“It’s January, 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton sits at her desk, vainly seeking a subject for her next book. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance, he’s acquired a secondhand book that once belonged to Juliet - and, spurred on by their mutual love of Charles Lamb, they begin a correspondence.”
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society is a wonderful book: uplifting, funny, and with a love story which ends happily.
Although it is a bit slow to start, once the link with the Guernsey characters is established, the book takes off. The story is told through an exchange of letters, which is different from many other books and makes the plot immediate and fast-paced.
The writing is witty and quirky, with many laugh-out-loud sections, engaging anecdotes and amusing details. We especially loved the parrot. Each character is beautifully crafted with their own individual back story, and the reader is able to visualise every one of them.
The book evokes life in the Channel Islands both during and after the Second World War, with a wealth of historical information slipped in almost incidentally. It shows the kindness of neighbours in adversity. Although there are very sad parts in the book, it is consistently uplifting, with particular reference to how the community looked after the child, Kit.
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society is a thoroughly enjoyable and memorable book which will linger in the mind. A perfect book group read.