The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Written with warmth and
humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the
written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most
“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps
there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them
to their perfect readers.”
January 1946: London is emerging from
the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking
for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a
letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey,
who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….
Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into
the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric
world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a
spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking
curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny,
deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists,
literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence
with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in
books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their
lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what
she finds will change her forever.
I loved this book. It's sad, funny, poignant, tender and much more.
It's written as a series of letters which might not appeal to everyone but it flows. Covering the German occupation of the island of Guernsey during WW2, it follows Juliet Ashton, an author searching for a new subject to write about after the war is over.
Initially she discovers what life was like during the occupation by corresponding with various Islanders, who had formed the Literary Society quoted in the title. Eventually Juliet travels to Guernsey and is captivated by the people and the island. Not only does Juliet find the inspiration for her next book on Guernsey but she also finds love.
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