The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was highly recommended to me by one of the many lovely people I get to “meet” online through blogging. This book was mostly written by Mary Ann Shaffer. When Shaffer became too ill to finish it, her niece Annie Barrows completed the book for her. Unfortunately, Mary Ann Shaffer passed away before the book was published.
Thousands of readers love this book and were very affected by it. I liked this book very much, but I did not love it in the way many other women did. I am very glad I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society though. Feel free to keep those book recommendations coming my way; especially if it has true romance in it.
I am not going to tell you what the entire book is about, but instead just touch on a few things. This book is an epistolary novel. I found the book to be fun, cute and whimsical, while touching on the serious subject of the German Nazi Occupation. I had never heard of the Channel Islands before reading this book. It made me curious and I had to Google it. Guernsey is a little Island under English rule. It was the only English territory that came under Nazi rule. For five years, the people who were not able to flee before the German take-over suffered the ravages of war and Nazi rule.
Juliet Ashton is a writer in her early thirties who also suffered through the war, but she lives in London and not Guernsey, Dawsey Adams in a resident of Guernsey. While Guernsey Island is rebuilding after the war, Dawsey Adams acquires a book that used to belong to Juliet Ashton. In the inside cover of the book is Juliet’s name and former address. Dawsey decides to write to Juliet and somehow she receives the letter, even though she had not lived at that address for a long time. This begins Juliet’s long association with Dawsey Adams and many other wonderful residents of Guernsey Island. Through the residents of Guernsey, Juliet learns what life was like for them during the Occupation and the origins of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
I loved the Juliet Ashton character. She has a love for books that I think equals mine. I loved that she had her head on her shoulders when dealing with the two men who were suitors before she met Dawsey Adams. Many women would have married the second one and become absorbed in his wants and needs and losing herself. I had to give Juliet big applause for desiring to remain who she is in its completeness, and not sell herself and her values just to get a husband.
Dawsey Adams is a strong person and the residents of Guernsey rely on him a great deal for his strength of character. He is a quiet man though. He is somewhat of a loner and doesn’t mind being in the background. Being a loner was not something that ever bothered Dawsey until he gets to know Juliet. Dawsey’s physical description in the book does not match up with the physical appearance of Richard Armitage. However, I think that Richard would be great as Dawsey. Actually, I think that Richard could do for Dawsey Adams what he did for John Thornton in North and South. Richard can play the strong silent type with so much gusto.
Another important character in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is Elizabeth McKenna. Elizabeth is a young lady who is from London, but she got caught up on Guernsey Island when the German’s stormed in. She is so lovable and you wish you could have met her. Elizabeth is going to live long in the hearts and minds of everyone who read this book and loved it.
The style that this book is written in, I think, makes it a quick read, and I do recommend it if you like a good story that does not spend pages upon pages over analyzing each character and the storyline. The characters are wholesome and have an innocence about them. If you are the type of reader who needs more drama and complexity in everything you read this may not be the book for you.
I loved that I learned about Guernsey and its history during WWII. When ever I do get to England it will definitely be on my list of places to go off and visit.