The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This long titled book was my November book club book! I was excited to read it, but I got bogged down because the entire book is letters. I actually had such a hard time getting into the book that I was only about half way through it at book club. Everyone agreed that the format was difficult, but they all really enjoyed the book, especially when they got to part 2. They unanimously said it was worth finishing. Naturally (because I love my book club), I sat down to finish it (after taking a break to read The Language of Flowers). Well, they were all right, of course . . . I ended up really enjoying it! It did take until almost to part 2 to really get the flow and characters, but it was worth it. What a sweet, fun novel. Juliet is the main character-a British author in 1946 who is looking for her next novel. She becomes friends with people on the island of Guernsey when one of them writes her to get a particular book and her recommendation. Then evolves the story of the book group founded on Guernsey during the war (hence the title), and Juliet runs with it as a book idea. Juliet is an easy character to get behind and root for to succeed. She, as well as her friends on Guernsey, are endearing. I love the different characters, even though they were quite irritating to begin with, being as there are so many of them! And the love story for Juliet was so sweet and was a lovely subplot to the rest of the novel.
At one point in the book, Juliet is writing to Dawsey (the man who originally wrote Juliet), and has this fabulous quote: “That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive–all with no end in sight, and for no other reason that to sheer enjoyment.” This is truly what I have found, and not just in books, but on Facebook, or my book club, or the Skimm, or just out there on the internet. I love that about reading, just like Juliet!
Summing it up: I recommend it if you can get past the letter format. 😉
All the best, Abbey