Skip to main content

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


I'm sorry I can't send you my notes on Charlotte and Emily [Bronte]--I used them to kindle a fire in my cookstove, there being no other paper in the house. I'd already burnt up my tide tables, the Book of Revelation, and the story about Job.

from page 52 of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books.

from page 53 of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. According to a review that I read for the novel, Shaffer died before it was published; Barrows, her niece, finished and edited the novel for publication.

The novel is set in post-war London and Guernsey Island; World War II has literally just ended--it is 1946--and London, Guernsey Island, and its citizens are struggling to rebuild their towns, their homes and their lives. They are wondering if and when life will ever return to normal and how do they move on as if nothing has ever happened when the wounds of war are not yet healed.

The novel tells the story of how a London writer befriends the people of Guernsey and finds a home and family there. This is a story of postwar England--how the people survived the war and their struggle to rebuild and heal in the wake of war. It is also a story of how a unique group of people read and discussed books and used literature to cope with the German occupation of their island. The characters are eccentric with vivid voices--the entire novel consists of correspondences written back and forth between the London writer and various others. While the novel's characters each bring levity to the novel with their antics, this is set in stark relief against the heartfelt, tragic descriptions of life on Guernsey and in London during and after the war.

Readers who love historical fiction will love this novel; readers who love novels with the love of reading at their centers will also love this novel. Readers who just love a good book will love this one. I highly recommend you read it--you will not regret it. It is available upon request from Lebanon Community Library, Annville Free Library, Myerstown Community Library and Palmyra Public Library.


--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Broken by Karin Slaughter

Before I begin the formal review there are a few things I need to get off my chest in the wake of finishing this book; I'll do so without giving away too many (or any) spoilers.
The OUTRAGE!: the identity of Detective Lena Adams' new beau; the low depths to which Grant County's interim chief has sunk and brought the police force down with him; agent Will Trent's wife, Angie's, sixth sense/nasty habit of reappearing in his life just when he's slipping away from her. Thank God for small miracles though because while Angie was certainly referred to during the book, the broad didn't make an appearance. One sign that I've become way too invested in these characters is that I'd like to employ John Connolly's odd pair of assassins, Louis and Angel, to contract out a hit on Angie; do you think Karin Slaughter and John Connolly could work out a special cross over?
Hallelujah: Dr. Sara Linton and agent Will Trent are both back. There is no hallelujah for…

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson

When the end came, it seemed to do so completely out of the blue, and it wasn't until long afterward that I was able to see that there was a chain of events leading up to it. Some of those events had nothing to do with us, the Morrisons, but were solely the concern of the Pyes, who lived on a farm about a mile away and were our nearest neighbors." from page seven
I must confess that it took me longer than it really needed to in order to finish the novel Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. The entire story is building up to the big catastrophe that forever destroys all the hopes and dreams the Morrison clan ever dared to hope and dream for its future. In the eyes of the narrator, it is even worse than the tragedy of the car crash that claimed both parents' lives one evening on the heels of some good news the family has received and celebrated. Now you can see why I dreaded getting to the end of a book that drips in foreboding like nobody's business. What can be a worse tra…

In The Woods by Tana French

"What I warn you to remember is that I am a detective. Our relationship with the truth is fundamental, but cracked, refracting confusingly like fragmented glass. It is the core of our careers, the endgame of every move we make, and we pursue it with strategies painstakingly constructed of lies ... and every variation on deception. The truth is the most desirable woman in the world and we are the most jealous lovers, reflexively denying anyone else the slightest glimpse of her. We betray her routinely ... This is my job ... What I am telling you, before you begin my story, is this--two things: I crave truth. And I lie." opening lines of In The Woods chapter 1, pages 3-4
In The Woods by Tana French, an Irish writer, is an extremely well-written and well-crafted mystery novel. The downside is that this is French's debut novel, and her website (located at http://www.tanafrench.com/) does not offer any insi…