The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" falls well outside my usual tastes in reading. I only picked up the book because:
1. a friend recommended it to me,
2. I found the name intriguing, and
3. it was available used from our local bookstore.
I don't have my copy anymore - I sent it on to someone else to read, I liked the book so much.
This story follows a female reporter right after World War II who learns about the literary society quite by accident, and uncovers the history of the German occupation of the Channel Islands. I don't know how much the author researched the occupation, but I like the details she added - enough to help the reader feel the horror and sorrow of the island residents, but not so much as to overwhelm the story.
The first two-thirds of the book were written as letters between people, and they do a brilliant job of relaying the story. But then the author, Annie Barrows, died. Her niece took up the rest of the story, finishing the story as a traditional fashion. There is a clear delineation between the two authors, yet I found I had no trouble following the story.
Most of the characters feel rather stock and predictable, not quite three-dimensional. The scenery, again, gives the reader the feeling of being on one of the islands, but is not overly spectacular.
So why did I give the book four stars?
Because of the story itself. Annie Barrows takes the characters and scenery, and weaves a tale that brings the reader in enough to simply enjoy it.
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