Poiema's Reviews > The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
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Mar 17, 12

Read from March 15 to 17, 2012

Written as a series of epistles, this witty little book drew me in immediately. A moderately successful young authoress is looking for fresh inspiration for her next book. Post WWII London is rather dreary and she is coming up empty. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from a man who traced her via an inscription inside a book that once belonged to her. Dawsey Adams was smitten by Charles Lamb's writings and wanted more. Could she help him? He lived on Guernsey Island and did not have access to large bookstores or libraries where he could read more.

This letter opened the door for Juliet Ashton to correspond not only with Dawsey, but also with his literary club. Homey, openhearted, and scarred from the war, the members of the Guernsey Literary Society all began to write to Juliet after she expressed an interest in collecting their stories. Literature had been the safeguard of their sanity during the war years and at the time of the German occupation of their island. Now the letter writing became a catharsis for them.

Eventually it was not enough to know these dear islanders from afar, and Juliet takes an extended visit to Guernsey to know them face-to-face and to compile their stories into a book. That visit will mark a pivot-point in Juliet's life and the book closes with a truly happy ending.

I loved the wit, the humor, the characterizations of the islanders---quirky and very human---and I also enjoyed the history that was woven deftly into the story. A memorable read and I heartily recommend it.
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