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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

August 20, 2009

This book has been recommended to me several times by many people. Having recently finished, I can officially pass on the recommendation. What a gem!

This is the story of Juliet Ashton, columnist and writer, in the months after the end of WWII, as she finds herself immersed in the stories of the residents of Guernsey, a town occupied by Germany during the war. Juliet’s interest begins as purely professional as she seeks material for her writing, but quickly becomes personal as she becomes attached to the charming, quirky, and lovable residents of the town.

There are a number of things I loved about this book. Here are a few:

  • The format. The book is written entirely with letters (and telegraphs). In some ways, this format makes getting attached to the characters and understanding the plot a more lengthy process. But by the end, you’ll wish for the romance of letter writing to reappear in real life.
  • The setting. I’ve always loved books set during WWII. The stories are so often heart-wrenchingly tender and inspirational. Yet somehow, I’ve never thought about Europe immediately after the war, with cities in shambles and people struggling to get home and find lost family members. The background of this story gives a peek into the world at this time, and makes you want to learn more.
  • The characters. All the characters are a delight, but my favorites were Susan, Juliet’s book tour guide, who saves the day with her familiarity with the gossip column; and Isola, whose penchant for the odd (potions, phrenology, and detective work a la Miss Marple) is sure to amuse.

A quick read, this is recommended for anyone, especially fans of Nancy Mitford.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Brooke permalink
    January 5, 2010 2:32 pm

    Hi Michelle,
    I just had to let you know that I received this book for Christmas and can’t wait to get started . . . after all the Christmas aftermath is cleaned up (or it will never get done!) I love your blog and must find more time to read it!
    Hope all is well with you,

    • January 14, 2010 3:50 pm

      I hope you love it! It’s one of the sweetest I’ve read in a while.

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