Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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WOO! I just finished my spring break, and was lucky enough to do a TON of reading over the last couple of days. I’m back at college now, so you can expect a full post on what I did over break and a few more book reviews. This is one of my new favorites – alone with Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand. 100% give both of these lovely books a try.

Blurb: 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.

Review:

You know how there are books that you just fall in love with? That you can read over and over again? This book is one of them. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of my favorites, and whenever someone asks me for book recommendations I immediately point to this one. It’s just such a charming story.

The book is told through the correspondence between Juliet and the citizens of Guernsey. It’s set immediately after WW2, which I found particularly interesting (as many books are set during) and it was an insight into the rebuilding of London and the lives of people immediately after the tragedy. The story follows what happened to the citizens of Guernsey during the German occupation – as the only British territory to fall under Hitler’s hands. Every person that Juliet writes too manages to inject humor and warmth into the suffering that every person experienced. They don’t shirk away from anything, but their humane approach and love of life help make Juliet and the reader fall in love with them.

At it’s core, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a story about loving books and reading and the hope it can inspire. Juliet and Dawsey first begin their correspondence after he receives an old book of her. From there, the story unwinds. I’m an absolute sucker for quiet happy stories, and found families are ALWAYS my jam. Therefore, it’s not surprising that I loved this book.

The one sticking point that I have with this novel is its relative inaccuracy of 1940’s letter writing. Some of the language choices rings far more modern, but since I wasn’t unduly concerned with it, I don’t let it bother me. The characters are all fantastic and its just such a lovely read. A guaranteed feel good with just enough punch to keep it from getting overly saccharine.

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