There is no frigate like a book
To take us Lands away.
Emily knew the truth. During this last weekend as I made a quick road trip, I listened to several books while I traveled miles along a familiar highway. My selections were an odd assortment with little connection to each other except I liked the titles. I am so glad I let this bit of whimsy guide me.
I started my trip with The Bear in the Attic by Patrick F. McManus. I am sad to say I was unfamiliar with his curmudgeonly essays, but I quickly became a fan as I listened and laughed. Pat had many encounters with the great outdoors as he hunted, fished, and generally just got into trouble, both as a young lad and as an adult. I constantly thought of my friend Steve who is an avid outdoorsman, and I could imagine him on the many adventures I was listening to as I rolled down the highway. Patrick rode with me all the way to my destination and for about 30 minutes of my return trip.
Then I went on a ghostly adventure with Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward. In the play, a séance conjures up the dead wife of the host. The current wife is not real happy with sharing her husband and house with a former wife, dead or not. The play is funny and energetic and quickly paced. Once again, I found myself laughing as I rolled through some beautiful spring filled countryside.
However, I really hit the jackpot with my third choice. I chose The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie: A Novel (Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows) without even reading about its contents. I just love the name. I fell in love with the folks in Guernsey just like Juliet Ashton did as she corresponded with the residents through a series of letters. The novel is set in the years just after World War II, and the letters provide a description of the way of life for the people in Guernsey during the German occupation. As a matter of fact, the entire Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie organization is formed as an alibi for being out after hours. Since a Literary society was then a matter of record, some of the residents who had really never read much before began to read and share their thoughts on their books. New lands and new people and new events could fill their time as they tried to survive the food shortages and evils of a World War. Juliet feels their story is so important she begins to toy with the idea of forming them into a book. I am just now to the part where Juliet has decided she must go to Guernsey to meet the people she only knows through letters. I am excited to see how it all works out.
So in a very short weekend road trip, I also managed to travel to lands away and adventures away and people away. I am better for the journey.