In July, my books still find me venturing into the WWII and post war eras but in a more relaxed way than in June. Both of the books I am featuring this month, The Guernsey Literally and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Secret Keeper are both from that era but are more about friendships that just happen to be set in a historical time period.
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Listening Time: 8 hours and 6 minutes
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has been on my Audible.com Wish List for a few months. As soon as I heard that Netflix was going to put out a movie based on this book, I knew it was time to read it!
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
“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.”
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’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig f=armers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. -Goodreads
My take: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I have never read a book that was told through letters but once I understood the rhythm I was captivated! I loved these characters…every single one of them. Except for the mean lady but even she had a place in the story.
Such a creative and heart warming story that ends in the best way possible. This book simply made my heart happy.
The narrators we absolutely amazing. I have to admit that it took a time to stop thinking about Pillars of the Earth every time John Lee spoke. I need all 4 of these narrators to narrate every book I listen to because they are all superb.
Book: The Secret Keeper
Author: Kate Morton
Listening Time: 19 hours and 53 minutes
This book was on my Recommended Books list on Audible.com. I was looking for something different than the books I read in June. A mystery that was also considered historical fiction fit the requirement perfectly.
During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.
Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world. – Goodreads
My Take: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This is a fiction novel set in the WWII time period but really had very little historical facts presented. That doesn’t make the story bad, I just don’t think this is true historical fiction. This story could have happened in any era seamlessly without changing the plot.
This is a love story/mystery and it had many twists and turns. I was surprised by the turn of events when they happened but the explainations given were too simple. I found myself being intrigued and having those, “I can’t stop listening” moments and immediately feeling let down by what was revealed.
What really made this book enjoyable was the narrator! She is an amazing talent and they vocal dynamics that she uses brought this story to life. If it had not been for the narration, I am not sure I would have finished this book.
Similar Post: July Book Reviews