WRITING STYLE: 4.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 4.5/5
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”
~ The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
The first thing about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society that got my attention was an intriguing and peculiar title. The next thing that got my eye was that there was a Netflix movie by the same name.
I decided to start the book first and then get to the movie but I was only halfway through the book when I changed my mind and saw the movie first.
Well, in the end, both the book and the movie were a treat to the eye and the mind. In this review, however, I talk to you only about the book.
Read on to know more about my thoughts on this amazing read.
What to expect?
Expect a book that talks about books.
Expect a book that takes you to a remote channel island called Guernsey and tells you about the dreary days of the German occupation when the only thing that gave its residents some happiness were books.
Expect a book that is innocent and full of goodness even if it is based in a dreadful time.
Finally, expect a historical fiction during the time of the World War 2 which has a bit of everything – drama, romance, friendship, love, betrayal, scandal and most of all books, books and some more books!
Let’s talk about the storyline
Juliet Ashton is a London based author who is living the success of her latest writing project as she travels all over England to promote her book. It is the London of 1946 and people are still recovering from the after-effects of war.
Juliet who with her witty writing was a ray of hope in an otherwise morbid atmosphere has finally succumbed to the gloominess that war engulfs everyone in. Saddened by the loss of loved ones, she is looking for an inspiration to write her next book.
Just when she was about to lose hope, like a breath of fresh air there comes a letter by one Dawsey Adams, a man from one of the Channel Islands who somehow got her address in an old book.
He writes to her about the lack of books on the island of Guernsey and asks her if she would be kind enough to help him with this slight problem.
Soon she learns about this peculiar sounding society called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and starts exchanging letters with the members of the society. It is these letters and the relationships that she develops consequently that will forever change the course of her life.
Who can read it?
The book is written in a simple language and can be picked by a beginner level reader albeit with a little effort.
The historic era that the book is based in requires a bit of getting used to the concepts and language of those days. But this won’t make much of a difference to an intermediate or voracious reader.
So yes, in simple plain words – this book is meant for every type of reader.
How good are the characters?
The characters in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society are the kind that easily on you.
They are the goody-goody types who rarely have a bad side to them. So much so that sometimes you wish they were a bit evil in their design or conduct. Most of them manage to win you over with their warmth and goodness of heart.
Juliet is adorable – she is beautiful both inside and out and she manages to vow everyone with her charm. Dawsey’s characters is a tad understated. I would have loved to see him more vocal (and maybe a bit more aggressive!)
Reading about Elizabeth was a different story altogether. She is a hero and has been given her place in the novel.
What about the author’s writing style?
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is written in a language which I believe is rather simple for a book that is based in the WWII era.
The language is beautiful though and there are so many quotes that will make you go wow.
The book is written in the epistolary format that makes use of letters as a way of telling the story. Right from the very start, it manages to catch the reader’s fancy and the characters also grow on you.
Is the climax good enough?
The climax is a bit subtle and random but nevertheless, it gives a befitting end to the story of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and its members.
When the book ends, it ends on a satisfying note and leaves the reader with the sweet sensation of having read a great read.
What I absolutely love?
“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive – all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a book about books, readers and reading. There are so many levels at which a reader connects to the words being said and the notes being shared.
There are quotes about books, readers and reading that will make you shout with joy.
This ability to convey the very essence of reading is probably the best part of the book.
It all boils down to the entertainment quotient
In the end, this is a book that I will definitely recommend to all my readers. There is a kind of positive vibe that surrounds this book even though it is based in a time marked by unprecedented horrors.
This is a book that is about the power of books, their ability to bring joy and happiness and their ability to connect readers from any part of the world.
The characters, the plot, the subtle romance, the melodrama, the emotional turmoil, the power of books – it is a delightful combination of all good things in the right doses.
Pick up the book
- If you love books written in the epistolary format.
- If you want to read a book about books.
- If you are looking for a slow but engaging read.
- If you are looking for a historical fiction based in the WWII era.
Skip the book
- If you don’t like historical dramas and light romances.
- If you don’t like books written in epistolary format.
- If you are looking for a fast-paced read.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society using the link below.