The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
By: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
As the rebuilding from World War II commences author Juliet Ashton begins a correspondence with the people of Guernsey (several of them anyway) who while under German occupation formed a literary club and discovered books, friendship and a way to go on during the impossible. Told in letters I admit I found this book a lot more moving than I thought.
I also have to admit a big pull for me was the movie. I really love Lily James and Michiel Huisman is adorable- hopefully I’ll get to see it sometime this year as last I heard Netflix had bought the rights to air it in the States.
Anyway, the book. It’s a strange one the back and forth with the letters. Guernsey is pretty typically one of those small towns everyone is cute and quirky. As Juliet decides to write about the town we get information on Elizabeth McKenna who was kind of like the Patron Saint of Happiness during the darkness.
I mean really the girl didn’t have any flaws. The only thing that might have been a problem was who she loved- but he was pretty saintly himself. Hence she’s a pretty important part of the book without much personality besides perfect and tragic.
So Guernsey is pretty much what you’d expect. But darn it, if I didn’t fly through this sucker, smile a couple of times at the antics of the island residents and the back and forth of the letters, and cry at the end. Maybe I was in the right mood? I was definitely picturing it as a movie in my mind.
While I enjoyed the quickness and the uniqueness of the letter format it also felt as though it kept everything from having any real depth and unfortunately that included the romance in the book. If you take the book for what it is however it’s a pretty enjoyable, quick and easy read.
Recommend: Yes. But there’s no much under the surface.