bookczuk'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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's review
Mar 27, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: home-library, first-novel-or-book, satisfying, great-title, moxie-review, didn-t-want-to-put-it-down
Recommended to bookczuk by: BookCrossing
Read in September, 2008 , read count: 1

Oh what a marvelous book! Given to me by Hazrabai.

When I first heard a reference to this book, I honestly thought I might be hearing wrong. After all, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society sounds more like a band that might appear on A Prairie Home Companion than the name of a book. But soon, I began hearing people wandering up to booksellers and asking, with a slightly bemused tone, "Umm...Do you have that potato book?" And even more astonishing, the booksellers knew exactly what book to pull from the shelf. And it's no wonder -- this is one of my favorite reads of the year, and in this, I am happy to follow the crowd of other readers. How can you go wrong with a book about books, or a relationship that begins with a name written inside a used edition of Charles Lamb??

The story of a friendship that changed lives begins with a book. The Second World War has just ended and Juliet Ashton, a British writer, is searching for her next writing topic. She receives a letter from a man who lives on the recently German Occupied channel island of Guernsey who has stumbled upon her name in a second hand copy of a book of Charles Lamb. And thus starts a friendship, chronicled in letters, telegrams, and even notes slipped under doors, of an amazing relationship between Juliet and the residents of Guernsey. Juliet heads to the island to learn more about life there during the German Occupation and to meet the colorful members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Thankfully, she takes the reader along.

So much about this book appealed to me-- from the characters, to the setting and the retelling of a dark period in our history. Having just finished a re-read of 87 Charring Cross, I was even more enamored of the plot device of letters, etc to tell the story. I love a book that captures me and carries me away, so when I come back, my spirit is refreshed and I am more knowledgeable on a subject, too. I take special pleasure in reading first novels of authors and following their future writings, but sadly, this is not possible. Mary Ann Shaffer, a librarian (also editor, and bookseller) died in February 2008. Her niece Annie Barrows helped her aunt bring the wonderful characters of Guernsey to readers . Brava Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. And thank you.

My review of this book was published in our local paper February 13, 2009
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Discoverylover oh I LOVED this book too!!!

message 2: by Kirsti (new) - added it

Kirsti Congrats on getting the review published!

Murghi Thanks for the recommendation, bookie baby. At first, I was "Oh no, letters back and forth." But I was soon swept into the story and the people and the feelings. Then I was "Oh no, Nazis." I avoid anything to do with Nazis as a rule, but I sucked it up, kept going, and found a very touching story.

bookczuk H and I had great fun Reading this, Nazis and all.

Murghi Glad to be in the club.

bookczuk Always.

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