Title: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Release Date: July 29, 2008
Genres: Historical Fiction/ Romance
It’s 1946 and author Juliet Ashton can’t think what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance, he’s acquired a book that once belonged to her – and, spurred on by their mutual love of reading, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, her curiosity is piqued and it’s not long before she begins to hear from other members. As letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German Occupation, Juliet soon realizes that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name.
I absolutely love historical fiction based around WWII. I don’t know exactly what the fascination is for me. Maybe it’s my grandparent’s stories. But, I’m always looking for new perspectives, and I found it with this book. It’s the first time I’ve read a WWII book based around one of the Channel Islands. It created an intimacy among the people there that really made a total impact on the story. And my favorite thing about this book was the way it was presented – in letters.
The book takes place in 1946 after the war is over and through the letters you get a mix of what restoration looks like and what the war was like. You see how each of the Society members worked together both during and after the war to support each other. You get a glimpse into the Todt workers, kind German officers, and concentration camps. You see bits of cruelty, and it’s not sugarcoated. But overall, the book has a rather light feel and focuses on the good in people and how even those with differing personalities can come together over a book. The overall feel is heartwarming.
There is a sweet romance that slowly unfolds through the book, too, that just adds a bit more to the intrigue. But, it’s a minor part of the book as a whole. You don’t get to know the romance as intimately as you know the people involved in the society as a group. I highly recommend this for all of you that enjoy a good historical fiction! 4.5 Stars!