Tuesday, February 02, 2010

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

Every once in a while, a book comes along that has a certain feeling of joy, and comfort, and fun. Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society clearly fits that bill – this book has enormous fun and appeal about it.

The story begins simply. Juliet Ashton is a young woman living in London shortly after World War II. She wrote a column during the war, and those pieces were collected into a book. She has become exasperated during a book tour, and is struggling to recall her muse, when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams, a resident of Guernsey (one of the Channel Islands occupied by the Germans during the war). He has read a book which once belonged to Juliet and hopes she can connect him with a reputable bookseller in London. You will get no more out of me about this story.

The title intrigues, the characters charm, the story delights. I could barely put it down, and if I had started a bit earlier on Sunday, I would have finished it in a day! If I had more than about 60 pages when I turned out the lights, I might have been tempted to call in sick. However, I didn’t, and I let Juliet, Dawsey, and all their friends and adventures wander with me on Monday until I could get home and finish it off.

Guernsey reminds me of a book I read a while ago – and need to re-read soon! The title character of G.B. Edwards’s The Book of Ebenezer LePage resembles Dawsey Adams. I highly recommend LePage, which is also set in Guernsey before and after WWII. Even though it might be hard to find, it will prove more that worth the effort.

I can hardly wait until my book club Thursday night to see how the others felt. To my mind, a perfect little read. 5 stars.

--Chiron, 2/1/10

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