There are books that seem to scope me up on page one and transport me immediately into their world. These books make me neglect my work and allow the children to watch more television than I normally would. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer is one of those books.
The novel tells the story of the residents of Guernsey, the small island in the English Channel that was captured by German troops in 1940 and occupied until 1945. Their story is told in retrospect after the end of the war in a series of letters between the islanders and a young journalist, Juliet. The friendships that develop as Juliet delves into their tales of life during the occupation drive the book forward with the wit, the joy and the heartbreak of their lives. Their letters are so entertaining and filled with life that it make one quite ashamed of the state of modern day correspondence.
Almost as compelling as the novel it’s self is the story of one of the authors, Mary Ann Shaffer. Shaffer, who had once visited Guernsey on a whim, worked for many years to fulfill her dream of writing a novel. Shortly after the novel was accepted by publishers around the world, Ms. Shaffer’s health quickly declined and she asked her niece, Anne Barrows, to help her finish the novel. Ms. Shaffer died in February of 2008.
Looking for a similar book?
84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff which was also made into a movie:
84 Charing Cross Road (the movie) with Anne Bancroft, Anthony Hopkins and Judi Dench.