The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer...a review

[2008]

Goofy title for an absolutely adorable read. All of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is told through the correspondence of about fifteen people in the late 1940's with character, Juliet Ashton, and the very tiny island of Guernsey, as the main characters. I've mentioned before how I love when a book can so effortlessly transport me to another time and place. That's why we read, right? Well, this book made me want to visit the island of Guernsey, found between England and France in the English Channel about sixty years ago, but I'd settle for today.

During World War II, the Germans, in an attempt to further their occupation of European territory,  used the small island of Guernsey believing it to be the next step to conquering London. The small island, full of farmers and fishermen, had no real means of protection from the Germans. Cohabitation with the Germans was not bad in the beginning, but as the months lingered on and as food and resources dwindled, a general lack of patience grew, and any niceties that may have been found during the occupation disappeared.

While the book focuses on the impression made by World War II on Guernsey and the surrounding areas, I would argue that the real story is about Juliet maintaining her own ideal of what she wants from life.  I would love to be friends with Juliet. She strays from all of the usual conventions expected of a woman during that period of time. She is genuine, kind, and therefore surrounded with a group of  eclectic friends that exude those same qualities. I have a warm feeling just thinking about all of them.

This book will be a bargain anywhere you find it. I personally think the title detracts from its potential. This is a book with a strong story and equally strong writing. Amazon has it for less than $4.

Comments

  1. Let's see if this works - I've tried posting several times and Blogger is being difficult!! This was a great read! You've read several of the same things and I have and I just started The Help!

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