Oct 30, 2010

A Hilary Book Review: The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society

When I started, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer, I didn't know what the heck to think of it. Basically, it's a set of fictional letters and telegrams from the late 1940's, post WW2, set in London and a small Island in the English Channel. I had never read this style of book before and found the first 50 pages were a struggle. However, once I fell into it, I looked forward to reading a letter or two each night before bed.

Like a cup of tea, this book needs to be sipped slowly. (I think it took me 4 months to reach the end). Once I was accustomed to it's fresh style, I found I needed to allow enough time between the events to let them sink in. It's a great glimpse of what pre-computer communication was all about: you had to wait a day, or two, or three, to get a response to your telegraph.

Over the course of 250 pages, letter by letter, I slowly fell in love with the main character, Juliet Ashton, and all of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. The characters have so much humanity after surviving many brutal years under the Nazi Occupation. It's a story of love, friendship, survival, and staying true to oneself. And the end...I am sooo happy to report it's one of those endings that made me hug the book when I was done.

When I finished this book, all I could think to myself was, this really was a Delightful book (and I never use the word delightful :) ).

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