Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Like/Don't Like: Loved

Let's just get this out of the way: this is a ridiculous title for a book. It's just way too precious and it made me think of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood or the Jane Austen Bookclub and does the world really need any more books about women who get together to talk about their man troubles and the enduring spirit of womanhood. No. It doesn't. And that title is the only reason why it took me ages to get around to reading it. Despite it being highly recommended by several trusted friends.

So I am happy to report that it is nothing like those books. It is a lovely little story. It is written entirely in letters (which I thought would drive me nuts but didn't) primarily between a writer in London, Juliet, and a group of people in Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands, who formed a literary society during the German Occupation of World War II. They write about their love of books and the troubles they've had during the war and the whole thing is utterly wonderful. It's funny and clever and was much deeper than the title would suggest. It will make you 1.) want to study up on Guernsey and 2.) want to find a pen pal.


Rach said...

The title has put me off as well, which is why I haven't read it yet. I'm glad it's good. I will put a hold on it at the library. And I will be your pen pal. I miss writing real letters. We can make our letters into a book when we're 80.

出遊 said...


Karina & John Calderwood said...

We read this book for our Feb book club. LOOOOVED it!

Nicole said...

This was one of my favorite books I read this year. I too was offput by the strange title...but after reading the book - it made sense. I went to London a few months before reading the book, so it was fun to have some frame of reference of the places discussed in the book.

My hyper-conservative Utah County book club ladies were really freaked about the homosexuality in the book - a large part of our discussion that night was about how inappropriate and unnecessary it was in the book. That discussion alone was almost as entertaining as the book.