Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Dial, 2009.
This is one of those books I've heard people mention a lot, and that everyone seems to like. I have to admit, I often shy away from books like that. I don't know why. Maybe it's because of my (somewhat) rebellious nature, or my aversion to all things "popular." And the title of the book doesn't help because it reminds me of a Jan Karon Mitford type book, which just doesn't appeal to me. But I finally gave in to the pressure and picked this book up at the library. Boy was I pleasantly surprised! It's not a sweet (read: dull) story about nature and puppies and people to whom nothing ever seems to happen. Rather, it explores the lives of people on Guernsey Island who survived the Nazi occupation during World War II. The action centers on a London writer who's looking for a new story, stumbles upon this Guernsey community, and falls in love with them and their island. There's so much great stuff in here: mystery, drama, tension, fascinating characters, and even a love story. And the entire novel is in letter form, which I found a fresh and interesting approach to fiction. So don't let the cheesy-sounding title keep you away from this book like it did me. Read it! Do it now!