Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The

Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
“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’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Reviews

Reviewed: 2017-01-02
No. I remember seeing this book around and on display at the bookstore when it first came out. Someone recommended it to me back then but it didn't sound like something I would enjoy. Recently I saw a few people talk about this book so I thought it would be a good pick up.
 
Presumably this book is about a writer who ends up corresponding with a group of people who call themselves the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society after being caught breaking curfew on the island of Guernsey. They are a motley crew of individuals who are a cast of characters and Juliet ends up drawn into their world.
 
It's terrible. I wanted to like it because it sounded good and I kept reading and reading thinking it would improve. But the style (both as in the form of letters and the writing itself) just doesn't work. No one really developed very well (for me) as characters. Most of the voices sound the same.
 
As other reviewers note, there really isn't any sort of plot. There are interesting moments and side stories of the characters, but the story is slow-going and there really isn't much of any conflict to resolve. And as the authors aren't that great writers, there is little to no character development (or substance either). So there really wasn't all that going for this book.
 
The best parts I thought were the various stories of subterfuge of dealing with the German soldiers or the stories of the prisoners since I imagine they were based on similar historical accounts. Sadly, I thought that subverted the point of the book, which was supposed to tell a relatively nice story set during a dark period of history.
 
I'm sorry but this is one of those books that clearly does not live up to the hype. Skip.
Reviewed: 2015-07-07
One of the best books I have ever read!
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