The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Apr 17

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

My lucky literature streak continues with this gem by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.  Aside from the horrendous title, I loved it from page 12 or so on.  You see, this fantastic tale is told solely through letters.  It took me roughly 12 pages to stop fighting it (How can you tell a story through letters ALONE!?) and delve into the lovely cadence of the whole idea.  The bulk of the letters are either to or from writer Juliet Ashton.  She has just wrapped up a gig writing about World War II.  As that assignment and the war are both drawing to a close, Juliet searches for a new topic.  Enter Mr. Dawsey Adams, a farmer from Guernsey in the Channel Islands.  Through sheer coincidence, Dawsey becomes the proud owner of a book previously owned by Juliet.  Thus begins a friendship based on love of books.  Dawsey also sparks the idea for Juliet’s new project when he introduces her to the world’s most fascinating, grief stricken, and poorly named book club of all time.  Juliet states in a letter to Dawsey, “That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book.  It’s geometrically progressive-all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”   You’re welcome, book clubs, there is your new motto.  The characters are painted with an adept hand and are multi-layered.  The historical facts are on point.  You will know this book club, your heart will break for the characters, you will cry with joy, and you will laugh out loud during one seriously funny slapping scene.

Get over that title and the idea of the letters, and go ahead and fall in love with this book.

2 comments

  1. Mary Pat Crites /

    Thank you so much for this book Nikki. I want to go to Guernsey. I think I’ll just keep letting you pick out books for me. I didn’t want the book to end, the only reason I finished it was because I had to know how it ended. I actually kind of like the title, who could forget it? Any idea how you pronounce Isola? Do you think the s is silent like Isla? I will tell all my book reading friends about this book.

  2. Sandwich Gal /

    It said “I-zoh-la” when I looked it up. I am so glad you enjoyed it!! Maybe I can get a job recommending books. :)I just loved this story, too.

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