The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows is about a famous wartime writer and her developing relationship with the inhabitants of Guernsey. Juliet Ashton received her fame as a writer who brought happiness during a time when all was bleak and morale was low, but with her celebrity success on the rise, she is suffering from writers block. The war is over which results in her unable to find something to write about, until one day she receives a strange letter from Dawsey Adams about receiving a book originally belonging to her. They become pen pals which in time he tells her about the occupation of the Germans on Guernsey and the formation of the Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Juliet becomes fascinated by the local’s tales about the occupation and the island’s situation after the Germans. A friendship forms between them that becomes life changing for Juliet and the inhabitants of the island.
Now if you are unaware where Guernsey is, it is a small island on the coast of France and a member of the Channel Islands. It technically belongs to Great Britain, but in a sense it does not, it is a territory under British Crown Dependency. I know, horribly complicating but think of it as the UK version of Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico isn’t a state of the United States of America but it belongs to them and is ran under U.S. law, in a sense. Below is the Wikipedia link about this island to gain more information:
I got this novel is an online swap, but I originally came upon it on my local bookshop and was drawn immediately to the title of it. It is bizarre but interesting at the same time, and it is the title that draws the reader in. I really enjoyed this novel. It was witty, quirky, sharp, entertaining and well thought out. The format of the book, which is in the form of letters written between the characters, is original and unique. The reader is able to get a full perspective of how the characters are feeling, reacting, and thinking about events and the relationships between them. Each character is able to be in the spot light with a focus on their personalities shown through the letters they write to each other. Even though this book was a fun read, there was one problem that bothered me about it. The ending felt rushed, it seemed that everything magically was wrapped up in 10 pages. There was the sensation that the author had a word quota for the novel and getting towards the ending remembered that she needed to wrap things up. It was strange that happily ever after for the main characters came so quickly. Odd? I think so. Besides the ending I enjoyed reading this book, even though it was another World War II novel it gave its own spin on the situation. How knew that the Germans occupied the Channel Islands? I didn’t, and the author’s focus to historical detail was incredible and accurate. I love seeing and reading authors passion to history and who bother to take the time and effort to research the period featured in their novel. So if you like WWII fiction with a bit of funny wit mixed in then this is your book!
Has anyone read this book as well? What did you think?