The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer

I bought this book based on a recommendation from here.

It is set in London and Guernsey just after World War Two and it is written in letters!

Here is the stuff on the back …

“…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’d never met, a native of Guernsey, the British island once occupied by the Nazis. He’d come across her name on the flyleaf of a secondhand volume by Charles Lamb. Perhaps she could tell him where he might find more books by this author.

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a unique book club formed in a unique, spur-of-the-moment way: as an alibi to protect its members from arrest by the Germans.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s charming, deeply human members, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Through their letters she learns about their island, their taste in books, and the powerful, transformative impact the recent German occupations has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds there will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

I couldn’t resist a book with this title. It is lovely – joyous – despite some grim war anecdotes. The characters are faultlessly portrayed – who could forget Isola with her witch like herbal potions (Juliet advises Sophie to not even let the dog drink it) and Juliet (our heroine) witty, but very kind hearted. I wanted to go to Guernsey and join their society.

This novel is about the joys of reading and how it can bring people together and provide them with an escape in a difficult time. It is light and humourous Рa joy to read.

Here are some links to other reviews

Next up The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Sylvie James.

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  1. Pingback: My BookClub Reviews : Book in Progress - ‘84 Charing Cross Road’ Helene Hanff

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