We have a winner. Well, not officially. But I’m now unofficially announcing that “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” is the best book I’ve read this year, and in all likelihood, is the best book I will read all year. If that sounds cynical, it is. After being crushed by the frequent experience of reading 20 pages into a book only to toss its unworthiness aside, it’s a relief, a joy, nay—a pleasure, to come across a book this witty, interesting, clever, serious, thoughtful and well-written.
I go through phases where I will try bringing home stacks of books from the library, only to be thoroughly disappointed by their contents. Then a three month reading hiatus will follow, then I attempt to work up the courage to try again. Of late, I’ve only been reading books when I’ve at least procured someone’s recommendation and possibly a short review. I read a short review of this book on someone’s blog and thought it worth a try.
“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” is by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, who tell this story using a series of letters–communications between the main character (who is also a writer), Juliet, and the people she comes to know in this story. Historical fiction is a particular love of mine, which might be why this book so captured my attention. The characters in this story are just emerging from the effects of World War II and the German occupation there. Juliet sails to Guernsey (a British island) to meet them and learn about their experiences.
I won’t say too much more about this story–it’s worth discovering for yourself. I loved how the authors of this book wove the story through the written correspondence–from describing the horrible conditions of concentration camps and the effects of the German occupation, to the humor the Guernsey people could find in the midst of terrible circumstances.
Go read it. 🙂 You won’t be disappointed.