The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Authors: Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
I just love a good book in which I make friends for a lifetime. In The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society I was fortunate to come away with a whole passel of new friends. The book, written as a series of letters, will transport you to the days just after World War II and into the homes and lives of the book’s realistic characters.
Set in 1946, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society takes place in both London and on the British isle of Guernsey. Juliet, an author who rose to fame for her writing during the war, receives a mysterious letter requesting her assistance. She takes the leap and gives her help which initiates a flurry of letters between Juliet and some of Guernsey’s more colorful residents.
Through these letters the reader will learn, along with Juliet, of life on Guernsey while the island was occupied by the Germans. Deprivation and amazing human resilience characterize the people who populate the island. Like the reader, Juliet becomes so involved in the lives of Guernsey’s residents that she craves more information about them and their island home. Fortunately for us, Juliet moves to Guernsey to do firsthand research for a book she has decided to write about the islanders and their experiences during World War II.
As you read you will become immersed in the lives of these amazing characters. Their experiences will fascinate you. Many of the letters relate factual information about what life was really like during the war for the residents of Guernsey Island. The Nazi’s built a concentration camp and used forced labor to fortify the island against British invasion. The locals had strict, but always changing rules enforced upon them. They lived without their children (evacuated to England), in a constant state of hunger and filth, afraid of committing the smallest offense and being sent to a prison camp in Germany.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (the actual society in the book, not the book’s title), was created out of necessity one night when several friends were caught out after curfew. What follows is a developing love affair with books and the beginning of many lifelong friendships. And as the reader, you get to be a part of it all.
The authors of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society have written the perfect book to curl up with on a dreary winter night near a roaring fire. You definitely will not be lonely with such wonderful friends jumping of the book’s pages. This delightful book can be read in several long sessions or you can savor each letter and lengthen the time you will spend with Juliet and her new friends.
Luckily, all the characters from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will live with you for a long time. The book has had great success as a bestseller and will most likely be made into a movie. I have to say that the idea of a Guernsey movie makes me little sad. I have made these wonderful friends and I do not want Hollywood telling me that my imaginings of the characters are all wrong.