Tina'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
Dec 26, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: 52-books-52-weeks-2011, bookclub

Wow! People seem to either love or hate this book, there’s not really a lot of middle ground in the reviews. I say that because I do fall in the middle ground section. I enjoyed reading it well enough, but I wouldn’t call it one of the best books I’ve ever read or anything. I would have to say that it is…okay. An enjoyable if not exactly thought provoking book. I read it for book club, and it was one of the least “on topic” discussions I’ve ever been a part of. The only thing that we really remarked on, was the epistolary nature of the book. No fewer than five questions were asked about that. It’s not really my favorite format for a book, which may be why my response to it so tepid. I think the story could have been better and more effectively told in a more traditional narrative form from the point of view of the natives, or perhaps one of the banished children returning as an adult. I also found the inciting incident in the letter writing to be somewhat weak. I buy used books, complete with names and other marks in them, all the time and I’ve never been inspired to write a letter to the previous owner. All that said, evaluating the book based on what it is, not what it could be, I thought it was interesting enough. The characters were colorful, the setting well written, and the plot appealing if implausible. Also, the fact that this is a series of letters does force the reader to use his or her own imagination more than a traditionally formatted novel, which is nice.

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