The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Updated: Feb 14
Summary: Juliet Ashton is a writer looking for her next topic when one day she receives a letter from a stranger. What Juliet doesn't expect are the friendships that will soon blossom from the Channel Islands, changing her life.
Review: I picked this up at a used bookstore because the title piqued my interest. (I needed to know how to make said pie; it sounded quite interesting.) What I found inside the covers was a quick, delightful read.
I have read several books written in the epistolary style (letter style), but this had to be the best. It never skipped a beat. In fact, it skipped over all the superfluous fluff and focused on the essential pieces of the story.
The characters were individualistic while still meshing together well. It reminded me of my days in Art School with all the weirdos living in our own, creative community with a few snotty fashion/interior designers thrown in (all of whom we ignored because this was our turf!).
Juliet Ashton was, hands-down, my favorite character. She was funny and facetious in many of her letters, but genuine and good-hearted.
I also enjoyed the mystery of Elizabeth McKenna and how she was kept throughout the story without actually being in it. I was saddened when they discovered what happened to her, yet pleased at the same time (not about what happened, but the fact that it wasn't one of those everything-is-great-in-the-end stories...although it kind of was anyway, now that I think of it.)
If I had to choose something to complain about it would be the quick romance that seemed a little tossed in at the end. But I can't complain too much because I'm not one for a lot of romance, so saving it for the end was perfect. Again, it avoided all that fluff of will-they, won't-they that always frustrates me. (Just kiss already and be done with it! Yeesh!)
Overall, I loved this little book and want to start my own Literary Society. Perhaps even move to Guernsey.
Oh, and if you're wondering, there isn't an actual recipe for the pie in the book, although the ingredients are mentioned.