Last winter our local library posted their winter book club list. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was one of the books on the list. I had seen ti around but hadn't really heard much about it, but the title sure did draw me in.
I had hoped to join in on this event but unfortunately the meeting nights coincided with a night I had a church board meeting so I wasn't able to.
I kept the book in mind however,
Then I began blogging regularly and found the literary blogs and this book kept popping up.
So there has been myriad of hype around about this book and I'm afraid I'm usually disappointed when they don't live up to their press....
But ohhhhh...I am so happy to report...not in this case....
It lived up to it. And then some.
I'm not much on synopsis in my reviews. I prefer to talk about what I liked..or didn't. So they are really more like opinions ;)
First of all. I loved the format. A veritable tribute to the dieing art of letter writing. I also fell for each and every character. They were so adorable!! I loved the sense of community that was instant and only grew stronger through out the book. Don't we all seek that level of not only acceptance but .... ok... popularity???
Mary Ann Shaffer crafted this story so seamlessly!! She didn't shove details down your throat, she understood 'show don't tell' and the emotion was deeper and stronger for it!!
I love England and was happy to learn about Guernsey and of course now would love to go there!! The cottages, the mansion. The harbor and the channel.
The era was the reality of the book. And though this was a light-hearted FUN book, episodes of the Occupation of this utopia by the Germans were handled frankly. The underlying brutality WAS there, but without any gratuitous detail. And the effects were made plain and understandable and BECAME the true membership of the society. And I so very much appreciate that!!
My favorite aspect... of course... the books. And most of all the introduction to the world of reading to folks who may never have stopped to find out about the pleasures of good stories. It's like seeing someone try lobster for the first time.. The look on their face of unexpected joy! followed by unbelief that such a thing could exist without them having known about it!! The unfairness of the time wasted without it!! ;) Books are that way... THIS book was that way for me!!
Ok so it was a little bit neat... and I usually don't like "neat" stories... They tend to be a little Pollyanna to me when I've seen enough to know life isn't very often "neat'.
That little nitpik was the ONLY thing that wasn't perfect about this book.
I'm so happy I read this book. I'm so happy I got to loan it out right away so I will have someone to talk to about this book!!
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was like a delicious gourmet desert. Only you will never regret reading it.