Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

What a charming little book!  Several fellow book lovers have recommended this epistolary novel to me since last year, and I finally bought it (for $1 at the last book sale at my library!) in March and read it over last weekend. 
Shaffer and Barrows' main focus on the story is Juliet, a 30-something British author in the years directly after WWII.  She's plucky and sassy, two wonderful characteristics for a protagonist, and even more suited for keeping a light tone when discussing Britain after the war.  While never dismissing the horrors that occurred in Europe at that time, Shaffer and Barrows do not dwell.  Juliet begins a correspondence with the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in the British Isles, helping her develop both an appreciation for the lesser-known German occupation of Guernsey and an idea for a new book.  The letters eventually lead her to the island itself, where she is greeted warmly by the members of GLAPPPS and finds herself more at home on the small isle than in London. 
Honestly, there's no better word for this book than quaint.  While not stuffy, it does feel a bit old-fashioned in both language and the relationships between characters.  You will learn a bit (I'd never even heard of Guernsey, but I've never been good with geography) while smiling at Isola's quirky letters to Sidney and stories of Juliet's temper.  You could definitely get through this novel in one sitting, and I totally recommend that you do!

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