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

28 Mar

Okay, first, would you take a look at this title? It’s like Don’t Be a Menace to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood all over again! But it has such purpose you guys!

The book is almost entirely made up of letters: correspondences between various characters in the book. When I saw this, my thoughts went straight to Dear Mr. Henshaw and how much I disliked that book. But it works because 1) there is more than one character writing the letters, 2) each character has dimension, and 3) the characters actually carry conversations instead of writing to someone who never responds (ahem…Mr. Henshaw).

Henyways, the novel is set in post-WWII Britain and centers on Juliet Ashton, a recently-published and successful author in search of a new subject. She is also lightly batting off the attentions of a new beau, approved of only by her best friend but not the friend’s brother. Raised eyebrows,right? In the midst of all this, Ashton receives a letter from a stranger residing in Guernsey, a little known island off the coast of Britain that was occupied by Germany during the war. And this place exists, people. Like, it’s on a map and everything. Who knew?

So Ashton and this Guernsey gentlemen begin corresponding over their shared interest in literature. Eventually Ashton is invited to the island to meet this gentlemen and other members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And Ashton, never to let adventure escape her grasp, goes. This to the dismay of her beau and friend’s brother. Raised eyebrows!

I’m not going to ruin the plot. I’ll just say that Ashton learns the history behind the name of the literary society, finds her new subject, find friends that she feels had been misplaced her whole life, finds reasonsto stay in Guernsey (raised eyebrows, raised eyebrows, raised eyebrows), and finds a purpose for her existence she didn’t know she had. And if all the “raised eyebrows” aren’t hint enough for you, she finds love. The intellectual, Mr. Darcy kind.

4.5 coffees out of five. Good stuff, this book.

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