Re: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Re: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Dear Kathryn, Lissa, and Karen,

Your musings, epistolary and otherwise, intrigued me. So I ordered up the novel from my library—isn’t the internet wonderful?

I’m glad to say I was not disappointed. Karen had already disabused me of any misperception that the novel was about livestock. (Though there were assorted pigs, parrots, ferrets, and other beasts.) But nonetheless I was not prepared, I’d missed something big.

I realized it on page 12 when Juliet asks Dawsey, “what is a potato peel pie—and why is it included in your society’s name?” At this point I was floored. I put down the book. Picked it up, looked at the cover. Sure enough the word “pie” was there bold as could be. How was it that I’d seen the title dozens of times before and yet this was the very first time that word “pie” had ever registered on my consciousness? I know I’m not a careful reader; but that seemed ridiculous.

So just in case there’s anyone else out there thinking this is a book about potato peels, it’s not. It’s potato peel pie. Which has a much nicer ring to it. And is probably just a smidge more appetizing.

Potato peel pie notwithstanding, I loved the book, love Juliet and Dawsey and Sidney and Kit and Elizabeth and all the wonderful colorful members of the Literary Society. I laughed. I cried. Oh I cried especially when thinking about those mothers sending their children off to England.

Anyhow, thank you all for the recommendation. Now my sister is eagerly tearing through the book before it goes back to the library. I might have to buy a copy, though. This one is worth re-reading.

By the way, some years ago I saw the first episode of a miniseries (I think on PBS) about the occupation of the Channel Islands. I don’t remember the name and always wished I’d been able to see the rest of it; but I think school got in the way. It left me with a niggling curiosity about that part of the war. This book was probably more satisfying than that television show; but now I’m curious again. Does anyone remember that show and what it was called?

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  • Maybe try swaddling him tightly?  If you can get him really wrapped he won’t be able to kick out of it and he will get the feeling of security he is currently getting from pushing you.
    Prayers for your pain and healing.

  • You know I’ve always envied those nurses who can pull off a really tight swaddle. Mine always come apart, have little hands poking out, etc. At most I can get the arms down but I’ve never been able to do the legs. Maybe I just need lots of practice.

  • Oh and thank you for your prayers. I do appreciate them and the advice. Just got distracted while replying.

  • A tight swaddle might help but if it isn’t working for you, a small pillow or a rolled up blanket might help protecting you. I remember Cecilia liked to kick me when i co-slept with her and I got sore but I didn’t have a c-section. I should think protecting yourself has to be a priority but maybe the swaddle, pillow or blanket will make it possible to keep you from getting beaten but be able to keep co-sleeping. BTW, I doubt the swaddle difficulty is just you: remember, when those nurses do it in the hospital, baby hasn’t had weeks of building leg strength and baby is usually pretty tired. I’m sure an exhausted newborn is easier to swaddle than a 4 week or 8 week old who has been practicing kicking those legs in ways he or she couldn’t before birth.

    We also have a side-sleeper. I try to start Elizabeth out for the night in it and then bring her to bed when she wakes and, frankly, I’m just too tired to stay up to try to put her back into it, so she co-sleeps with us at least part of every night. I will also use the side-sleeper/bassinet during the day to try to keep her used to it but, to answer your question, no, I don’t stay awake to slide her back into it. And, yes, I’ve fallen asleep before she does but I think, even then, my rhythmic breathing and calmness and closed eyes might help her go to sleep in addition to the sucking.

    Hope your abdomen recovers soon.

  • I love these muslin swaddling wraps. They’re great for summer especially. I’m like you with falling asleep nursing. I’ve never been able to successfully transfer the baby to a co-sleeper because I’m never awake to do it.

    I still have your email in my inbox and have really wanted to get back to you and continue our conversation. Hopefully I can get a chance over this weekend.

    Praying for you and your sore belly. Ouch!

  • I don’t have any advice.  Mercifully, none of my infants have been kickers.  I just wanted to address your comment about not putting the baby back in the co-sleeper.  By the time number 4 came around, we stopped with the pretense of the extra cradle in our room – as my husband pointed out, it would just become a place to put laundry, so why bother?