Tuesday, 22 November 2016

The TBC 20/20 Blogger Event Book Eight The Guernsey Literary and PotatoPeel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

Category - Scifi /Fantasy/YA


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is set in 1946 as London emerges from the Second World War. The novel's protagonist, Juliet Ashton, is a moderately well-known writer who under A mom de plume wrote humourous articles to help the war effort. 

When a chance letter arrives from a member of a very unusual book club on the channel Island of Guernsey arrives, initially asking for books to share in the group . Juliet begins to dig deeper and as the origins of the group and the make up of the membership begins to be revealed through humourous and moving  correspondence between members and herself , the stories move her so much that she finds the kernel of the more weighty work she has been searching for to occupy her time and her heart.

Why I am reccomending this book?

I cannot recommend this book any more highly than to say, it reduced me to both giggles and tears on public transport several times in the few days it has took me to read it. 

Loving the light tone of the letters in the start , I was really happy to see them balanced with a darker more sombre tone to the anecdotes of the islanders who became dear,dear friends to me through the reading of this lovely book. 

I have holidayed on Guernsey and Jersey and the Occupation  and the hardships suffered by the channel islanders was never far from one's consciousness, particularly when their stand was perhaps the only thing preventing mainland Great Britain from being occupied. The  human stories encapsulated here were evocative and bittersweet. 

Even reading about the origins of the book was enjoyable .The similarities between Juliet and her Alter ego author Mary Ann were quite moving in of themselves.

Much has been made by some reviewers of a American writing in a English voice, to me, a Brit who loves language of any kind, this did not jar me in any way . One word in many seemed a little bit modern, but who cares about that when the story is so utterly delightful?

Why is it one of my top twenty?

I  often think that a best books can be a springboard into further study or as a learning tool and even fairly lightweight fiction can be such a spring board. Thus I suggest this as a gentle taster for those readers who may not be aware of the reality of the occupations on the Channel Islands, the fictionalised tales may well spark a more  detailed examination of a lot of the biographical books available. It warmed my heart, it reduced me to tears and it stuck with me for weeks after I finished the last page.

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