Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

“ 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.

Besides the crazy long title I absolutely loved this book. I loved the letter form (and sometimes telegraphs and journal entries) and I loved the characters.

The story follows Juliet Ashton, this quirky author who has a love for books and writing (like me!). She’s looking for inspiration for her next book and after writing about World War II throughout the war she’s searching for something different.

Little did she know that what she was looking for was on this little British island that was occupied by the Germans during the war. After she receives a letter from a man named Dawsey who found her copy of a book by Charles Lamb, Juliet is led on this awesome adventure discovering the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and the wonderful people in it.

If you don’t want to get spoiled stop reading here. This is your warning!

After much letter correspondence Juliet finally goes to Guernsey and discovers not only an awesome novel idea about the society now deceased leader, Elizabeth, but she also finds a family in her love with Dawsey and Kit, Elizabeth’s daughter.

The only thing I wanted more of from this novel is Dawsey’s point of view. I could kind of see that he had feelings for Juliet but he’s so quiet and shy that we don’t get to really hear him say anything about it until the very end and then the book’s over.

Otherwise I thought the book was brilliant. Also, I have a theory about the way this book is written. First, the fact that Dawsey’s name sounds very close to Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice leads me to believe the authors did that on purpose. Especially since the book is brought up in the novel and it is Isola who falls in love with it and then it is later Isola who finally leads to Juliet and Dawsey being together. Also, when discussing Pride and Prejudice Juliet says, “[Isola] might actually die of suspense before she finished it” and that’s basically how I felt when I was (impatiently) waiting for Juliet and Dawsey to finally admit their feelings for each other.

That’s just my theory though. I want to ask the authors if I’m right though because I’m pretty confident I am.

Overall, this book was great and I’d definitely recommend it. It’s also not that hard to get through because it is in letter form and the characters are hilarious and will keep you laughing the whole way through even though the tale is kind of sad.

Favorite Line: 

Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life.

Stars: 5 out of 5. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book because I’ve never been a big fan of historical fiction but I truly enjoyed it and would read it again (if only to get clues about Dawsey’s feelings for Juliet).

Borrow or Buy: Buy! So good and definitely worth a reread.

Other Reviews:

The Book Smugglers

All About Romance

BlogHer

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