Friday, March 13, 2015

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer: A review

I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in the politically charged summer of 2009 when tea partiers were assaulting our ears with their rants about "taking back" the country. That was on my mind when I wrote this review.


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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 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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3 comments:

  1. I read this several years ago, too, Dorothy, and loved it! The title caught my eye and intrigued me, but the story is what really hooked me. I'm not much into romance anymore, but I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book--and learned a little history, too!

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    1. I just loved the characters in this book. They seemed so well-drawn and real.

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  2. Not everyone is expected to love every book that is published. That is why I use the public library. The books are free, and with a digital book, if I don't like it, I don't even have to leave home to "return" it.

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