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Guest Post: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

November 18, 2009

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.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2009 1:33 pm

    Loved your post Sig! Now that I’m constantly reading stuff on my computer, I’ve hardly read a book. Your review might persuade me otherwise.

  2. November 18, 2009 4:45 pm

    I loved your guest post! I originally got this book from the library and didn’t want to return it! I bought my own copy not too long ago & of course had to put my name and address on it. :) It’s one of my new favorite books.

  3. Sig (aka Mom) permalink
    November 19, 2009 10:24 am

    Thanks Karin & Collette.
    Karin – I also spend my working days reading/and reading on a computer screen but there’s nothing like the comfort of holding book.
    Collette – I have written my name in my book as well. I will let Alita borrow it (she always returns books) but I may have to take a deposit from anyone else who wants to borrow it.

  4. stacybuckeye permalink
    November 20, 2009 3:19 am

    Great guest post by Mom! I bought this book for my Mom as well and she really liked it. Now if only I could get her to write a review for me…

  5. November 20, 2009 11:07 am

    Wonderful thoughts by your mom — and I completely agree with her! This book was utterly enchanting and I absolutely didn’t want it to end. Stories of war usually affect me deeply, but this one went beyond my normal realm of teariness and heartache — it really hit me hard. A book everyone should read… especially lovers of literature :)

  6. November 21, 2009 6:56 am

    I really will have to get to this one sometime soon since I continually see rave after rave about it. :-)

  7. November 24, 2009 2:03 pm

    How true! Such a lovely book and the characters were great and so enjoyable to get to know.


  1. Guest Post: The Help by Kathryn Stockett « alita.reads.
  2. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (final thoughts) « alita.reads.

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