It’s 1946 and the author Juliet Ashton has writer’s block. A chance letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey is the start of an enthusiastic correspondence and life changing visit to the island which is just emerging from German Occupation.
This is an epistolary novel. Do you know what that is? The root ‘epistle’ should be a clue! The story is written completely in letters and is humorous, life-affirming, and filled with humanity. Though if has a lighthearted feel to it, this book opened my eyes to how severely the Channel Islands were impacted by WW II. And it made me want to visit these beautiful islands.
Here’s a tip for dealing with all the names and keeping track of who’s who (20 characters in all!). Take a yellow sticky and place it into the inside cover of the book. Keep a pen nearby and jot down each character’s name and couple of words about who they are. It’s not hard work, just something to jog your memory and beats rereading. After I was halfway through I didn’t need my cheat sheet anymore.
Here’s an introduction to the book by the author herself. She’ll tell you all you need to know before you get started.