Monday, July 28, 2008

(73) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffers and Anne Barrows (On Sale July 29th, 2008)

What an absolutely fabulous book!
I was hesitant to read this book, as I am not much into period pieces. Meaning, the mood has to strike me just right to pick up any book not set in the 21st Century. Let me just say this one thing, I am so very glad that I read this book.
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society is a story set in 1946 after the end of WWII. It is the story of Juliet. A single woman trying to get on with life at the end of the war. But it is not just Juliet's story, it is also the story of the people of Guernsey.
Let me explain. The book is told in the form of letters. And Juliet has received a letter from a gentleman in Guernsey. After the occupation of Guernsey ended, Dawsey found an old book of Juliet's. A book that had her name & address in it. Dawsey was hoping that Juliet could help him find a certain book. And with that letter, Juliet's life began changing.
Juliet is an author seeking her next book & as the letters from Guernsey start pouring in, Juliet has found her next project. She is going to tell the story of the people of Guernsey and the things they had to endure during the five year long German occupation.
I almost called this book delightful, but delightful is not completely accurate. Juliet is delightful, her intelligence & wit radiates with each letter she writes. You can't help but laugh at her observations, because often times they are spot on. She wrote this in a letter to her publisher and friend, Sidney:

I love seeing the bookshops and meeting the booksellers -- booksellers are really a special breed. No one in their right mind would take
up clerking in a bookstore for the salary, and no proprietor in his right mind would want to own one -- the margin of profit is too small. So, it has
to be a love of readers and reading that makes
them do it -- along with first dibs on new
How completely accurate is that?? Like I said, I was going to call this book delightful, but then you come across letter from someone who was at the same Prison Camp as Guernsey's beloved, Elizabeth. And your heart feels as if it is being ripped out. Mixed in with Juliet's light hearted letters is the truth of the matter. WWII was an ugly,horrible, tragic period in our world's history.
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society has very easily jumped to the top of my Best of 2008 list. This book will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you hope! Absolutely outstanding, must read book!


Katherine said...

This is one of the best books I've read all year (I came across your blog through Library Thing). Thanks for the review!

Kristin said...

...and it's absolutely enchanting as an audio book. It's performed by a whole cast of characters, not just one narrator.

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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