Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

Everyone has already reviewed this book and I guess I'm a little slow in the up take. However, there is no way that I, in good conscious, could read this masterpiece and not comment. This book has it all. I was so amazed with how many times I laughed out loud, cried my eyes out and ultimately swooned, I started to take a tally. How in the world could so much of the human experience be packed into such a small book filled with letters no less? And how is it that this is one book in which I could not predict the ultimate outcome? Because it's genius, that's why. Juliet's laments over why she is still single at 32 had me muffling my laughter in the back of the classroom. The first letter from Dawsey was a magical thing, Ravensbruck brought out a mourning I hadn't expected and by the time it was over, I was web searching cruises to the Isle of Guernsey.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is a collection of letters between a frustrated writer, her publisher and a cornucopia of wildly eccentric characters from the island of Guernsey who desperately want the world to know what happened to them during the German occupation in WW2. What a tale!

For those of you familiar with the book, it's worth it to check out "Island at War" a BBC miniseries dealing with the German occupation. Fabulously romantic with unbeatable scenery, it really makes the pages of this book come to life. In fact, it's astonishing that the creators of both were not in cahoots. I don't wish to give anything away for any stragglers who have not already partaken of this rare gift. But the heroism, the courage of quiet people in unnaturally horrific circumstances is something that I think we only begin to understand with these testimonies. Their sacrifices only grow as the years separate us.

The island of Guernsey


  1. I just finished ordering my copy on Amazon! :)

  2. I can't recommend this book enough!!! Fabulous!
    Great review. Loved the pictures. I'm going there someday.

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