Book Review

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer, Annie Barrows

51zSWUuPdTL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgA remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

~

Oh goodness. Where to even begin with this book. It was incredible. Juliet is such a beautiful person, Dawsey is absolutely adorable, Kit I wanted to eat up with a spoon, and I could continue about literally all of the characters in this book. I loved that it was written as a set of letters from varying people – it allowed such a beautiful way for the readers to hear the author’s perspective and hear their commentary on the happenings of this book. It truly felt like a classic, despite the fact it was published in 2009. The story was so simple and sweet, yet so enjoyable and engaging. I have officially added Guernsey to my list of places I must visit, and have set this book as my new standard for excellence in historical fiction. I highly recommend this newest edition to my list of favorite books for high schoolers and up.

(For additional fun, watch the movie adaptation on Netflix, starring Lily James and several other Downton Abbey stars)

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