Saturday, February 02, 2013

Multi-Type Advisory: Guernsey Literary

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject, and stumbles upon a literary society on Guernsey Island.  Guernsey is located between England and France, and has recently been liberated from German occupation during World War II when the story begins. Juliet finds herself enthralled with the people of the island and their stories of occupation and liberation.  She travels to the island and becomes very close to its residents.  The story is told in a series of letters between Juliet and her best fried Sophie, Juliet and her publisher Sidney (Sophie's brother), Juliet and her London boyfriend Mark, and Juliet and the islanders.

This is a sweet, heartwarming story.  Juliet is also funny and sassy, and I liked her immensely.  I loved the connections between the people of the island, and their stories of strength and survival during the war.

Now, for some multi-type advisory titles!  Subjects and appeal factors listed for this book include: friendship, wars, writing, islands, history, literature, writers, 1940s, and United Kingdom.  I'll add letter writing, internment camps, and specifically World War II.  Also, strong sense of place and character driven.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
By Jamie Ford
This book includes the subjects and appeal factors of 1940s, World War II, internment camps.

The Postmistress
By Sarah Blake

This book includes the subjects and appeal factors of 1940s, World War II, letter-writing.  It also has themes of love and loss, which Guernsey has too.

Movies - (Found through

Mrs. Miniver, 1942
Mood listed as sentimental, sincere, bittersweet, touching, uplifting, and emotional.  Plot listed as wartime life, human spirit, family life, and society.  Genres listed as drama, melodrama, period, romance, and war.  Time period is 1940s and World War 2. Place is England.  Check all YES for Guernsey!  

Land Girls, 2009

Add farm life, feminism, and a strong female presence to the appeal factors of Mrs. Miniver and you get Land Girls.  I can almost pair up the characters in this movie with the book club characters (Isola, Amelia, Elizabeth, and Juliet herself!)

(found through
When you go to Musicovery, you choose your mood.  I put it somewhere in the middle.  The book is a little more calm than energetic, and a little more dark than positive.  Here's what I found:

The Rose
Bette Midler
This may be a bit of a stretch, but the lyrics of The Rose talk about love being a painful thing, but at the end the rose blossoms in the spring and begins anew.  It's hopeful.  Guernsey is also hopeful.  The people were put through hell during the German occupation, but they came through as better people.  A stretch? Maybe.

The Wall
Pink Floyd

Too obvious? It's about a fictional character's life in post-war England.  It's about loss and isolation.  True, the character Pink Floyd was closing himself in brick by brick in a wall while the people of Guernsey were aching for outside news and connection with the world.  During the occupation of Guernsey Island, though, I bet the islanders felt every bit like Pink Floyd as he was building his wall.  Closed off more and more.

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