“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”
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.
It seems that it is not an unusual thing to hear about something new and then to see it everywhere. Surfing the internet one night I saw a trailer for a new film coming out in April. I then went used book shopping and at three of the shops saw this book. “ The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society” At the last one I broke down and decided to grab a copy, only to get home and realize that I already had a copy in my TBR to be read! (Later discovered that I was now the proud owner of 2 paperback and one hardback copies)
The book is written as a series of letters. At first I was not sure that I would like this format as I tend to like my historical fiction written in the novel style. I was pleasantly surprised and thrilled with how easy it was to slip back and forth between different writers voices. A few of them were very similar but on the whole it is a very easy and fun read. The events on Guernsey and the other islands in the English Channel are not ones that many of us are very familiar with and I love the fact that more and more people are writing about them. The Germans very nearly made it all the way to conquering England and many of us aren’t even aware of just how close they got.
The story doesn’t hit very much on the war except to use it as an explanation for many of the events that the readers have to be told about rather than shown. This is not the novel you read when you want a wartime action novel. It is more of a a happy uplifting potato chip read. There are times when you need a hearty meal of a book and there are times when you simply want to enjoy a light snack. Please do not mistake this fun lovely book for having no substance, as I found it nice and lovely. If you are looking for something to break a streak of darkness, I would highly recommend this book to give you a few laughs.
Freelance Editor & Reviewer