Wednesday 1 October 2008

Feel Good Novel

Finished September 30
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
This was a lovely book that gripped me quite early. The book is written as a series of letters between the main character, Juliet Ashton, a writer and her various friends and acquaintences and sometimes between them. In that sense it reminded me of another favourite book "84 Charing Cross Road".
After World War II, Juliet does a round of events to market her recent book, a collection of humorous columns written during the war under a pen name. She is struggling to come up with a new book idea.
She gets a letter from a man in Guernsey who had come across her name on the flyleaf of a book he'd bought in a secondhand store, and asked for her help in locating some other books. As she begins to correspond with him, and then with other members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, she grows more and more interested, and finally travels to Guernsey to meet them all and see if this might be the book idea that she is looking for.
The good humour, friendliness, and feeling of humanity she gets from this group who found unique coping strategies to survive the German occupation is heartwarming.
One of my parents friends is from the Channel Islands and this book has awakened an interest in her experiences, which I shall follow up.

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