Monday, December 14, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

While in Mexico laying on the beach one afternoon over Thanksgiving, my daughter asked me if I had read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I had not. She had just read it for her book group and loved it. Upon my return to the States, I was checking out some of my favorite book blogs and found that Susan at You Can Never Have Too Many Books had written about the book at:

So I headed to the library and checked it out and just finished reading it this afternoon. Like Susan, I stayed up very late a couple of nights reading it, but last night fell asleep with only 3 pages to go!

I have to confess that at page 150, I wondered what all the fuss was about. The story was good and I found the whole occupation of the island of Guernsey fascinating, but I didn't get the huge fascination with the book. Then I came to page 151, and broke into tears! And then I got it!

The book is a series of letters between Juliet, who is an author in 1946 from London seeking a new topic for a book, and the chance acquaintance that occurred when Dawsey Adams, a resident of Guernsey, writes her a letter. It seems that he came upon an old book Juliet had owned and he is requesting more information about the author of the book. They begin corresponding with each other and Juliet slowly learns about Guernsey being occupied by the Nazis during the war. Some of the residents of Guernsey rather unknowingly formed a Literary Society and so then Juliet begins corresponding with some of the other members also.

Soon, Juliet decides to write about the Guernsey residents experiences and she goes to Guernsey to meet them all. Meanwhile, the entire book is letters between different people, including her best friend, and her publisher.

It is a very heart-warming and heart-breaking book, both at the same time. It is a quick read and I liked it very much. Thank you, Susan and Emily, for your wonderful recommendations!

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