Pages: 288 pages
Finished: Jul. 5, 2010
First Published: Jul. 29, 2008
Publisher: Dial Press
Genre: epistolary, historical fiction, WWII
Dear Sidney, Susan Scott is a wonder.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.
Reason for Reading: I've wanted to read this since the minute it came out! The title is the first thing that grabbed my interest then of course all the positive reviews. Somehow the book just kept getting pushed further down my tbr pile until finally it rose to the top when it was randomly selected as my final book for the Random Reading Challenge.
I'll keep this review short since there are hundreds, make that thousands of reviews already online. I feel like I may be the last book blogger to read this book! As anyone who reads my reviews regularly might have guessed: how could I not have absolutely loved it! Everything I enjoy in this type of book is present here, historical fiction written as a collection of letters with a cast of eccentric characters. Perfection! I just love epistolary novels and they read so fast it is almost impossible to put the book down. Each and every single character was a dear and getting to know them through someone's letters somehow seems so personal and insightful. I loved everyone though I must say Dawsey and Isola were my favourites.
As to the historical content, while the book takes place one year after the war it often feels to be in the here and now as the letters are full of reminiscences of wartime experiences. I must say that even with all my reading of World War II, I had not known that the Channel Islands had been occupied. It didn't surprise me, tactically I can understand how the situation happened, but I'm surprised it has never been mentioned in my previous reading. It was an eye-opener for me and I'm now quite interested in finding out more about the occupation and the experiences of people from different points of view.
A delightful little book, that is a quick read with dramatic, tragic, romantic and comedic moments to be found throughout. A truly beautiful book not to be missed!