Monday, October 18, 2010

Review:  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
“ 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….

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.

Juliet Ashton is a writer.  She has written a series of articles for the paper about World War II.  She is looking for something new to write, something that has nothing to do with the war.

One day, she recieves an unexpected letter from Dawsy Adams,  he lives on the Island of Guernsey. He has a copy of a book that she used to own. He expressed his gratitude for the book and his love of the books author, Charles Lamb.  This letter sets of a series of letters between Juliet and Dawsey and may other residents Guernsey.  A story begins to unfold of the occupation of the Germans and how the people of Guernsey adapt and live.  It is a story of survival and heartache.

Juliet grows to love the people and desires to meet them.  She also has some decisions that need to be made in her personal life and some distance would be good to gain perspective. 

I decided to read this book because of the great reviews.  I cannot say that this book disappointed me in any way.  I loved the historical aspects, learning of life under German occupation.  The plight of the people was very interesting.  I love that the authors made it clear that not all of the German soldiers agreed with their government. I also appreciate that life doesn't always turn out to be what you expect, look for the good things where you are.

There was a quote in the book that is wonderful.  "That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and another tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book.  It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment."
This quote has led me to my next book to read - Skeletons at the Feast.  Another book dealing with the victims of World War II.

This book was very well written.  I liked this book and I am giving it a four star rating.  This is worth reading.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds great! I really need to make time in my life for reading! Thanks for reviewing this book and for doing your blog. What a wonderful idea!


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