BOOK REVIEW // The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer

Let me start by saying that Juliet is one of my favourite characters that I've read, witty, smart and fiercely strong and independent, she's very much a girl icon. I've picked up and put down The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society so many times, I heard how wonderful it was via a friend when it first came out but just never got round to reading it until now, when I saw the movie was coming out, I knew I couldn't put it off any longer. It's written in a series of letters between Juliet, our lead character and a number of people in her life such as her publisher, Sidney, Close friend, Sophie and several members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - there are some other characters in there too. It's set in 1946 in a post War setting with Juliet being an on the rise author who is struggling to find the topic for her next big hit, she receives a letter from Dawsey, a member of the Guernsey Literary Society who has found a book that once belonged to Juliet and through their love of reading so ensues the beginning of the relationship between Juliet and the members of the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Something about the way this book is written makes it so interesting, you get to see Juliet's character develop in the way that she interacts with the different people in her life, the openness with her friend Sophie and the endearing way she talks with Sidney, her publisher and also Sophie's brother along with some of the wittiness that comes through in some of her earlier letters with the American Publisher, Markham Reynolds and her passion of reading and writing with Dawsey and the society members, the sense of family that comes through in the way she interacts and talks with Kit - it's an interesting concept and initially I wondered if I'd enjoy reading in this style because I thought it could make the story a bit 'bitty' if that makes sense and not really pieced together but without that first person point of view but it really is, if anything, I felt a stronger connection with Juliet than some other books I've read recently as we see her own letters but also how Juliet is perceived through the letters written to her - not gonna lie though, this definitely did give me Jolly Postman vibes, a book from my childhood that was a series of letters between a postman and various fairytale characters which I loved!

I think Juliet and many of the members of the society are the kind of characters that just stay with you, I have a similar view with Eleanor Oliphant where they sometimes just pop back into your head as if they're an old friend and I definitely think that they will be like those characters for me. At the heart of this story is the underlying power of friendship and family and how powerful it can really be, I was so sad to finish reading this but I will be one of the first in the Cinema on April 20th when the film adaptation comes out to see if they've managed to bring the book to life. 

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Sophie x