The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

This is a very cute story! Please don’t be put off by the weird title. While coming across as a historical novel it really is an uplifting story of love and friendship. It celebrates life and love and the love of reading and writing. And is a must read for book clubs!
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

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….

As 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.
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 surprising ways.

AND I THOUGHT?

Told through letters, the story centers around Juliet and the story of Elizabeth. It did take me awhile to get into it – I wasn’t sure about the letter style at the start. But as I got through the book I enjoyed it more and more. Juliet’s writing style especially is wonderful; you can really picture the excitement of the reader when they open the letter.

Juliet’s growing fascination with Guernsey, its inhabitants and their part in WW2 leads her to visit. She eventually ingrains herself and becomes part of their lifestyle on Guernsey. The characters on Guernsey are really quirky but rich and engaging in their small town persona. They haven’t fundamentally changed their personalities nor let their hard decisions affect the way they live their lives.
Each member writes to Juliet to describe their experience in the war but to also discuss books and how they discuss them in their society meetings. How their reading and each meeting of the society helped them get through the hard times – and how the member’s each approached reading in different ways.

VERDICT
Three pegs!
READ IF
You love historical fiction or a simple sweet romance
And if you haven’t read already, we’ve seen a lot of movie adaptations at the big screen lately!
Please check out my review for Red Sparrow, Ready Player One and A Wrinkle in Time before you go

 

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