Monday, May 11, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

To start with I will say that I loved this book. It was the characters that did it for me. But, (doesn’t everyone have a big but?) I was hit in the face with something I hate: Nazi Germany. I knew what the story was about, but I assumed I was safe since it was post WWII. I just didn’t count on the flashbacks!!

The story is written completely in letters. The main character, Juliet, is an author who stumbles on to the members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. They correspond with her for a while and she gets to know them and the hardships they faced during the war. I learned so much about what happened on the Channel Islands (Guernsey is one of those islands) during WWII. The Islands were occupied by the Germans in their quest to conquer all of England. The story takes place in 1946 and the people on Guernsey are trying to get their lives back to somewhat normal.

I liked the fact that it was all written in letters. It definitely worked for me, probably because the parts I wished I didn’t have to read were short and to the point. Still, there are images in my head that I wish weren’t there. The characters had so much strength and were so resilient. They were likable and sometimes I forgot that I don’t really know them. I wish I did. How fun is it to read about a woman who discovers Jane Austen for the first time? Or a little girl who has a box she carries everywhere with her and no one knows what is in it? Or an editor who has a secretary named Billie Bee? And did anyone know that Oscar Wilde’s full name was Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde?

It was just a beautiful story that was so pleasant to read. I will give it an A-, or 4 ½ stars only because I personally struggle with certain historical events. It left me happy, and that’s the kind of ending I love!


Amanda said...

I keep hearing more and more about this book. It's not one I ever would have picked out on my own, but now it's on my tbr list. I love book blogging!!

Stephanie said...

"...doesn’t everyone have a big but?"

I know I do! Sorry, couldn't resist. :)

Lula O said...

Yah Stephanie, your ~~BUT.t is HUGE! Good grief, it's the biggest one I've ever seen! (;P)

I could probably fit your pants on one of my legs, you tiny little fart. BUT, then again, it may be my BUTton down jeans don't fit properly on my BUTtucks. Maybe that's it, BUT who knows?

I need to read this book. As long as know one dies a miserable long death, like in many of the past book club selections.

The Bradfords said...

Lula, it is about WWII and the Nazis. I won't spoil too much for you, but one of the Nazi practices was death by exhaustion. Sounds like long drawn out death to me. See why I hate the Nazi stuff???? And yet the book was hopeful, a little like Anne Frank in that way.