Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Goodreads description for this book is:  " 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.

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.

My Opinion: I read this three years ago and it's still one of the first books I recommend to others. Here's my take on it at the time: I didn't think I would be interested in a post WWII novel, but I loved this book from the first page!! I loved that it was written in letter style. The characters and their stories were real to me. They were quirky and witty and amazing. Their stories made me laugh and cry. I wanted it to keep going and going so I took my time finishing it so I could savor the ending. This is a book I will definitely read again and again!   

I really love the quotes about books. I think that's what helped me relate to so many of the characters. Here are some of my favorites: 

"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." (pp. 11-12)

"I would like to write a book, but I am having trouble thinking of a subject I could live happily with for several years." (p. 31)
"We read books, talked books, argued over books, and became dearer and dearer to one another." (p. 51) 

I do have some friends that didn't care for this book so not everyone will love it, but I certainly did!

My Rating: 5 Stars




Jinky said...

I loved this book too! Wouldn't have known about it if it wasn't for you!! Brings back memories ..I want to read this book again. :)

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