Sunday, March 6, 2011

"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

There are certain novels that come along from time to time whose sole purpose seems to be to restore our faith in humanity.  This is one of them.
I'm not going to claim that this is the best written book ever, or that it deserves a Pulitzer or is crafted flawlessly.  What I will say is that I have never come away from a book with my heart and spirit more lifted.  The adjective that consistently comes to mind is "delightful".  The story is delightful.  The way it's treated is delightful.  The characters?  You guessed it.  Delightful.

The setting itself is almost a character.  I now want desperately to visit Guernsey.  Well, I want to visit post World War II Guernsey, which is a bit of a problem.  Anyone have a time machine they want to lend me?

For every ten positive critiques of this novel, there is a Negative Nelly out there, rambling on about the improbability of the plot, or the implausibility of the characters or the Pollyanna-ish qualities of the novel.  To them I say, "Knock it off!"  Seriously.  Go find a mud pit and roll around in it for a while.

I will say that for me, conflict is usually a huge part of whether or not I enjoy a book.  This book doesn't really have it.  At least,  not in the form I typically see in a novel.  It's light.  It's breezy.  Like I said, it's not going to win any Pulitzers.  But maybe it should.  Because there's something so very touching and beautiful about reading a book designed to simply charm and delight.

So, if you're up for something that will make you smile and possibly laugh out loud at times, this is the novel for you!  You can get The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society here.

1 comment:

  1. I so enjoyed this book! I loved the "story by letters" structure, and the characters are so charming... and literate! Plus, I so appreciated learning about the post WWII environment of England and Guernsey, a place I'd never heard of!

    Thank you for bringing my attention to this book. It was, as you said, delightful!