The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a wonderful book! I was engrossed from the beginning.
It is a story, as most of the world probably knows by now, of Guernsey during its occupation by the Germans during World War II and what happened in the year after that occupation. It is an uplifting story of how art - in this case, literature - can keep the human spirit whole even in the worst of circumstances.
It is a love story of a woman, a London writer, for people she has never met and then, when she does meet them, how that love grows into a love of their place and their way of life. It is a love story, too, between a man and a woman - a love that grows so silently and subtly that it takes the reader unawares.
Having finished the book, I can see the parallels with "Pride and Prejudice" now and understand that perhaps I loved it for the same reason that I loved that book. Namely that I am an incurable romantic who wants to believe in the transcendence of the human spirit and that love conquers all.
The device of using the letters of Juliet to Guernsey residents and back again to move the story along was a master stroke. What better way to tell this story. What a loss it is to literature that the art of the letter has almost been forgotten in our time.
I would recommend this book to anyone who needs an antidote to the summer of intemperance and stupidity which it seems our lot to have to endure in the United States. I could only wish that some of those town hall screamers would read it. That won't happen though. That's why they are town hall screamers.
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