Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

It’s January 1946 and London is emerging from the shadow of WWII. Author Juliet Ashton is having a terrible time finding inspiration for her next book when she gets a letter from Dawsey Adams from Guernsey, a British Island that had been occupied by the Nazis. He found her address in an old Charles Lamb volume and thinks she might be able to help him learn more about the author. As Juliet and Dawsey exchange letters, she learns about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a unique book cllub formed on the spur-of-the-moment, as an alibi to protect its members from arrest by the Germans. Captivated, Juliet sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds there will change her life forever.
First of all I have to thank book bloggers for talking about this book. I never would have picked up this book on its own. The title threw me off, but after hearing about it, I was intrigued. I am so grateful because I absolutely LOVED this book. The style was very different. No chapters, just letters or telegrams back and forth between the characters in the book. So, it made it a quick and easy read. You could read a few letters and come back later if you needed to. But that would have been difficult because the letters were so enjoyable. I wanted to keep reading.
As someone who did not like history in school at all…I have found in my adult like I am drawn to historical fiction. Stories that are often based on true historical events. I became very drawn to the characters and could actually picture each one in my mind. The author did a fabulous job of describing the characters as well as the locations in the story. I really felt like I was there.
I loved the style of writing in letter format. It made me miss the art of writing and receiving letters from family. I think my New Year’s resolution will be to stay in contact with far away family by writing letters…not emails! The storyline flowed very well through the letters and even though obviously not every letter sent was printed in the book, I was still able to fill in the gaps of the storyline.
I laughed and cried throughout the book. After I finished it, I actually felt all warm and cozy inside and hated to have the story end. One part that stuck with me was in a letter from Amelia to Juliet talking about the war and death. Amelia’s son had died in the war and people were telling her “life goes on” and she thought, of course it doesn’t. It is death that goes on. Her son is dead now, he will be dead tomorrow and next year and forever. There’s no end to that, but perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it. I loved the truth in that. I used to work in Hospice and was always very careful about my choice of words when working with the family. I know how the wrong words can hurt a grieving person. I loved that Amelia had the strength to say what she was truly feeling!
So, I absolutely recommend this book. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Let me know if you have read it too!
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