Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Price: $35.00

I wouldn’t be surprised if Guernsey Island, off the coast of England, experiences a surge of tourist popularity on the back of the release of this most enchanting little book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.

With descriptions of stunning, sea swept scenery and old fashioned story telling at its uplifting best, this small sweet story is the best tourism brochure imaginable.

And a charming novel as well!

It follows author Juliette as she shrugs off her World War II persona of Izzy Bickerstaff, who writes lighthearted fluff to brighten the moods of those embroiled in the despair of war and searches for a new novel topic to re-launch her career.

Along the way she befriends the inhabitants of Guernsey Island and learns of their many joys and sorrows as the only part of England invaded by the Nazis in WWII, how books unified and saved them and how one woman taught them all what bravery, love, and cunning really was.

Unusually, this small but delightful novel is a series of letters sent amongst the enigmatic cast of characters. It does take a few pages to get used to this different style but your perseverance will be rewarded.

It’s the type of book that stays with you long after you close the last page. In fact two weeks since I put the book down (after devouring it in one sitting) I still wonder how the characters are fairing and what they might be up to now. And in this way, Mary Ann Shaffer, who sadly passed away before the book was published, has done the incredible; she has not only made you care about her rag tag cast, she has made them feel like life long friends.

One other thing to note about this book. Like a diary, it comes complete with a red ribbon book mark bound into the binding - a genius idea if you are like me and constantly misplacing your book mark as you wander about the house reading.

Oh and yes, I am planning a stop in Guernsey during my OE too!

1 comment:

Katie_S said...

This one sounds intriguing! I have requested it from the library....8 in the queue so obviously popular!