What a remarkably original, ingenious book this is! Ella Minnow Pea, Mark Dunn's epistolary novel with a difference, is quite mad but very brilliantly done.
I don't need to go into the plot as such, I think, but suffice to say that through the gradual contraction of their alphabet, that is the ever-diminishing number of letters which the Nollop islanders may use in terms of their ruling council's edicts, so the locals resort to a marvellously extensive and inventive vocabulary with synonyms and neologisms expanding the habitual lexicon: a case of limited 'raw materials' giving rise to enriched language and creative usage.
As the book progresses, more and more letters are proscribed, and the description of the fight for the restoration of language on the island becomes almost a three-dimensional game of Scrabble. There are many quaint and charming touches along the way - I liked Mittie Purcy's withering dismissal of the artist woman Georgeanne Towgate: "this Mary Cassatt aspirant", for example - while the more serious message of the book concerns censorship and dictatorship.
Entertaining, funny, clever, sweet - I thought it was terrific; how about you?