Thursday, December 16, 2010

[Book Review] THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


Hollye of the Parkway Village Library Book Club reviews THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (Dial Press, 2008)

This story starts in 1946 London, where author Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a man in the town of Guernsey. He loves Juliet’s books and the journalism stories she writes under the name Izzy Bickerstaff. He goes on to tell about how The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society was started in Guernsey, as the Germans invaded his town. He gets all of his friends and neighbors in Guernsey to write her stories about their town and families during German occupation. Juliet soon falls in love with all the people writing her, and travels to meet them so that she can write a book about their lives.

I absolutely loved the characters in this book. They told the good and the bad of living under German occupation. This book is written entirely in letter content, which was hard to get used to in the first 20 pages or so, but once you get to know the characters and their stories, you forget the format and enjoy the tales that unfold.

I laughed and cried while reading this book. Many of the Parkway Village Book Club members felt the same way. Most of us loved this book. There were a few members who did not like how the book was a collection of written letters, and they could not finish reading it. We learned that Mary Ann Shaffer died in 2008, right after learning that her book was very popular and was going to be printed in many languages throughout the world. Her co-author niece continues to write.

Hollye Ferguson, Parkway Village Library Book Club

The Parkway Village Book Club will discuss The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson on January 19, 2011 at 2:00p.m.

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