Reading List: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

During school, I read for fun at a snail’s pace. But luckily I was able to knock out a big chunk of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” during my recent beach escape.

A few weeks ago I finished “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” which was amazing. So amazing, in fact, that I was up until 5 a.m. one night reading it (on a weekend, thank goodness). I was initially engrossed by the general suspense, but then once I read “the scene,” I had to turn on all the lights and tv until I passed out from exhaustion.

To clear the mind a bit, I picked up this little book my mom loaned to me awhile ago. I thought it was okay, a bit too sweet in parts, and it took a long, long time to get into it.

The entire book is written as a series of letters between a writer in London and a group of townspeople on Guernsey, part of the Channel Islands between England and France. Guernsey was occupied by the Germans during WWII, so this book takes place just after the war in 1946.

The letter format didn’t really work for me, since it was difficult to grasp the characters in the beginning — like who was writing the letters and to whom. I had to pay too much attention. Later, when the writer visits the island, the letters become more of a narrative between fewer characters.

I found most of the story to be decently predictable, but the history is interesting. I’ve heard of the Channel Islands, which include Guernsey and Jersey, among others. (Aren’t they famous for cows?) But I had no idea that a part of England was invaded and occupied by Germany during the war. I’d still recommend the book, especially if you’re looking for a light read — well, there are dark chapters … it’s war, after all. I know plenty of people who loved it, and the characters and story can be quite charming.

In other book news, you’ll be glad to know that I’m finally reading Outliers. I have to do a book report for Management this semester, and that’s a perfect fit. I’m sure the Fates are relieved.

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One thought on “Reading List: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

  1. Thanks for the review. This book KEPT coming up in my automated recommendations everywhere so I read the first few pages and just kind of lost interest. I think I read it too soon on the heels of 84 Charing Cross Road and it felt a little derivative, but I might give it another shot.

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