Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Guernsey Sweet Potato Pie Book?

Yes, the title of the book is a little hard to keep straight, but Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows' The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a true gem. The book begins just after the end of WWII. Guernsey is an island in the English Channel, which was occupied by German forces during WWII. Juliet Ashton is a writer, living in London, trying to come up with her next novel. She receives a letter from a man in Guernsey, Dawsey Adams, who found her name and address in a book he purchased from a used book store. Juliet begins corresponding with Dawsey, eager to hear about life on Guernsey during the war and the literary society he belongs to. Soon, Juliet also begins corresponding with other members of the literary society, which sparks an idea for her next book. The book, told in the form of the letters sent between the characters, is a wonderful read. The characters are charming and quirky, and their letters provide an entertaining look at life on this quaint island. Juliet is a smart, funny, spunky young woman and her letters are the most fun to read. When describing her new flat in London (her old flat having been bombed during the war), she says:

"I know that I am fortunate to have any place at all to live in London, but I much prefer whining to counting my blessings."

Barnes and Noble recently chose this book for this B&N Recommends and I can see why. This is one of the most satisfying, enjoyable books I have read in a long time. Don't miss it!

1 comment:

Rebekah said...

Well, it was OK for me, but I found it hard to connect with the characters because they were written in letter style. It was hard to keep track of them and really hear distinct voices. I also found the romance very predictable. It was a good read in that I learned about the unique setting and how there were Brits who were occupied during WWII.

However, it is not a GREAT read in my opinion because the plot and characters haven't stuck with me after the read. And beyond the theme of the importance of reading I was not moved by ideas or concepts presented by the author.