Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

For the fourth year running, I have set a goal to read 10,000 book pages a year. The most recent book I read adding 288 pages bring my total for the year so far up to 3,563 pages was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (what a mouthful!). 

At first, I had a hard time getting into this book with it's epistolary style. There were a lot of characters with S names and new characters being introduced all the time. When I was about 1/3 of the way through, I couldn't put it down! I didn't even notice that I was reading a collection of letter correspondences anymore. The story is set in Post WWII England and follows the story of young authoress Juliet Ashton as she transitions from her book tour to a courtship in London to building friendships with people of Guernsey, an English Channel island, who share their experience of the German Occupation of the island during the war. This story will make you cry (I admit I cried while reading on the subway) and make you smile til your face hurts. The story of Juliet and those close to her in the aftermath of WWII will leave you wanting more, I promise. 

If you've read this book, what are your thoughts? What was the last great book you read?


  1. Tamara, I had the same experience with this book! I found it a bit laborious at first, but couldn't put it down somewhere by its mid-point. I love all of the authors' nods to other works - especially all of the Charles Lamb talk - and have been desperate to visit Guernsey ever since finishing the novel. I know some people find the ending outlandish - or just too perfectly tied-up - but I think it's fitting. Some books call for happy endings! Glad you enjoyed it, too.

    1. I really loved the ending but didn't want the book to end. I want a sequel!

    2. Ha! So do I, but considering the lead author (Mary Ann Shaffer) died, I'm afraid it's unlikely. If you're looking for something similar, though, you *must* read 84 Charing Cross Road. It's similar in a lot of ways, but it's a true story. There's also a film adaptation with Anthony Hopkins, but I prefer the book.

    3. I know I was so sad to read that. Thanks for the rec!

  2. You know I keep seeing this book around, and people keep suggesting it to me, but for whatever reason the "blurb" on it has never appealed...maybe I'll have to get it for my Kindle ;)