I can't stop thinking about this darling book. Usually epistolary novels aren't my thing, but I thought it was the perfect form to use to teach so much about WWII while maintaining her entertaining style. Are you all just in LOVE with Juliet? I adore her ... And Elizabeth's character was inspirational to me. I'm amazed that Shaffer could lead us to love a character so much that we never actually meet, and whose voice we never hear. I'm so impressed.
My favorite element of the book, though, was the compassion of some of the German soldiers. I'd never stopped to think that some of the soldiers would not like what they were doing and would find little (and big) ways to help the citizens whose communities they were occupying. I loved Christian, and admired Elizabeth even more for her willingness to see behind the uniform and help others love him too. I cried when whoever it was told about the soldiers who would intentionally push potatoes off the cart without a glance to the children who chased behind. I've thought about it a lot since.
I was surprised by the Dawsey part of the plot. I guess I should have seen it, but I'd always thought Juliet would realize she was actually in love with Sidney. Well, until we found out he was gay. :) And Isola ... what a doll! I picture her a lot like the big hairy guy from Harry Potter. And I mean that in a nice way, even if the features are less than flattering.
Why don't we have communities like that these days? Is it just necessity and trial that make people bind together like that? I don't know. But I wish I had the courage to develop those kinds of friendships. Thanks for picking this book!!