Tuesday, March 29, 2011
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
c2008 Fiction; Grades 9+; 277 p. 930L 2008 -The Washington Post "Best Books” Booklist: Winding up her book tour promoting her collection of lighthearted wartime newspaper columns, Juliet Ashton casts about for a more serious project. Opportunity comes in the form of a letter she receives from Mr. Dawsey Adams, who happens to possess a book that Julia once owned. Adams is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—no ordinary book club. Rather, it was formed as a ruse and became a way for people to get together without raising the suspicions of Guernsey’s Nazi occupiers. Written in the form of letters (a lost art), this novel by an aunt-and-niece team has loads of charm, especially as long as Juliet is still in London corresponding with the society members. Some of the air goes out of the book when she gets to Guernsey; the humorous tone doesn’t quite mesh with what the islanders suffered. But readers should enjoy this literary soufflé for the most part, and curiosity about the German occupation of the British Channel Islands will be piqued.