So it’s almost 1 a.m. and I am having difficulty sleeping. Thank heavens I have the lovely book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, to calm my whirling brain. Plus an English muffin with decaf tea.
The book was passed on to me by a friend and I took it because I like to read and who knows? maybe I’d enjoy it. It languished on the book shelf and on my bedside table for weeks, as more pressing reading matters took my attention. Once started, though, the people of the Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, as discovered by author Juliet Ashton, came to life. The book is set in 1946 and the story is told through a series of letters from Juliet to her publisher, various friends, and people from the island of Guernsey, which had been occupied by the Germans in WWII.
Juliet takes up temporary residence there and finds a new life, new friends, and a new family. Of course, we see this coming before she does – her London “boyfriend” is simply insufferable and clearly doesn’t love her, and the mostly silent but still sensitively compelling Dawsey, whom we meet first through his letters to Juliet, is favored by the reader before Juliet even realizes she favors him herself! Of course, all works out magnificently, much to the reader’s satisfaction.
It’s an easy book to read with likable characters – even the unlikable ones are amusingly so – and a warm, engaging plot. It was evidently #1 on the New York Times bestseller list sometime when I wasn’t paying attention. Good news – it’s in paperback!