Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society plus The Belly Dancer

'As Seneca says, "Light griefs are loquacious, but the great are dumb"' The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Jews and belly dancers. What do they have in common? Well, they haven’t always enjoyed the best treatment by others. Of course, this is an understatement with regard to Jews. Much has been written about the injustice thrown their way, while the mistreatment of belly dancers has not been widely chronicled. You may be thinking, dare you compare the two?

Look, people are people. My blog, Aberration Nation, focuses on the fact that life generally stinks; however, amidst that stink, it's beautiful , miraculous, and filled with hope. It doesn’t matter if you’re Jewish or Christian, a belly dancer or a hip hop dancer. What happens to you is important. In light of this, I felt compelled to write about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Dial Press) and The Belly Dancer (Berkley Books) together.

Both books highlight the mistreatment of a specific segment of the population during a particular time in history. For the Guernsey book, it’s World War II, and for The Belly Dancer it’s the Chicago World’s Fair during the late 1800’s. While these two books are quite different, they relay a common message that standing up for what’s right amidst discrimination and bigotry is honorable. In the end, doing so brings us one step closer to everything being right with the world, despite any hardship or sacrifice that may befall us.

The two books actually have quite a bit in common. Both are a quick, delightful read. While they each include moments of brutal honesty and heart wrenching pain, they somehow make it easy to take in. Neither are what I call “life changing” reads, but one doesn’t get the feeling that this was the intention. DeAnna Cameron’s book reminds me of all the Barbara Cartland books I devoured when I was younger. The Belly Dancer effortlessly transports the reader to a different place and time, relaying a common situation that existed, teaching a little history, and ultimately leaving the reader satisfied. Similarly, the Guernsey book transports the reader to the English Channel Isles, taking folks on an interesting leap back in time to meet a slew of interesting characters whose common plight results in a happy ending and another satisfying read.

I recommend both books! I just hope more people will choose to stand up for what’s right in the real world. Maybe then we won’t have to keep depending on fictional characters such as Elizabeth and Dora to show us the way.


The Belly Dancer is up for grabs! I borrowed the other book from my neighbor ...

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