Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Read: December 16, 2013
Summary: “ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways. goodreads
Review: Oh, this book! This is a book lover's dream! I feel like the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society would just get me. This book has quickly skyrocketed to the top of my favorite books list and I didn't even see it coming! This story is simply about people who love books and how books bring people together. The society reminded me of the book blogger community. Everyone reads their own books then comes together to talk about them. I love it! The characters are fantastic and the relationships seem genuine. I find that the epistolary format of a book, which can sometimes hinder the story doesn't, here it allows the reader to develop a relationship with the characters and get a view into all of their different lives.
Unfortunately, I didn't have many notes for this book when I look back on it. I just have quote after quote listed. The writing is beautiful and the characters are lovable and entertaining. Juliet is a spitfire and I loved reading her letters which make up the majority of the book. She's funny, charming, witty, and strong. She knows what she wants and she's not going to let anyone push her around. I was glad she found her place in the world at the end of this story. Elizabeth is another strong woman that this book revolved around and even though we never go to meet her, it was clear the type of person she was based on the stories about her. Guernsey and their society were lucky to have her.
At this point, I'm just gushing about this book so I'll end here and leave you with some wonderful quotes. They're random but they are perfect, and beautiful, and speak to me. Here you go:
"Because there is nothing I would rather do than rummage through bookshops."
"That's what I love around reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit will lead you onto a third."
"I love seeing the bookshops and meeting the booksellers-- booksellers really are a special breed. No one in their right mind would take up clerking in a bookstore for the salary, and no one in his right mind would want to own one-- the margin of profit is too small. So it has to be a love of readers and reading that makes them do it-- along with first dibs on the new books."
"What a blight that woman is. Do you happen to know why? I lean toward a malignant fairy at her christening."
"All my life I thought that the story was over when the hero and heroine were safely engaged-- after all, what's good enough for Jane Austen ought to be good enough for anyone. But it's a lie. The story is about to begin, and every day will be a new piece of the plot."