“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.
~ What I Liked About the Book ~
I loved how realistic this book felt. The authors described all these people and their lives as though they were real. I also enjoyed the colorful setting the story took place in. Though there were mentions of the horrors of the German occupation, the overall tone of the book remained light.
I didn’t feel emotionally attached to the book or the characters, but finishing it made me feel a little sad. It felt like coming home after being whisked away to Guernsey for a short while.
~ What I Didn’t Like About the Book ~
Though the book captures your attention, it doesn’t make you want to go back to it if you happened to stop at some point. I confess to leaving the book off for a couple of weeks after having finished the first part. After putting it down, I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue where I left off, but I did for the sake of finishing it. That said, I’m glad I made the decision to pursue it because the second part did not disappoint; it reminded me of why I enjoyed the book in the first place.
I also thought the ending was lacking, if not a bit rushed; it left no impact. I wish the authors had written something more appropriate instead of just leaving it to stop at a seemingly random point, though I guess it could also mean that the characters will continue to live their normal lives away from the prying eyes of the readers.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an engaging but forgettable read. I recommend it to anyone looking for a short, smart, and refreshing read, preferably one who intends to finish the book in one sitting.
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