Friday, October 29, 2010

Book 71- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

I picked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows as a book club's choice for last July for the virtual book club I chair. Anyway, I didn't get it finished. I swore I was going to read it before the year was out because 1) I wanted to, 2) I picked it and felt obligated to read it; and 3) and I've started it twice and liked it but get bogged down by my ILL books so I have to put it aside.

This was a great story, a feel good book, sweet and fun. That's not to say it was without substance, because it will full of ripe characters and an interesting plot!

Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger who lives on Guernsey Island, which was occupied by the Germans during World War II. This is in 1946. The stranger has come across something Juliet wrote and wanted questions answered. Thus begins an amazing correspondence between Juliet and the members of the Guernsey Literary Society.

This entire story is told in nothing but letters and telegrams written by members of the society, Juliet, Juliet's publisher and friend Sidney, her best friend Sophie, her "maybe" boyfriend Mark, and a few other fun characters tossed in for good measure.

I enjoyed this story immensely. It's an extraordinary novel with memorable characters. I like that Juliet didn't dither. I love the matter-of-fact-ness of the voice of all the characters. I also like the blending of fiction with history. I did some reading about the time period (post WWII, the setting, etc) and it seems to be right on. How sad for those who lived through the war; it seems to be brought to even brighter light in this novel, but without lingering on the tragedy that is war, if that makes sense. I'm also a lover of letters, and collect books, fiction and non, of letters. One of my favorites are letters written between people (especially lovers) during WWII, so this book was even more interesting to me.

I love this book and it's certainly one of my favorite reads of 2010!


nannykim said...

I loved this book too. My daughter gave it to me this past year as a gift, and I thought, HUH? But it was fantastic.

Maggie said...

Nannykim- it was wonderful. I just gave it to a high school girl I mentor and she gave me the "huh?" look but she's already read 50 pages and is HOOKED! It was grand!

food for thought said...

i loved this book too~

Maggie said...

Jain- this was so marvelous. I don't know anyone who didn't just love it!

Melissa F said...

This was one of my favs of 2010, also!