The week of Christmas I was able to do just that—I took a true “vacation” and didn’t check my work emails. I haven’t really done that in years. During that time, I was able to catch up on my towering pile of books to be read. (Thus the slew of book reviews on my blog this past few weeks.)
Out of all of those books, the most delightful was one I’d heard about over and over again. Sometimes, I get a little skeptical about the book when I’ve heard to many good reviews.
But “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” lived up to the hype and then some. It is pure storytelling genius through a host of letters and nearly a half dozen character’s point of views. Yet it all blended together so perfectly and revealed more of the characters than first person or third person could have done.
Shaffer and Barrows were an excellent team, and the story of how the book came to be was equally as moving.
This revealed a new side to the German occupation of the small island in the English Channel and also a new side to humanity. It proves there is truly no real “black and white” during wartime. Not all of the German soldiers were the horrendous fiends so often depicted.
From a writer’s perspective, this book was full of priceless one-liners that I had to mark with sticky notes.
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.” (pg 10)
“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.” (pgs 11-12)
“I think you learn more if you’re laughing at the same time.” (pg 89)
(addressing her editor) “I have become better at writing than living—and think what you do to my writing. On the page, I’m perfectly charming, but that’s just a trick I learned.” (pg 159)
Oh, there are so many other moments I laughed out loud and squealed in delight. I’m ready to pack my bags for passage to Guernsey right now and I’d certainly be looking for each of these amazing characters who feel so real.
Please pick up a copy of this book and spoil yourself with a day of reading it. Then, spoil a friend and hand it off to them to share the joy.