Saturday, December 27, 2008

Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by

I have heard lots of good things about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. So much so that I asked my mother to get it for me for a Christmas present. I am glad she did!

Before I started reading it, my twelve-year-old daughter picked it up and flipped through it. Wrinkling her nose she asked if all it contained was letters. Having not read it, I could not answer but she was sure it was not going to be good. She of the email age and not capable of writing a decent letter.

She was wrong.

From the author's website: 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. Born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 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.


I absolutely loved this book! I fell in love with Juliet very early on in the book and could see the ending in the first letters. But that did not deter me but rather made me extremely curious as to how she's get there.

The letters were a unique twist on writing a story from multiple points of view. I was able to learn about the writer as well as the story moving forward all while 'hearing' the different characters.

And the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society are quite lovely! As are the other members of Guernsey that we get to meet. Guernsey sounds like a beautiful island that I love to visit sometime.

I highly recommend this book to everyone. I think there's something in it for you. It would be great to discuss within a book club, with a reader's guide provided by Random House.

Rating: 5/5 stars!!!

6 comments:

Alyce said...

I loved this book too!

Alyce said...

I loved this book too!

bermudaonion said...

I'm so glad you liked it - it's probably one of my favorites for the year.

Michele at Reader's Respite said...

Wasn't this just the best book? I bought a few copies for friends/family for Christmas this year. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, too. It's the kind of book you want to tell everyone about!

ps....I finally got down to Houston and picked up that copy of Blood Island -- I'll be mailing it to you when I get home this weekend!

Julie said...

Loved this book too. Didn't know anything about it before I started it, just that lots of people had recommended it.

Red lady-Bonnie said...

This was definitely one of my favorite books that I read last year. That sounds strange, being that 2008 just ended! I am going to encourage my book club to read this one.