Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Potato Peel Pie
Our selection for book club was a very non-traditional read. The whole book is made up of letters from one character to another. Therefore the storyline is not direct, you have to piece it together and fill in all the little blanks.
As the story develops the main character Juliette enters into correspondence with a group of people she's never met before--The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Through her letters she forms relationships with these people, and eventually feels driven to further develop their relationships by meeting in person. Yet we still only hear the stories of their meetings and developing relationships through Juliette's letters to others.
It was a very unique read. It made me want to sit down and write a good old-fashioned letter to someone. Their anticipation they had in waiting at the mailbox every day for the chance a new letter may be there, is almost completely lost in our current society.
I think this is a tragedy, because I was able to experience a bit of this kind of letter-writing in my own life. While I was studying in Austria, Jeremy and I corresponded by e-mail, not the quick "I'm sending you a short e-mail just in case I don't see you first, or maybe I'll call you if I don't hear back from you before lunch" kind of e-mails, but the long thoughtful, carefully chosen words and stories e-mail more akin to traditional letters.
Our relationship deepened and matured through those letters in a way that I don't know would have happened if we had been living that summer in the same town sending (not-yet-available) text messages to each other all day. Because of this history, I could relate with the characters ability to develop friendships--and even love--simply through letters.