a. 1. Omitting a letter; composed of words not having a certain letter or letters; as, lipogrammatic writings.
Epistolary is defined as:
adj.1. Of or associated with letters or the writing of letters.2. Being in the form of a letter: epistolary exchanges.3. Carried on by or composed of letters: an epistolary friendship.
Does that help?
The story is told in a series of letters written to the various characters of the book, which helped make the book a quick read.
Ella Minnow Pea is a young girl who lives on the fictional island of Nollop, off the coast of South Carolina. The island is named for Nevin Nollop, who wrote the panagram "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog". (quick note: I could not find if Nevin was a real person or not). Anyway, the citizens of Nollop are very committed to written communication and are devoted followers of their founder, Mr. Nollop. So when a young girl discovers one day that the letter Z has fallen off of the Nollop monument, the town goes into a sort of panic mode, with the town council meeting to decided what they should do. It is agreed that the loss of the letter Z must be a message from the deceased Mr. Nollop and so the council decrees that the letter Z can no longer by used by the town people, either in speech or written communication, including any reading that might have the letter Z in it. So the good people of Nollop begin to adjust to a world without Z. Then one day, the letter Q falls off of the monument. And so it goes...letters start falling off, one at a time. And each time it is decreed that the fallen letter can no longer be used. And to make things even more difficult, a new law is passed that after three uses of a discarded letter, the citizen is banned from the island.
As you can imagine, things get quite difficult for the town people trying to communicate, read, sing, etc. Ducks are not allowed on the island anymore because they make a sound with the Q. When the letter D is discovered fallen, the past tense disappears. As you can imagine, by the end of the book, the letters written are quite difficult to make out! Thankfully, a solution is found, but I won't tell you the ending!
This was a fun book, and had the feeling of a classic to me. I wonder how many of you out there have read it???
Do I recommend it? Yes, it was an easy, interesting read, so if you are looking for something light to read, it would do. But don't expect anything like Sarah's Key. It definitely did not live up to that expectation.