Monday, 2 May 2011

Book Review -- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Received this as part of a BookRay from Bookcrossing. What a magnificent read and I think my most favourite book to date! That's a big claim.

To start with I was not sure if I would like the format that the book is written in, as it is written in letter format. The characters sending letters backwards and forwards to each other, as phones were rare in those days, however I found it really easy to follow and it actually made the book fun to read.

The blurb on the back of the book is:-
" January 1946: Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as it's name."

It really is a remarkable tale. The characters are all very well written and very likeable, apart from the ones who are supposed to be dislikeable!

The tale unfolds with a man in Guernsey called Dawsey who finds a book with Juliet's name and address in and decides to return it to her. Remarkably the book finds her as her original address is under a pile of rubble after being hit by a V1 bomb. And so begins the remarkable tale of the relationship that Juliet forms with the people of Guernsey.
Guernsey coastline by Lisa Hardy

The story of how the Book Society got it's name is fascinating. I would imagine that a lot of the tales in the book about Guernsey during the war is fact and it shows how the people suffered, but shows how kindness from all kinds shone through.
Beach in Guernsey by Lisa Hardy

I have been to Guernsey and how the author depicts Guernsey is just how I remember it; as if it hasn't changed since the war, which I can well believe. The description of the scenery, the approach into St Peter Port, and the Mosaic Church. I felt as if I'd been transported back to the Island.
Arrival into St Peter Port by Lisa Hardy

I would say you definitely need to read this, and don't let the letter format put you off as I initially was going to. A marvellous read that I couldn't put down and had read in just over a day.
The Mosaic church mentioned in the book. It is approximately 6 foot high. You have to crouch to get into the door
. Photo by Lisa Hardy