During my secondary and college schooling my history teacher was always a coach for some sport. Let me say right now that I have great respect for someone working for an educator’s wages who has the results of his/her work available for very public scrutiny and often published in the next day’s paper for open discussion. Nevertheless, my history teachers were prone to pontification and were so unorganized that the school year was over before they reached events after World War I.
Of course I picked up the general idea of world events in the latter part of the twentieth century from outside reading and movies. And there is nothing like good accurate historical novel, or personal accounts such as The Diary of Anne Frank or The Hiding Place to help you get the feeling of events.
Such a book is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It is recently published and is a New York Times best seller. It is “a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation and of a society as extraordinary as its name.”
We had an exchange student stay with us from the island of Jersey which is next to Guernsey in the English Channel, so I at least knew a little of the location. I had seen The Others staring Nicole Kidman, which means a lot more after reading the book. I am familiar with the beautiful Guernsey and Jersey breed of cows, if that counts for anything.
The book (now in paperback) is written in the form of letters between the characters of the story. At first I was not sure I liked it, (but that may have been because I read the first few pages while trying to stay awake waiting for DH in a doctor’s office). Some reviews call it “A book lover’s delight,” and, “a small masterpiece.” I very much agree.