Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (copy)

22nd May, 1946
Mr. Sidney Stark, Publisher
Stephens & Stark Ltd.
21 St. James’s Place
London S. W. 1

Dear Sidney,

There is so much to tell you. I have been on the island less than 20 hours, but needn’t introductions. Everyone looks as I pictured them through their letters and have been able to call them by their first names without err. Our new friend Dawsey, the Charles Lamb reader, actually favors the great writer. Oh, and the eccentric Isola, wore a glittering brooch, purple shawl, and mad hat worthy of any respectable witch. She jumped the gang plank and gave me the biggest hug!

Why, why, do I not listen to people? The crossing was a harrowing experience with seas high and boisterous. The mail boat, a mere cork bobbing to and fro in our English Channel, was rather uncomfortable. I can only guess to the lovely shade of green I must have presented the welcoming party. Remind me, when someone says take the ferry to heed, indeed.

The most amazing experience happened as we entered the harbor. The dull gray clouds and mist which seemed to follow me all the way from London lifted, and a ray of light shone on the cliffs of Guernsey. It was like God himself opened the door and welcomed me into the fold.

Thank you for this opportunity. I am sure the book will benefit greatly from the personal interviews this trip will allow. Already, the stories from my correspondence with islanders have added an intriguing air to the German Occupation of Guernsey during the war.

Thanks again and love,
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is not the suburban, wine-drinking bored housewives of other similarly titled books. The book, told through letters, begins with main character Juliet researching an article idea for The Times when a letter simultaneously arrives appropriate to the subject. As the article blossoms into a book, readers will fall in love with the characters and their island home.