Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

This is the story of a small island in England that was occupied by the Germans during WWII.  The Literary Society started quite by accident but filled a need in a bleak time.  I liked the characters well enough and the variety of personalities that were each a part of the book gave it needed depth.  However, not quite enough depth for my taste.  Without giving away the plot let me just say the story is told in a series of letters written back and forth.  The letters come to be written because one of the main personalities in the story has been tasked with writing a series of articles about life on the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation.  The book moves along fairly well as varied people are drawn into the letter writing via word of mouth or references to the young lady writing the articles; people who lived through that time want to write her with their experiences.  It does have a good amount of situations that made me chuckle.  It has a well written romantic development.  The letters are written just the way we would have a conversation and are easy to read; in other words, the way we used to write letters to one another.  Despite all this, I just couldn't get into the story, for lack of a better way to put it.  In fact I did not finish this book, which was disappointing to me but I stayed with it halfway through, wanting to give it a good run!  So, knowing that I was not engaged in it I committed the unpardonable literary sin;  I skipped to the back and read the ending.  This did not give me satisfaction.  The end is merely the last letters written by the main characters to and from one another.  Since I gave it up many pages before that, the importance of the ending was mostly lost on me because of developments in the last half of the book, which I did not read!  This book was published in 2009 and I have read rave reviews for it.  So, don't take my word for it.  What I write here is only what I think.  Get it and read it if you want.  Many reader reviews gave it 4 to 4 1/2 stars.  I give The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 3 stars.
See you soon!
Book cover

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