Guest Post: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Both my parents are avid readers and many of the books I’ve read this year have been plucked off their bookshelves. It was my mom’s birthday recently, so obviously I gave her a book. But it had to be just the right book, something that she hadn’t read yet but something that I could be sure she would like. Based on many reviews around the blogosphere, I chose The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. She’s been kind enough to share a few thoughts on the book. Take it away, Mom!
Since I’ve been offered the floor (page/ screen/ today’s post) let me start by thanking Alita for giving me the book with the puzzling name for my birthday. Thank you as well to her fellow bloggers who inspired her to get it for me. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an introduction to a whole island of new friends who are quirky enough to be believable.
I am a child of immigrants who rarely talked about the war but were profoundly shaped by it. Since my understanding of the Second World War is vague (we weren’t taught much in school either), I’ve always been intrigued with books that would help me understand something of what my parents went through. In one way or another, the characters in this book share their experiences of loss, survival and unlikely war-time friendships. As any good novel should, this book helped me see the situation, in this case the war, from various perspectives. Through the amazing story-telling ability of the authors, I felt the characters were telling me their stories directly. This may have been the first time I sensed trust between myself and the characters of a novel. We laughed and cried together and this is how we became friends.
My biggest problem with the book is that I found I was reading too quickly and soon I would be out of pages. I really hate it when I’m not ready for a book to end. I deliberately slowed my pace so I could enjoy being on Guernsey a little longer.
I could go on about Juliet, Sidney, Dawsey, Isola, Kit, Elizabeth, Eben and my other new friends, but I don’t want to rob you of the experience of meeting them on your own. Please give them my love.