My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Dial Press (May 2009)
Paperback: 290 pages
Source: Library Book
Available on: Amazon
Total: 98/100 = 5 of 5 stars
Description from GoodReads:
“ 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.
Plot: Good: What could be more wonderful than reading a book about fellow book lovers. The story about a 1946, female writer from London and her friends was a joy to read. I like the humanity of this story, it shows the horrors of war and the resilience of people. Bad: Nothing.
Setting: Good: Post-war London and the island of Guernsey is a great setting for this story. It was great reading about the islander’s survival stories in Nazi occupied Guernsey. Bad: I would have liked a little more description of Juliet’s life during the war.
Writing: Good: I was a little skeptical about reading an epistolary novel. The characters are not well developed in the novels I have read, but this is not the case with The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Every character has a different voice; I can see the difference of gender and education level in the vocabulary they use. Bad: The letter format of the story doesn’t allow for the reader to follow each characters throughout the whole story. I would have liked to see the point of view of other characters during certain parts of the story.
Characters: Good: The characters are the best part of this book. They are lovable; they are people I wish I could meet. Bad: There is nothing bad about the characters, they are wonderful. If anything, I would have loved more of them.
Creativity: Good: An original story about a writer that takes us on her journey in the discovery of a group of people brought together to survive WWII. Bad: None.
Cover Art:A beautiful cover that is a perfect fit to the story.
Romance: Juliet relationship with Dawsey and Elizabeth and Christian add romance to this novel.
Overall: I recommend this book for a fellow book lover that enjoys learning about how reading and books helped a group of strangers come together, helped them survive the war and build a family.
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