By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
I think I may have a new favorite book. If it’s not number one, it’s very, very close to the top of my imaginary list.
Set just after World War II has ended, the main character is Juliet, a writer made famous by a wartime column she wrote. Juliet receives a letter from Guernsey, an island in the Channel Islands between France and England that was occupied by the Germans during the war. The letter comes from a stranger named Dawsey, asking her about a book he bought secondhand that had her name in it, wondering if there were more books by this writer. He only briefly mentioned the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but it was enough to grab Juliet’s attention. When she writes him back, she asks him about the Society.
Juliet begins exchanging letters with Dawsey, along with other members of the Society, and through these letters, their story of the German Occupation unfolds. Juliet comes to love and cherish these people, and they her. In the second part of the book, she travels to Guernsey with the idea that her next book will be about their reading society and the Occupation.
The book is told entirely in letters between Juliet, the islanders, and Juliet’s London friends. I have a soft spot for epistolary books, making this book more wonderful than just the story would have been.
Rated: Mild. There is no sex, and language is mild, with about a dozen occurrences of mild swear words.