Title/Author: Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
Genre: Historical Fiction
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”
There are certain books that are just made for book lovers; this book is one of them. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is the story of the power of books. It’s the love of books that brings a group of people together. It’s the love of books that helps those people make it through a German occupation all the while being cut off from the outside world. And it was the love of books that introduces a Juliet to the people of the island of Guernsey where her life changes forever.
Juliet receives a letter from Dawsey who found her name and address in one a book that he has. In writing to Juliet he begins to tell her about his sleepy little island that was recently occupied by the Germans. He tells her about how a group of people got together for an illegal pork dinner. They have too much fun and stay out past curfew. When they are discovered on their walk home one of the members, Elizabeth, cooks up a story last minute that they were at a literary society meeting. The Germans buy the story and the townspeople create the literary society to cover their tracks. Members of the society consist of a colorful bunch of characters, some of whom had never read a book before. You are soon pulled into their circle and fall in love with all of them right along with Juliet.
This is just a lovely story that kept me awake at one in the morning with a blatant disregard for my alarm clock the next morning. The story is told through a series of letters from one character to another. In the beginning it is a bit confusing but once you progress through the story you don’t notice at all.
“That’s what I love about reading: on 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.”
Isn’t that just lovely? And so very true. That’s just one of the great passages of the book that reaches out and speaks to the book lover. Overall this is just a sweet story that can make you laugh out loud and shed a few tears.
I highly recommend this book to those who consider themselves compulsive book lovers as well as history buffs.