It took me about 30 pages to get into a rhythm with “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,” but once I did, I found it charming, heart-warming and full of good will.
Co-authors Mary Ann Shaffer, who died in Feb. 2008, and her niece Annie Barrows use letters to tell the story of Juliet Ashton, a successful English author, wandering through her post-World War II life, trying to find the premise for her next book.
Ashton receives a letter from Dawsey Adams, a pig farmer who lives on the island of Guernsey, inquiring about a book that once belonged to Ashton. The rest of the novel centers on Ashton’s correspondence with new friends who belong to Guernsey’s one and only book club, a club created out of necessity one night during German occupation of the island and continued because of the members’ love of literature.
Although the book contains some violent scenes from World War II, the overriding feeling of this gem is the importance of friends, love and hope.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Dial Press Paperback. $14.00. 274 pp.
Five out of five stars
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