Monday, August 3, 2009

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.

I was really avoiding this book. I am not one to enjoy popular books and I seem to see this everywhere. I finally started it this past Saturday and was finished by Sunday night. I really enjoyed the writing format, the way the entire book was letters written to and by the various cast of characters. I enjoyed the emphasis on book lovers, how books can get you through hard times, and how reading one thing in a book can lead you to research it, which leads to another book and so on. The characters were highly amusing. I found myself laughing quite a few times. I also enjoyed that there was romance, but it did not weigh down the book and take over the story. Juliet and her friend Sophie reminded me very much of my own best friend and myself.

Overall I would give this 3 stars. There wasn't anything bad about it, I just wasn't blown away by it as some people were. It was enjoyable, but not something that will make an impression on me and stay with me.

3 stars

1 comment:

Janebstlmo said...

I also avoided this book for quite some time but finally caved in to the "peer pressure" of reading it. I was pleasantly surprised by the book. I didn't think it would be any good or that I would like it. It was a very nice, quick read. It was a fun story and I also liked the format. I actually started to invest in the characters by the end of the book. It wasn't a book that you would think about once you've read it or get into a long, deep conversation about, but it was a fun book to read. Something you'd want to read on vacation or while at the beach.