October 17, 2008

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a uniquely charming novel with a distinctive voice. 

Juliet Ashton is living in an England emerging from the aftermath of World War II. During the war Juliet wrote a humorous column called Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War, which was subsequently bound into a collection because of its popularity. We meet Juliet at the end of her promotional tour for the book and, although proud of the accomplishment of Izzy, she is determined next to write a not so humorous narrative of…something. Not sure of what her future holds or what she will do next, a telegram arrives for Juliet from a Guernsey Island native who happens to possess a book by Charles Lamb that was once hers, and he requests her help in knowing more about the author. A correspondence is struck and Juliet becomes ever more interested in the man, his friends and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society that they formed during the German occupation of the Island during the war. As the Society members write to her she becomes more and more interested in their lives until finally she decides to set sail for Guernsey Island and determine her future. 

The uniqueness of the novel is that all of the writing is in letter format. Like others who have read this novel I was drawn into the evermore-interesting details of the Society members and the intertwining relationships of the characters. I fell in love with Juliet and all of her new friends on Guernsey and was sad to say goodbye.

My Rating: 4.5

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