Wednesday, January 26, 2011

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

Published: 2008
Read: 2010
Genre: historical fiction
Setting Island of Guernsey, off England during and after WWII
Rating 5
Review: A Guy's Moleskine Notebook, Sarah Reads Too Much, Stuck-In-A-Book, I Write in Books

Loved it, loved it, loved it.  My favorite topics: a love of books, reading and writing with a little history thrown in.  The story is told via written words: letters, notes, telegrams, etc.  So many POV which gives insight to the writer and also recipient.  Interesting question - would this work today?  Email, FB messages, texts?  Our communication these days are so short and terse.

Authors are not British - could have fooled me.  I was a bit disappointed when I found this out.  Could the story have been even "more British" than what it was?


  • Juliet - writer of letters, newspaper articles, books.  Very clever, funny, self-depreciating. 
  • Sophie - her best friend who lives in Scotland.  Married with 2 children
  • Sidney - Sophie's older brother and her editor/publisher.
  • Mark - Wealthy American publisher who wants to marry Juliet

People at Guernsey:

  • Dawsey Adams - has a book previously owned by Juliet on Charles Lamb.  He makes initial contact with her. 
  • Ameliea Maugery - hid the pig and hosted the pig roast
  • Elizabeth McKenna - came up with the idea of the society, after being caught post -curfew.  Was caught assisting a refuge and was sent to camp.  Has a daughter, Kit, via a German doctor.  She is shot at the camp, after aiding a poor woman who was being beaten for having her period.  This was days before being set free. 
  • Isola Pribby - loved Bronte sisters.  Eccentric. 
  • Will Thisbee - came up with the Potato Peel Pie
  • Eban Ramsey - grandson is Eli.  Fisherman. Loves Shakespeare.

"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."     Isola

I could use this as a quote for Josh's blog
"When my son, Ian, died at El Alamein - side by side with Eli's father, John - visitors offering their condolences, thinking to comfort me, said "Life goes on."  What nonsense, I thought, of course it doesn't.  It's death that goes on; Ian is dead now and will be dead tomorrow and next year and forever.  There's no end to that.  Be perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it.  Sorrow has rushed over the world like the waters of the Deluge, and it will take time to recede.  But already, there are small islands of - hope?  Happiness?  Something like them, at any rate."      Amelia

"All these people I've come to know, and even love a little, waiting to see - me.  And I, without any paper to hide behind.  Sidney, in these past two or three years, I have become better at writing than living - and think what you do to my writing.  On the page, I'm perfectly charming, but that's just a trick I learned.  It has nothing to do with me."           Juliet

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