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17 August 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows


Flicking through this book before I began, I saw quite a bit of white space on the pages and the fact that this book is written as many letters to and from the main character Juliet. This pleased me after my attempt at reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (if you know the book you will know why I only attempted it!), I wanted something that wouldn’t take me ten years to plough through. As I began reading, I quickly warmed to Juliet and the other characters she is writing to. 

The book is set after World War II and everyone seems unsure of themselves and the times, quite understandable in the circumstances. Juliet receieves a letter from a resident on Guernsey requesting information about an author – Dawsey Adams has acquired a book that once belonged to Juliet. This first letter sees a strong relationship grow between Juliet and all the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, resulting in Juliet visiting Guernsey.

This book is a wonderful read that really captured a different light of life after the war. It is uplifting, giving a story about hope and love with great heartache, but most of all it is about friendships. We take for granted now that we can call, email or text our friends but this book reminded me of the pleasure you receive when opening a letter from a friend – something that rarely happens now. It has inspired me to pick up my pen and paper and get writing – it is always on my to do list but just gets put to one side in the business of everyday life.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, a lot of what was written in the letters had meaning for me and I hope when you read this it will for you too. 

I am currently reading The Reader by Bernard Schlink, what are you reading right now?