|To-go||Sit and Savour|
|Ohmmm||Fasten Your Seatbelt|
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer is a story written entirely by correspondences of some kind: be it telegrams, letters or even diary entries.
The story is about English writer Juliet Ashton who, immediately after WWII, is attempting to move on, like so many others in Europe, by starting a new writing project. She stumbles into learning about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and, through a series of letters to residents of Guernsey, learns about their lives under German occupation for most of the war.
I don’t think there are any spoilers when I say that life under occupation was miserable, but the characters are lovely and delightful, and this book looks at the humanity that persevered during the war, and shortly after, despite the heaviness of the situation.
The plotline is interesting enough, but it is the writing style that makes this book come alive. Each letter and correspondence is so thoughtfully written, the reader learns more about every character with every letter that is sent. In seeing how they write to their friends and strangers alike, often while discussing events of their own lives and the lives of others, the authors weave a beautiful and intricate picture of the characters’ lives.
Each character has their own voice, personality and perspective on the world, and the series of letters are organized to tell the overarching story.
Would we recommend it?
Yes. The writing style is inventive and very, very well done. The characters are a pleasure to get to know.