Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (2008)
That’s what 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 than sheer enjoyment.
A writer starts corresponding with members of a book discussion group who were living in the Guernsey Islands during the German occupation in World War II and decides to write a book about their experiences.
A very light read. The experiences of the Guernsey Islanders during the occupation are much glossed over, too much so to satisfy my interests. Even the horrors of war are not given much gravitas. Of course, there is a sweet little romance, as there always is in these books. There is no recipe for potato peel pie, though, which seems almost criminal. I was entertained by this book, but I would not expect it to have a profound effect on me. It’s a good vacation read.
This book is an epistolary novel, written in letters. I usually find this form, as well as the similar diary fiction, a bit tiresome to read, unless it is done very well, as it seems to put some distance between the reader and the characters and events of the novel. The author died the same year the book was published; since her health deteriorated so rapidly during the rewriting phase, her niece, a children’s author, finished the book and was listed as co-author.
Filed under: Novel | 2 Comments
Tags: Annie Barrows, Book clubs (discussion groups), Books about books, Channel Islands, England, Epistolary fiction, Friendship, German occupation of the Channel Islands (1940-1945), Great Britain miscellaneous island dependencies, Guernsey (Channel Islands), Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Historical fiction, Mary Ann Shaffer, War stories, Women authors, Writers
- The Happiest People in the World by Brock Clarke October 22, 2014
- Rivers by Michael Farris Smith September 28, 2014
- The Gods of Gotham by Lyndsay Faye September 11, 2014
- Grimms' Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm September 27, 2012
- The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving October 14, 2014
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie September 23, 2014
- Literary Theory by Jonathan Culler August 5, 2014
- The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson September 28, 2014
- Marcella Says... by Marcella Hazan September 6, 2014
- Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin October 19, 2014
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle October 19, 2014
- The Very Quiet Cricket Board Book by Eric Carle October 19, 2014
- Eric Carle's ABC by Eric Carle October 19, 2014
- Dr. Seuss's ABC by Dr. Seuss October 19, 2014
- NOS4A2 by Joe Hill June 30, 2014