Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


A novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Quickie Recap: The people of Guernsey started a book club during their WW2 occupation as an excuse for breaking curfew. However, as a London writer featuring them in an article soon finds out, the group who started out mostly as mere acquaintances at best quickly became much more, and they continue to rally around each other even as the aftereffects of war are still so keenly felt.

Quickie Review: I must have thought I would like this book, after all, it was in my home, on my night table. But I kept piling other books on top. When I finally reached for this one, I was surprised to find myself enjoying it - and not just enjoying it, but being truly captivated by its spirit. I don't want to use the word 'whimsical' here, it sounds just a tad too dismissive, but it felt homey to me. I was planning a vacation to the island myself before remembering that this is a work of fiction, and none of the characters would be there to greet me. I'm not exactly sure how a novel is written by two, but I can assure you that Shaffer and Barrows are very good at it, as the work is seamless and absorbing. This is an especially good curl-up-on-a-rainy-day book.

Quickie Recommendation: While I'm not sure I ever want a copy of the potato peel pie recipe, this book shall win a coveted spot on my bookshelf, to be read and reread.

5 comments:

Lorna said...

I read a mystery---a totally forgotten one---about Guernsey, and have been obsessed about it ever since. I get their tourist newsletter by e-mail. I still don't have a passport or any money but I could be persuaded to plan a holiday.

Jay said...

Oh my gosh, don't even tease me! I'm so in!

Anonymous said...

While searching for a potatoe peel pie recipe to serve at my book club discussion of this book, I ran across your web site and loved your quickie recaps of the book! Still no recipe to be found....

Polly said...

Too, I came across your blog while searching for a potato peel pie recipe to make and serve at my book club. I have the same sentiments. I want to go visit, but I want those people to be there.

Also, did you read that the younger author finished writing the book after the original author took ill. Lovely, isn't it? So much in the spirit of the book.

Hey, if you plan a book club tour of the island,open to the public, I'm in.

Anonymous said...

I went to Guernsey for 1 week in May, then Jersey for 1 week in June. By myself I had to get out, take public transportation, talk to the locals, meet several from that era who had to leave the island as children, look up names from the book, enjoy a tea & local fare, visit the occupation sites. The best & most delightful trip I've ever taken.