Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The setting is London and Guernsey (an island in the English Channel) in 1946, just after WWII. The story unfolds via letters, a format that I love. Juliet Ashton, a main character, is a writer (from London) with an adventurous spirit and a deep, deep love of books. (She called off an engagement over books! My kind of gal!) She forms a relationship with a book club in Guernsey and decides to tell their story about the Nazi occupation.

I found the book to be very witty and funny, and at the same time very serious. The subject matter is a tough one - the nightmare of Hitler's actions. The authors don't let the reader off the hook. While much of the book is light-hearted, it's anchored in the very real need to survive atrocities. And some people didn't. In addition, the authors don't make it easy to form clear lines of good and bad, even among the German soldiers. Oh, and there's a love story, too!

I am always grateful about a book that opens my eyes to history and challenges my perspectives. This one did just that.

The book left me with a deeper sense of the importance of thinking for one's self. Read this book. And thanks to MEP for the recommendation!


Angela McRae said...

Our magazine's book reviewer just read this book and loved it as well. I think I need to check it out for myself!

Rosemary said...

Great review!

Marilyn Miller said...

Thanks for the recommendation. It sounds like one I would enjoy. I get restless when I don't have a book nearby.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like a great story. Think I'll have to check it out as well. I too love "letter books". I trust you've read "84, Charing Cross Road"?

Steph said...

@Denise - No, but someone else recommended it. Think I'll have to find it!

ms. mep said...

So glad you enjoyed the book and your review was excellent! I'll second the nomination for 84 Charing Cross Road, especially since you've traveled to London recently.