I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. And I wish it didn’t have to end. Because, there are many questions I need answers to.
One of my hobbies as a kid
I had a stack of stationery that came with envelopes, which I wrote letters on. I collected them, TBH. Two biscuit tin boxes sat in a plastic cabinet in my old room. These boxes contain letters and cards I received from my friends and classmates. Snail mail was the way in the 90’s.
My grandpa had an envelope full of stamps that I get from, and stuck using paste or saliva, before I mailed the sealed letter. I’d go from his office to the large mailbox attached to the exterior wall of a school right across the street. Then drop my letter in. A postman would collect the contents of that mailbox and bring it to the post office.
Our maroon gate had a mail slot with box. I checked it almost every day. My heart hopped fast whenever I found envelopes addressed to me. I was excited to get updates from my pals. Penpals were popular then.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,
evoked these memories.
At first, I had qualms about buying this book because of war or post-war themes. But, reading the first “letter” from someone’s Instagram post, I was hooked. It’s written in epistolary form using letters, BTW.
- It’s about an author, something I aspire to
- It’s about reading books, and writing them
- There’s a literary society, like a book club, which is fascinating. I have wondered what it was like to join a book club.
- I am curious about the Potato Peel Pie, just because I love potatoes.
You can read my brief review on Goodreads.
Well, a group is only as good as its members, right?
The book, the letters, showcased the different personalities of the members of the literary society. The main character was witty, charming and I like that she could poke fun at herself and her flaws.
These are what made the story light and kept the real terrors of the German occupation from making this into a sad and a drama-genre piece. I know that I would bawl my eyes out if it was such.
Anyway, it’s a warm and friendly book. A good companion while I wait or while I have some me-time. It also made me want to write letters again.
I just hope the post office was nearer. So sad that the mailbox across my grandpa’s office disappeared, and that his office was emptied out recently. Also, there’s now email, yet I received fewer personal notes than the tangible letters and cards that I have in the tin boxes.
Have you written letters? Where was the farthest that your snail mail reached?
Dial Press, Random House
January 1946: Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.