I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man shes never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb .
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friendsand what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Societyborn as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their islandboasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the societys members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.
8th January, 1946
Mr. Sidney Stark, Publisher
Stephens & Stark Ltd.
21 St. James's Place
Susan Scott is a wonder. We sold over forty copies of the book, which was very pleasant, but much more thrilling from my standpoint was the food. Susan managed to procure ration coupons for icing sugar and real eggs for the meringue. If all her literary luncheons are going to achieve these heights, I won't mind touring about the country. Do you suppose that a lavish bonus could spur her on to butter? Let's try ityou may deduct the money from my royalties.
Now for my grim news. You asked me how work on my new book is progressing. Sidney, it isn't.
English Foibles seemed so promising at first. After all, one should be able to write reams about the Society to Protest the Glorification of the English Bunny. I unearthed a photograph of the Vermin Exterminators' Trade Union, marching down an Oxford street with placards screaming "Down with ...
Comparisons between The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the works of Jane Austen are inevitable. Elizabeth Bennett pops into the reader's mind early in the book, as the writings of the main character, Juliet Ashton, display the same sort of sharp, irreverent wit as the heroine of Pride and Prejudice.
As with Austen's works, the main strength of this novel is the authors' ability to develop characters that readers genuinely come to care for. Each of the islanders has a unique voice and personality which is evident not only in their own correspondence to Juliet, but in the gossipy letters the neighbors compose about each other as well. There are a couple of exceptions; a self-righteous neighbor and an overly saintly missing member of the Society are one-dimensional, but the rest of the characters are so well-drawn that it's easy to forgive the occasional cursory sketch. (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Full Review (1421 words).
A Short History of the Channel Islands, including Guernsey
The Channel Islands are a group of islands approximately 30 miles off the coast of Normandy, France (map). They are organized into two bailiwicks: The Bailiwick of Guernsey (made of up of the islands of Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, Brecqhou and Lihou), and the Bailiwick of Jersey (containing the island of Jersey and a few smaller, uninhabited islets).
Despite being closer to the French coast than they are to Britain, the islands are a self-governing possession of the British Crown. This state of events came about because the islands were annexed to the Duchy of Normandy in 933 and ...
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