Title: The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
Authors: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Date of publication: 2008
I was in Glasgow Train Station when I spotted this book on a shelf in Waterstones. I already saw the movie trailer and I was waiting for it to be available in my country, but when I saw the novel I thought “I have to read it.” Luckily, I have. It’s been an amazing reading that I’m definitely recommending.
Disclaimer: No spoilers for who hasn’t read it yet.
All written in letter form, this book takes us back to 1946. Juliet Ashton is a journalist waiting for the perfect idea to write a novel (Been there, done that, right fellow writers?)
The light bulb appears above Juliet’s head when a Guernsey islander, Dawsey Adams, founding her name and address written down on a old book that once belonged to her, writes her a letter. The two start corresponding and Juliet finds the idea of writing about Adams’ book society, the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society, truly interesting.
More and more people from the Society start corresponding with Juliet, until the moment she decides to leave London to visit the island. There, she finally meets Dawsey, Isola, Kit, Remy and many others, tries the famous Potato Peel Pie and keeps working on her novel.
Disclaimer 2: comments with spoilers from now on. Be aware!
I adored Juliet. She’s an amazing character that, if you become friends with her, will make you like her more at every page. I would say, with her prolific letters, her wit, her humanly confusion and her good heart, she’s one of my favorites main characters.
Sidney, Juliet’s publisher and friend, is the supporter that every writer wishes to have.
Sidney’s sister Sophie is the best friend of our dreams and Mark is the boyfriend of our nightmares, pushing her to marry him promising a material relationship with nothing of what Juliet’s actually loves.
I was impressed about how all the characters are different from one another, how the authors created a diversified population inside this novel, and how magically they managed to put down to words a whole plot by only using letters.
This novel was written by Mary Ann Shaffer, who unfortunately got sick during the editing part of the project. That’s when her niece, Annie Barrows, took over. The pair wrote an amazing book and I get sad every time I think of how her main author, Mary Ann, never saw his baby published.
If you haven’t done it yet, go read this book now: it will be an amazing way of travelling to Guernsey through your mind and become an official member of the Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society.