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A book about books and bookworms is just what a bookworm needs, am I right? 😂😂 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is exactly that and more.
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
I have to thank Apurva and Mansi from @frenchflaps_and_deckleedges for recommending this book to me.
The fact that it was a book about books and that it dealt with the post world war period was what initially piqued my interest. As you know, I am a sucker for historical fic in that time period. But what I didn’t realise was that, it was also an epistolary novel. I usually don’t like that style because it gives me this feeling of incompleteness, as if I was shown glimpses of a character but failed to understand them fully.
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”
I needn’t have worried. I don’t know if it was the discussions on books or if it was the writing itself, but I was most definitely hooked right from the beginning of the novel.
I could completely relate to the characters in this book because we all share the passion for reading. The concept of books and reading uniting a group of people at the time of great darkness and despair and managing to give them friendships, happiness and hope for a better tomorrow was lovely beyond words.
“We clung to books and to our friends; they reminded us that we had another part to us.”
This book is one of those rare finds which can make us laugh out loud one minute and can also make us cry the very next page. It was humorous, witty, thought provoking and heart breaking in equal measures. It was made all the more endearing by the lovely, unique and quirky characters. Each and every one of them remains unforgettable long after you finish reading the last page. This book also gifted me with Juliet Ashton and Elizabeth McKenna, two inspiring fictional heroines, who I will look upto for the rest of my life.
I can’t describe how happy and satisfied and warm this book left me. I am officially in one of my worst bookhangovers and slumps post this book because nothing else I have read hence can compare with the high this one gave me 😅
So I decided to watch the movie 🤦🏻♀️. Worst decision of my life because it completely ruined all my warm fuzzies. Now I am going back to reread the book to get back all that floaty happy feeling once more 😂
So needless to say, this book comes highly recommended from me and I urge each and every one of you to read it, if you love books as much as I do.
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