed some light on the sufferings and strength of the people of the Channel Islands during the German Occupation. I hope, too, that my book will illuminate my belief that love of art-- be it poetry, storytelling, painting, sculpture, or music -- enables people to transcend any barrier man has yet devised."

All through this book, I was reminded of this beautiful and interesting and amazing poem by William Blake that begs the question we all want to know? Isn't it something?

William Blake- The Tyger
Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp
Dare its deadly terrors clasp?
When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the Lamb make thee?
Tyger, Tyger, burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?

Don't miss out on this book.


Bridget said...

Yes I have to read this book! I'll buy it and...put it quickly in my case and...on the road for holydays!

sws said...

I just finished this book, and was so inspired and uplifted by the characters. Loved how Elizabeth turned the darkness into light, and find myself wanting to be like her! Wonderful review, and thank you for sharing the William Blake poem.

I am LoW said...

Tiffany- I just finished this book and went to google it and this post was on the first google page. :)

Such a darling and thoughtful book! I wish you and are were neghbors and could swap books and discuss.