Monday, January 17, 2011
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
What a title - right...it's more than a mouthful. But, it is the heart and soul of this story. A story of friendship, betrayal, World War II, love and simple things.
As much as I loved it I have to confess that I can't remember the details very well. I read it all in one sitting - in my bathtub. So, needless to say there was quite a bit of skimming going on!
Basically the book follows an author who has finished a successful series and is sort of poking along for another idea. She receives a letter from a man from Guernsey (a small island off the English coast) who has a book that used to be hers. This is the start of a friendship which slowly grows as Juliet, the author, and Dawsey, the Guernsey native.
Through this friendship she learns of the five year Nazi occupation of the island, the decision to send away the island's children prior to the Nazi arrival, the prisoners who were worked to death on the island and the ways that the natives sustained themselves right under the Nazi's noses.
This is one of those books that grabs your imagination and pulls at your heart. As you find out about the austerity measures and starvation, the rules and limitations.
As Juliet travels to the island to really find out about these people. As she becomes friends and discovers who they really are and what has motivated them.
This is a great WWII book, but it's so much more than just that.