Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society – Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
I am literally in love with this book. Totally. I can’t believe I stumbled upon this book only recently, because of the Netflix movie. So I took a solemn vow to see the movie only after reading the book, though the movie starred Michael Huisman, (I am very much in love with him). I am really glad that I stood by the promise to myself. And absolutely devoured the book before the movie released!
The characterization of Dawsey Adams and Juliet Ashton was so beautiful, I was cheering for their pairing right from the very beginning. Special mention to Elizabeth Mckenna, for her beautiful, selfless love for people. Her life’s true cause was for the people. Her courage and sense of righteousness gripped in thoroughly. She makes me want to be kind and giving as humanly possible. She inspires me to be a better person and to give expecting nothing in return.
Juliet Ashton is a journalist, who became famous for the comical strips that she wrote during the World War II. She later becomes a popular author, who is living her dream life. She receives a letter from Guernsey one day from Dawsey, who writes to her by chance after reading her copy of essays by “Charles Lamb”. They soon become pen pals. Juliet is drawn by the circle of readers in Guernsey, who is known as the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And one day, she decides to visit them and soon, becomes a part of their family. The rest of the plot is the glue to keep you seated and finish this gripping read.
I’m definitely purchasing a copy of this book because I’m going to savor this lovely tale.
Some noteworthy quotes from this book,
“Everything is so broken, the roads, the buildings, the people. Especially the people.”
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that bring them to their perfect readers.”
“Reading good books ruin you for enjoying bad books”
A must-read for all World War II fiction lovers and the romance aficionados.
My not so perfect life by Sophie Kinsella was published on February 2017. This book has been a real eye-opener. It’s a feast to read, indulging, engaging and quite a riot. I came across this book while I was listening to a podcast where Sophie Kinsella was being interviewed. The summarized plot really caught my attention. Katie Brenner is a small town girl who is aspiring for the high society lifestyle. Born in somerset, she has always aspired to live in London,which is more like her dream city. She has the maps and tub routes stuck on her wall, so she can memorize it for when she gets to London. From Brimingham to London, she lugs her life forward in a small, low paying job working with Demeter Farlowe -her boss. Demeter has everything, the brains, the beauty, the posh townhouse with wonderful stairs, her perfect family and the coolest clothes. Where as Katie thrives on cheap street brought clothes, homemade sandwiches as lunch and a painful commute to work. But she does have a happening Instagram profile where she portrays her life as perfect, with all the hype. Despite all of this, Katie works to catch the eye of her boss. Enter Alex, her superboss. She builds a rapport with him without knowing the fact that he is her boss. Eventually, Katie gets fired and she moves back to her hometown. Katie is constantly worried that maybe she might end up being a small town girl. She helps her dad and step-mum set up a thriving business of camping and Bed&breakfast. Soon, Demeter makes it to Anster farms to check out the happening place. Out of fury, Katie is out for revenge and making Demeter do petty things. Soon, Katie sees the light, she is forced to see her boss to her true colours. Secrets are getting splled, work relationships getting compromised and stakes for Katie’s future is London is hanging by a thin chord. Does Katie get her dream? Does Demeter sees Katie for who she is? Does katie fight for her love?
Some noteworthy quotes:
• This is the trouble with meeting people in real life. They don’t come with profiles attached.
• Every time you see someone’s bright and shiny, remember: they have their own crappy truths,too.
• And what’s wrong with not so perfect anyway?
Read this amazing book by Sophie Kinsella to know more.
While you are busy closing all your incomplete chapters and 2017 waiting around the corner, tapping impatiently, I can’t help but fall into a retrospective mode. what did I actually do this year? do I follow the herd by saying that you(2016) did a lot of damage ? or should I openly proclaim that I had a delectably good year? with this turmoil in head, I wanted to complete my word limit for the year, by expressing all the emotions that are going through me.
to all those who stood by me during this year,
for pushing me to light when I wanted to bleed myself to death with words.
for being my buoy on various accounts, when I felt I was drowning.
to all those who didn’t stay,
when I really wanted them to.
on myself for not holding onto them,
and standing by the sidewalk watching them walk away.
from all those who I never expected it from,
tasting betrayal and jealousy,
is not something I had on my to-do list for the year,
with people who I would never have given a second look,
when you fall, you will find people who you never gave two pence for holding your hand and making you climb again.
cheers, to all those big-hearted yet crazy, retarded people.
oh, how I want to go back to being an idiot,
and fall in love again,
thank you, for giving me a taste of how belonging to someone feels like,
I never thought I would love someone more than myself,
my biggest strength ever,
to all those rocky paths, freshly laid gravel roads,
that we have walked on, and will continue walking together,
let’s fight a little less , and have fun a little more,
and last, but not the least,
to those pens and papers,
for being the sunshine of my day,
and the moon of my night,
I wouldn’t be alive, and kicking and smiling,
if it weren’t for you breathing inside me,
2016, you treated me fairly, i will remember you for the milestones that we crossed together,
my first paycheck, my first heartbreak, my first published poem ,my first editorial venture, my first meet-up with an online friend, first family trek together, and a lot more.
I hope your brother 2017, treats me and my loved ones well.
you will be missed,
you have carved a special place in my heart,
Whenever I lounge in my verandah, and think about the days that passed, I feel a strange melancholy for all the dreams that I let go. Dreams are like tiny grains of sand, the harder we hold our fists, the more they spill out. So I let go of my dream of being a doctor, because I was lethargic and lazy.
Trust me, my teenage years are those memories that my parents try to block. I was a difficult child to deal with, let me rephrase that, I am a difficult woman to deal with. I have my own convictions and own pathways that I hold myself to. So it has always been difficult to steer me away from what I want to be.
I finished my undergraduation and I thought. What more do I have to do. Fine, let’s follow the herd and headed for an MBA. Surprisingly, I loved it. It was like I was in home ground, I’m made for it, is what I thought. But corporates have a whole different view about that.
Being a fresher, it was immensely hard to adapt. I often felt like I was drowning and I had nothing to hold on to. Along the path, only thing that held onto me, made me dream, made me sane, and hugged me whenever I felt lonely, was my words. Yes, they are mine. And I dream with them, I have no shame in acknowledging that I’m an emotional person, I’m naive, stupid, vulnerable, silly, possessive, dreamy, crazy, adventurous, and thick headed. But above all, I’m a dreamer.
I want to dream, live my dream, chase after it and marry myself to it. Someday, I hope that comes true. My words on paper. My story on paper, immortal and for the whole world to read.
I have always noticed, Menstrual cycle of a woman is literally a taboo subject. To be honest, We woman are totally cool with it, we have it every 28 days. So all you guys have to do, is accept the woman of your life with their red days. So this is my piece to that Mr. Prince charming of my life, who is still out there.
To the future man of my life,
Just so you know,
Apart from my pulchritude and intellect,
I come to your life,
As the whole package of the woman that I’m,
With me, Comes my Menses,
Now before you shrink away in disgust, Know this,
It’s true, I bleed every month,
So that, One day I can carry your child inside me,
I get hormonal, cranky and frumpy,
And I’m on the constant stress of being a nerve wreck,
My body changes to accommodate that period of the month,
I wear jammies all day long,
Not bothering to even comb my hair,
I cuddle away in my bed, with my favorite fluffy pillow,
I binge eat chocolates to calm myself down,
I might become an emotional mess and have a meltdown,
And cry my heart out,
When you just be yourself, like you always do,
All I want from you, is to not look confused,
And to just sit down next to me, and grab my hand,
Trust me, when you do this,
You are giving me the blanket of security,
Watch with me, my favorite movies,
And make me some warm tea.
Always remember, honey,
Though under the influence of spiked hormone levels,
I’m still the girl you fell in love with,
And I just need to know,
That you are still there for me,
Instead of hiding away with your friends,
Fearing my outbursts and my menstrual cycle,
Just think, If my father and my brother made it through unscathed,
What next? the million dollar question that every other person I meet is asking me.
A common question all the youngsters in their early 20s face. I’m in the pack up stages with my post graduate degree. Since I hang out a lot, at my mother’s boutique and with my colony kids, the elderly matrons of the colony have spotted that I’m finally back from college, so now, their radar is fixed on what I’m going to do next.
My mom being the proud mother hen, keeps telling all of them and her clients that I have got a job. Some are surprised that I’m not following suit with my mother, and well others, instead of asking me what my career aspirations are, they are asking me, my marriage details.
Seriously? I mean, their kids are settled in foreign countries, with great careers, and are busy having a family, and these people are retired and at home, with ample time at their disposal. I get it. But doesn’t a girl in her early 20s have a right to have little space of her own?
Read on, I’m narrating a hilarious conversation, I had with an interesting person, and we call her the gossip queen, BBC news of our colony. She has updates of every flat on her fingertips.
“Shruthi. It’s been a long time, since I saw you.” She says,
“Yes, aunty. How are you? Actually, I’m home for the next four months, my final Internship going on.” I reply.
“You tell me about your future plans. Joining work? Or straight marriage?” she asks smirking.
“First work aunty, then a law degree, after that when I’m mentally ready, I’ll talk to my parents regarding marriage? I replied.
“Ayayo. Law degree ah? Why? That is for cunning, and twisted people. You should ask your parents to find you a nice guy, when you hit 25, only boys of 30 years or above will only be available in the market. Then what will you do? No love marriage for you, it’s not safe. The boys are not good from other communities. You know, work for a year. And then get engaged. That’s better. So by 25, you will be married, and you can give your parents a grandchild within a year” she says, pinching both my cheeks.
My parents are too young to be grandparents anyway! 😛 and I mean come on, it’s disgusting asking them to fix me up in marriage ! 😉
I haven’t even thought of what I have to make for dinner. But a lady from my colony, who I haven’t even spoken to in the last two years, is chalking out my life for me. This is Chennai. 😛 All of these matrons are so busy worrying about our lives, and not worried about how their health should be, or what are their kids doing. I often wonder, why their sons and daughters only invite them over for a month or so. 😛
When I stand flushed on what I should reply, to their appalling suggestions. My parents fly in to my rescue, my dad immediately states his distaste with me getting married so soon, and my mum shush them away saying I’m just a kid.
It’s amazing when you have loved ones like that, I have a bunch of supporting folks. My entire family is very ambitious, each and every one of them with a dream of their own. And they respect the others dream and interest with something.
I remember walking up to my mum, and telling her, “I want to be a writer. I really don’t know if it’s a lucrative career option for me. But I’m quite passionate about it.”
And I really loved her reply, “make sure to mention a paragraph about me in your acknowledgement page.
When you have people who love and support you, in everything that you do, you hardly need to worry about anything. They will be with you no matter what.
When you want to do something, chase it with all your heart, and success will follow you.
I wish I could make those aunties read my blog, they are still technologically handicapped, all they know is to skype with their kids 😛
I have my life planned out for me, I know what I want. And that is where I’m headed. Marriage will follow suit for sure, I mean how long will my parents alone tolerate me? But for now, I have a job, and a possible writing career, and my family. This is what is next for me. Spending as much time as I can with my family, study more, build a lucrative mainstream career. Along the time, everything will fall in place.
I have been asked this question, like a thousand times.
I guess its time, I answer before I hear speculations about my muse filled writing.
So what is the mystery behind this ? Read and find out.
I’m not going to give the clichéd answer like words are my solace, and my vent, and I can let out all my emotions into the words, and find peace with my heart and my day, though it’s partly true!
But coming back to the point, let me clear your first doubt.
Maybe, I had a major heartbreak, that is exactly what you are thinking right? No! That’s so not true. Crushes, infatuations and love is a part of life, it happened to me too. But taking it seriously into my heart, forgetting about my day and night, obsessing over that one person seems pretty juvenile to me. And that is so not me.I’m self obsessed, ask my parents, they will tell you tales about my obsession with ME!
Before letting anything affect me, I always think, who does it affect the most? The ones around me, like my family, my close buddies. So, strike that out, heartbreak or break up is not the reason.
Family? Is that reason, some ask me. TRUST me, my family is the best ever, no water under the bridge, here. Strike that out too.
Scarred past? Life experience? A few others ask. NO! I have had a perfect textbook childhood, a great schooling period, and my college life was also awesome. It couldn’t have been better at all.
Then what is it? You ask?
I write because the paper and pen entice me. The thought of penning my mind down is a glorious idea to me. It means that a part of me is being immortalized for people now, and in the future to read. I believe in expression, and what better way to express myself than in paper.
I love you so much, you know. I know I don’t say this enough, but you know what,I hold you two in the depths of my heart. You are the two people who love me unconditionally. Its so hard to express what I feel for you both. And I’m writing this to you as a daughter who has been taught to face the world and be a brave woman by the most wonderful parents ever.
Today, I see my peers and friends in extreme pressure to get married and have a family. But when we had this talk, I still remember you told me, to follow my heart,and to make a career in the field that I love. You said 20s are to make mistakes and to learn from them. I’m thankful to god that I have a father like you, who pushes me to test my limits and achieve great things in life.
Whenever I had doubts or even a bit of hesitation before doing anything, I knew that I can always come to either of you and speak my heart out before making a decision. You both treat me like an adult and let me make the decision. You always let me walk in my path,and I can walk with confidence knowing that You are just a bellow away.
You know dad, I remember everything, I remember being your first son, I remember you coming to check up on me after everybody has slept, to ensure that I’m sleeping peacefully, I remember begging you to piggyback me, I remember asking you to get me chocolates behind mom’s back, I remember our long talks shared during our drive to and fro to school.
I still remember the first time, you gave me the talk about boys. It was hilarious, your possessiveness overpowering your anger, you should have seen you face dad, you explaining with funny expressions about teenage boys. Remember my rampage of teenage rebellion, I’m myself glad that its over ! 😛
I have often felt this but never expressed it, that me and Sauravh are extremely lucky to have a father like you, dependable and a pillar of strength that we can always lean on.
And mom, you are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my entire life, I cant remember a single time when I have seen you cry. Your grit and determination are always an inspiration to me. You taught me to follow my heart, no matter how hard the path might be.Seeing you follow your heart, and the happiness and content that shines in your face seeing your dream come true, makes me chase after my dreams.
Everybody says that my dad , or my mum is my first love. But the truth is, you both are my first loves, nobody can ever match upto you two ever.
One day, as the rule of nature, I’ll hold the hand of another man and have my other world detached from you both, I want you to know, that I know that no body can ever love me, like you love me, And any man I marry will always be second best.
I know that if I decide to pack my bags, and chase after my dream, You will always keep waiting for me to return back to the nest safely.
Thank you for teaching me to be the brave girl, and to face the world without any fears and hesitation in my heart. Thank you for letting me change my mind about the career that i wanted to follow.
I can’t express in words about how much I love you both.