This book is full of history, book love, and general coziness. The characters captivated me and so did the form of the book—it's written entirely in letters! Sometimes, the character's voices blurred together, and some of their actions seemed too modern for a book set in 1946, but that didn't hamper my enjoyment of the story. Plus, the author's prose is snarky and lovely and fun to read. I marked several passages that I wanted to share with you:
"I don't want to be married just to be married. I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with." (Page 8)
"I have gone to them for years, always finding the one book I wanted—and then three more I hadn't known I wanted." (Page 11)
"All the windows we passed were lighted, and I could snoop once more. I missed it so terribly during the war: I felt as if we had all turned into moles scuttling along in our separate tunnels. I don't consider myself a real peeper—they go in for bedrooms, but it's families in sitting rooms or kitchens that thrill me. I can imagine their entire lives from a glimpse of bookshelves, or desks, or lit candles, or bright sofa cushions." (Page 13-14)
"Do you live by the river? I hope so, because people who live near running water are much nicer than people who don't." (Page 117)
"I've shoved a writing table by the biggest window in my sitting room. The only flaw in this arrangement is the constant temptation to go outside and walk over to the cliff's edge. The sea and the clouds don't stay the same for five minutes running and I'm scared I'll miss something if I stay inside. When I got up this morning, the sea was full of sun pennies—and now it all seems to be covered in lemon scrim. Writers ought to live far inland or next to the city dump, if they are ever to get any work done. Or perhaps they need to be stronger-minded than I am." (Page 165)
This book is the perfect summertime read. I read it in two days, and my friend read it in one! I would recommend this book to fans of Jane Austen, period dramas, BBC dramas, and the movie The Decoy Bride.
What's the latest book that you've devoured in just a few days?