Jun 8, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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

My rating: 4 stars

Overview: 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. (From goodreads.com)

I loved this book. It was laugh out loud funny and I was hooked by the second page! It's an epistolary novel - everything is in letter format which takes a little bit of adjustment, but it also makes it a fast read.

I don't know how much I can really tell you about the plot, partially because there was a lot in the overview, and mostly because you just need to read it. I got so wrapped up in the characters' stories I couldn't put it down. The humor in it is subtle and quick, and by halfway through the book I forgot it was a story, and felt like I was reading letters from all my own friends.

This book was also chalk full of absolutely fabulous quotes:

"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." (pg 11-12)

"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books." (pg 53)

Talking about Shakespeare: "It seems to me the less he said, the more beauty he made." (pg 63)

And of course a few more that really made me stop and think.

"The war is now the story of our lives, and there's no subtracting it." (pg 70) They were talking about World War II here, but this automatically made me think of Iraq and all the soldiers who have lived through it.

"...Visitors offering their condolences, thinking to comfort me, said 'life goes on.' What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't. It's death that goes on..." (pg 104) and then "...She's so full of life that I have to remind myself she's dead, and then I feel the wrench of losing her again." (pg 229) Both of these reminded me of Rosa which was bittersweet, but these quotes resonated with me.

I highly recommend this novel - it made me laugh, cry, and feel everything in between. Have any of you read it? If not, go to the closest library or bookstore and get yourself a copy.

Happy Monday!



(Photo: Walking Around)

8 comments:

Diana Mieczan said...

I love books that bring out so many different emotions...Great! I really should read it...This post made me so excited about it!
Kisses sweetie and have a fun day:)

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I also have read this novel & loved it. I loved the epistolary approach - it sucked me in right away!

lucythevaliant said...

My hero! I've been dying for a new good book!

erin said...

I LOVED this book. Typically I am not a fan of reading letters, but I was intrigued from the beginning in this one. This book has so much charm and hope-- ooh you make me want to read it again!

Lisa said...

Oh! I've been picking this book up and putting it back down every time I go into Barnes & Noble forever! I have never been able to decide if it looks good or not. Either way, you have definitely convinced me to buy it. I've got a stack of unread books waiting for me too, and isn't it best feeling?? Up next for me are Eat, Pray, Love; The Happiness Project; and The Carrie Diaries (because who could resist?!?). I can't wait to add this to the stack!

Eliz said...

ooh! i'm so glad it's good! i was thinking about reading it! :)

val pal :) said...

i am SO glad that you liked it! i knew you would...i am elated that i got one one winner after all the awesome books you always recommend for me! :)

Shaina said...

I loved this book! I thought it was so cute. I flew through it and it made me laugh out loud! Great read!

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