Review – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
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  • Posted:
  • April 20, 2011

Yeah, I know. I’m surprised I read this one too. This is what I call a palette cleanser book; not my usual affair, half the speed and totally off-balance. I’ve been Goldilocking my way through books for weeks and I figured out what was finally bothering me… I needed to wipe the slate.

There’s only so long you can go reading Young Adult and Urban Fantasy. Evidently.

That said, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. And I quite liked it… right up to the end. And then I grew annoyed. Shaffer died before the novel’s completion and Barrows had to carry on in her Aunt’s stead and it shows. The voice of the book changes right at the tail end and I found that distracting. I didn’t end up loving it as a result.

The book is quite charming otherwise. It’s set in 1946 just after World War II. It’s told entirely in epistolary format, through letters back and forth between the main characters. Juliet is a novelist who is looking for a new idea for a book when a letter from Guernsey opens up her world. The inhabitants of the island formed a small literary club, ostensibly to fool the Nazi soldiers during the occupation. Juliet becomes fascinated, forsaken her life in London to learn all she can about Guernsey.

It’s charming. It’s brief. It makes sense why so many book groups read it. This is a book for people who love books.

4 out of 5 stars.

– BP

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