Wednesday, July 24, 2019

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Literary Society by Annie Barrows Review

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Authors: Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Standalone
Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

                I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

                Okay, so, I’ll start this review out by being honest: I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time, and when I realized that it was being made into a movie on Netflix, I jumped at the chance to read it. It’s been sitting in my library stack for a while, and as soon I was finished with A Room Away from the Wolves, I dove in, eager to see what all the fuss was about. I’m so happy that I read this book; it was, in turns, beautiful, funny, horrific and heartwarming. I loved every moment of it. This book may have been quick and short, but it has made indelible impressions upon my heart. And one of my favorite parts about it was the format: I haven’t read a book composed of letters in years! This novel, telling of the German Occupation of the tiny English island village of Guernsey, has become a recent favorite, and I cannot wait to watch the movie later this week. This book is nothing less than a triumph of the human soul in the face of unspeakable horror and bloodshed.

                The year is 1946, the beginning of the new year, and London is trying to leave behind the Second World War. Juliet Ashton, a young writer, is having trouble finding an idea for her new book. When she receives a letter from a man she’s never met, saying that he found her name in a secondhand book by Charles Lamb, Juliet is hit with inspiration and curiosity about the island of Guernsey and its residents. When she arrives, she is welcomed with open arms. Gathering stories of when German soldiers occupied the island, Juliet finds unexpected friends and perhaps even more. Buoyed by her new friendships and a group of book lovers, she finds new purpose in the most unexpected places.

                I absolutely adored this book! It’s definitely one of my more recent favorites. I’ve been wanting to read this book for a long time, and when the Netflix movie came out a few months ago, I jumped at the chance. This book was short, but it was bittersweet in the best kind of way. It was also told in letters, which I loved. I haven’t read an epistolary novel in years! The pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately spellbound by all the different voices that told the tale of the Guernsey island’s residents. I loved all of the characters, but Juliet was my favorite, because she was gentle, loving, caring and fiery, unapologetically herself. And the romance involved! It had me swooning. But I liked the juxtaposition between the hijinks of the villagers and the dark, horror-filled stories of the war. I loved this book so much, I only wish that the Guernsey Potato Peel Pie and Literary Society were real! But I have my book club friends, and that’s close enough! An absolute triumph of love, life, and the human spirit! The bottom line: Rich in detail and beautifully wrought, I loved this book! An absolute favorite! Next on deck: Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart!

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