Dear friends and blog readers,
I completed the most marvelous novel this past week. Have you heard of it? It is called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Isn’t that the most delicious name? It is a story told in letters, or an epistolary novel, which is why I am writing my review in this manner. My friends, the writing is gorgeous. Would you like a taste?
Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.
Doesn’t it feel that way sometimes? You know, the times when the right book falls into your hands at the right time? I love those moments. I live for them. I read for them.
That’s one thing I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight and for no other reason that shear enjoyment.
Isn’t that so true? It is definitely one thing I love about reading too.
My most favorite quote though?
Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books.
Amen sisters. This novel is full of tasty little morsels like that. It’s a goldmine! You can read an excerpt here.
There is so much to gush about when it comes to this book, but I promise to try to keep the gushing to a minimum. The main reason you should read this book is this – you haven’t met the characters. Each and every character is delightful, will become your new best friends, and you will mourn their loss when you close the book. Is there any higher recommendation than that? I finished this book on Saturday and I am still mourning the loss of Juliet, Elizabeth, Sidney, Dawsey, Isola (especially Isola!), Amelia, Kit, Eben, Eli…does it say something that I can remember their names when I don’t have the book here, in front on me?
Not only are the characters delightful, the story is too. This book takes place directly after the end of World War II. Thousands of people have been displaced by the war, either for their own protection or thanks to the bombing of the Germans on London. Juliet is just such a person. The author of the hugely popular Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War (truly, I am astounded by how much I remember when I don’t even have the book with me!) was forced to move when her flat in London was destroyed. She has just completed her exhausting book tour when Dawsey Adams, of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, writes her a letter. He acquired Juliet’s copy of a Charles Lamb biography and he writes for her help in finding more books about Lamb. Juliet is, understandably, intrigued by the society name and writes back. What follows is a remarkable correspondence that changes Juliet’s life in amazing, life-altering ways.
Truly, I can’t recommend this book enough. I don’t know what took me so long to read it, especially since countless book buddies told me I needed to drop everything and read it, but I dug my heels in, disbelieving the hype. What an idiot I am. Please don’t make the same mistake. Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece Annie Barrows have written a remarkable book. How sad that Mary Ann passed before seeing the joy her book brought; she sounds like a remarkable person and how lucky were are to get this small piece of her. Trust me, you will leave the book wanting to move to Guernsey to join the Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. You may not want to eat the Potato Peel Pie though.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for arranging for me to join the tour.
And thanks to the publisher for allowing me to giveaway FIVE copies of the book! Please leave me a comment and I’ll pick winners on August 31.
USA and Canada only, please.
Please see these other reviews for more about Guernsey.
Tuesday, August 4th: Book Club Classics
Wednesday, August 5th: Savvy Verse and Wit
Thursday, August 6th: Maw Books
Monday, August 10th: A Novel Menagerie
Tuesday, August 11th: Brimful Curiousities
Wednesday, August 12th: A Reader’s Journal
Thursday, August 13th: As Usual, I Need More Bookshelves
Monday, August 17th: Books and Movies
Tuesday, August 18th: Bending Bookshelf
Thursday, August 20th: Books on the Brain
Monday, August 24th: Bookworm’s Dinner
Wednesday, August 26th: Bookish Ruth
Thursday, August 27th: A Lifetime of Books
Friday, August 28th: A Sea of Books
Monday, August 31st: She is Too Fond of Books
About the book:
Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Published by: Dial Press (May 5, 2009)
Paperback: 304 pages
Category: Fiction – Literary
Book clubs can check out the Reader’s Guide HERE.
AND Enter the SWEEPSTAKES by July 31st for a chance to win a trip to Guernsey with five friends from your book club!