The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Whenever anyone asks me for a fiction recommendation, this is one of the first titles that pops into my head. A friend of mine recommended this book to me a few years ago, and I re-read it this weekend. Good news: It’s just as delightful the second time around. Oscar Wilde said, “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” There are lots of books I probably won’t read again, but my favorites are the ones that stick with me and let me enjoy them time after time.

This book is epistolary fiction, so it’s written in the form of letters and telegrams. It’s set in the 1940s, just after WWII. The main character, Juliet, is an author who stumbles upon the topic for her next book through a letter from a stranger.

That’s a very short summary, and it doesn’t do justice to the book, which is sweet and poignant and full of great quotes about why reading matters. The book takes place in London and on Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands that was occupied by the Germans during WWII. The characters on the island invented a Literary Society to pass the time during the occupation, so there are lots of references to some of my favorite authors and books.

So, if you’re a bookworm or you have some bookworms on your Christmas gift list, this is a great read. It’s lighthearted and funny, but it also deals with the sadness of WWII. I highly recommend it!

That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive— all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

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