The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Review

Odd title. Lovely book.

The Guernsey  Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrow, topped my “to read” list for many, many months.  Finally, I won over the Lit Ladies Book Club and it became our April selection. Oh my, this is a fantastic book and so deserving of all of the praise it’s received.

I thought I new what to expect. I knew it was a fictional collection of letters describing the German occupation of the Channel Islands (Guernsey specifically) during WWII.  While I did learn about the German occupation and the horrible sadness and aftermath for the people and lands of Europe, I also was given a great story.  For me, the book was about a woman finding where she truly belonged in the post-War world and how to find happiness after all of the destruction. Very romantic in the discovery of a new home, new friends, new family and love.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is written entirely in correspondence letters and telegrams.  Writer Juliet receives a letter from a Guernsey native, Dawsey, who’s found one of her old books and her address. He writes to her inquiring about the book and sets the Guernsey story in motion. I loved reading the letters. How wonderful it would have been to receive them and write them.  We are so used to instant gratification with our emails and Internet and iPhones. The anticipation of the post must have been incapacitating! And, the content must have been so much more rewarding for have waited.

I plan to pass this book on to my son (age 13). I think he’ll enjoy the story and the clear and personal portrayal of WWII. I know it gave me such a sharper picture than the bombs and trenches we see in movies. I had never really considered all of the little details that made enduring and recovering from war so difficult. I don’t want to spoil them for you though 🙂 Go read it for yourself.

Oh, and don’t skip over the acknowledgement and afterward sections at the end. Both are great and the afterward almost made  me cry.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 5th, 2010 at 2:36 pm and is filed under Book Review. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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