Thursday, July 2, 2009
Book Report Thursday
My mom lent me The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. She had just finished reading it and sent me home with it the last time I was in CA. I've just finished the book and I am absolutely in love with it. It takes place on a British island between England and France shortly after the end of WWII. The entire book is written in letters, which, at first, are somewhat cumbersome, but eventually come to represent the characters quite well. Our heroine is Juliet, a writer living in London who receives a somewhat random letter from a man named Dawsey, who is residing on the island of Guernsey. He has come across a book Juliet used to own and begins writing to her about the book (and can she send him some more?). The correspondence is lovely and well written, and brings you into a world you never thought existed. It turns out that Guernsey was occupied by the Germans during WWII, and they are now starting to recover from said occupation. Juliet becomes fascinated by this subject, thinking nobody knew about these plucky islanders and their multiple year occupation. Looking for a subject to write a book on, Juliet embarks on a journey looking for tales of the occupation and how the islanders, particularly a group called the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and how they dealt with the occupation. As she begins to get to know the characters on the island, she begins to make plans to visit and meet the friends she's made quite by chance. This novel is lovely, brave and endearing, written in a manner I thought long dead (actual letters) and it describes (sometimes in horrifying detail) the trials and tribulations of war and all of its consequences. At the end, I could not put the book down and actually carried it with me to work to finish during my lunch break. It's a great book, with wonderful characters, a great story line and a nice, although somewhat sad ending. I would highly recommend this book to anyone, as the characters are still in my head, the humor is dry and entertaining, and the plotline seems original and creative.