Genres: Historical Fiction, Romance, World War II
First of all, I’d like to address the title and the cover of this book. As of the title: it sounds whimsical, but the story isn’t whimsical, although it’s quite witty! And as for the cover: there is romance, but the story is mostly not about the romance.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of the most charming books I’ve ever read. I was absolutely enchanted by it already in the first chapters: this tells the story of Juliet Ashton, a writer from London. She has written a lighthearted column during World War II to keep the spirits of her readers up during that horrific time, but now she wishes to leave that behind her and start writing serious stories. When she finds out that one of her books is in the hands of a man who’s part of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Juliet is intrigued by the funny name of the society and also by its creation during the war as an alibi for breaking curfew.
This book is like Pride and Prejudice meets The Nightingale, plus many bookish references – from Jane Austen to Agatha Christie and Seneca. One word comes to mind when I think of this book, and it’s: delightful. Juliet is such a great character, so full of personality, so charming and witty and kindhearted. I loved her so much. She has such vivacity but also sensitivity. I think she’s one of the best characters I’ve ever read, and watching her grow as a writer was wonderful.
After going to Guernsey to meet the members of the society, the story focuses a lot more on the war and the island’s experiences with it. From charming and delightful, this story slowly gets woven into something more complex, poignant but also hopeful. There is such strength in each character, and such depth to their experiences. As a WWII fiction goes, it will definitely break your heart. But it will also tenderly mend it. And you’ll be glad you picked it up.
The letter format definitely added to the book, and I loved that. I recommend this book highly and thanks so much to my mom and dad for recommending it to me!