You know how there are some books that make you smile just by thinking about them? There’s one I read recently that has stayed with me. As soon as I finished reading it, I told all my friends about it and insisted that they read it too. The one thing (other than my own love for the book) that convinced me of its awesomeness was my sister’s love for it (believe me, she is really choosy when it comes to books and appreciating some things).
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (isn’t that a really interesting name?) tells the story of a community of people living in Guernsey during the German Occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II. Its a story about people’s everyday struggles during the war and about the beautiful relationships that were forged during those extremely difficult times.
The novel follows a series of letters written by the characters to each other. The protagonist, Juliet Ashton, is a writer looking for a new subject to write about. She coincidentally receives a letter from Dawsey Adams who lives in Guernsey and whose letters introduce her to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Curious about the book club’s rather unique name, she continues her correspondence with Dawsey and learns about the other members of the club. The other members also eventually start exchanging letters with Juliet and she later visits Guernsey, where her interactions and new relationships with the people of Guernsey change the course of her life.
Although the novel describes a crucial period in the history of the war, the writing brings out the main issues surrounding war through subtle references and engaging dialogue. The characters are lively and each letter showcases the strengths of the character by whom it was written.
Mary Ann Shaffer’s story, which was later reworked on by her neice Annie Barrows, is beautiful and the writing makes the characters memorable. Guernsey is now on my list of places to visit in life (which is a pretty long list and getting longer every day).
It has been a long time since a book made me feel this happy. I particularly liked it because all the characters are connected by something I love too–books. Dawsey writes to Juliet because of a book and the other members meet regularly for a book club and share their stories.
I am really glad to have found it. I have a colleague to thank for this because I got the book as part of our Secret Book Santa event in the company last Christmas.
If you haven’t already read the book, I would highly recommend it. Its a book that I believe everyone can enjoy.
PS. I hear there’s a movie adaptation of the book coming out soon, although I’m not sure I want to watch it because I love the book too much.