Book Review of
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
“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.
I love reading and learning more about WWII. I have read a lot of nonfiction WWII books and have read quite a few fiction books based during this time frame as well. I am picky when it comes to historical fiction though. I want to learn about a time and place I know nothing about, but I want it to be as accurate as possible. So I often finish historical fiction books with mixed thoughts.
I also am not a huge reader of newly released books. I don’t gravitate towards books that are getting a lot press. If they hold the test of time and are still talked about a few years later, I might pick them up. But I am not a have to have it right after it is published. Especially when it comes to fiction, which is why it took me forever to read this book.
This book has been out for ten years, but I was reluctant to read it when it was first released. Once I realized though that there was a Netflix movie coming out, I knew I had to read it since I do try to read the book before I watch the movie. A few weeks ago I finally picked up this book to read.
And I loved it!! Loved it. I don’t tend to read books that are letters back and forth, but in this book it worked. I loved the story, the descriptions, and the people. As I read this book, I wanted to know more and could not put it down. I read it in two days.
It also left me wanting to know more about this part of the world during WWII. That is always a sign of a good book.
If you haven’t read this yet, I highly recommend it!
On the historical accuracy part of this book and also keeping it a totally honest review, I have a few thoughts to add. From what I can tell, the majority of it is accurate. However, I think there are a few things in this book that are in the book to make it fit into modern times and don’t really fit the time frame of the book. This is common with fiction books and is one of the reasons I don’t tend to read a lot of historical fiction. Overall though, I loved the book, and I hope Grace reads it soon.
For my thoughts on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book vs. movie be sure to read my post all about the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society book vs movie.