There aren't many World War II novels that could be described as "charming," but The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is just that. Told as a series of letters between an author in post-World War II England and the residents of the island of Guernsey, we learn how books helped them survive the German occupation. An impromptu book club, invented as an excuse for missing curfew, becomes a touchpoint for the various residents of the island. Charming as it is, the book doesn't shy from the realities of the war and what it meant for the island to be occupied. Between the epistolary storytelling and the book club at the center of it all, this is truly an ode to power of words.
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“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” 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.