someday ill be in company of all....

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Book Review:The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Title: The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer ,Annie Barrows
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Price: Rs 250
Page: 248
Genre: Historic fiction
Rating: 5 on 5
Source: Library

It is 1946 end of WWR II, Julie Aston decides to take a break from her otherwise war related columns and articles but then is not finding a subject to write a book, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey , their love of reading and books leads them to write often, he reveals about The Guernsey and Potato Pie society...Further letters lets Juliet see through the extraordinary lives of people in the island that changes  Juliet for good...

 Julie Aston is out of ideas, she has no cue to built a story,she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams a resident of Guernsey , an island on the English Channel between France and Britain..He is a pig farmer who has a book by Charles lamb once owned by Juliet, he writes to her , their common interest and love for books and reading leads to exchange of letters , thus developing a constant correspondence...She discovers that he is a member of Guernsey and potato Peel Pie Society, she is intrigued by it, her curiosity gets over her she sets on to learn the history of the society..It was born to keep a  pig  roast party a secret from the Germans...

She gets her idea to write she learns   more about the people and  the lives before and after the German invasion... Children were departed to England as  soon as the invasion, the island was largely isolated as people started to flee and there was a concentration camp set in the island for the slave laborer..She takes a step further to know other members of the society and slowly starts to paint a full picture of the state of affairs during the German occupation...She also learns about Elizebeth McKenna the founder of the society..She starts to write all this in her column...

Written in letter format, the style is astounding, Julia's growing love for the people in Guernsey, their tradition, culture and lives grows into the reader too...You can't help but love Elizebeth, she is courageous and heroic..Shaffer has brilliantly portrayed all about the second world war, and the heroic aspect of Elizebeth is picture perfect...She is a wow factor of the book..In spite of this amusing name of the society, it deals with some serious issues, it helps people to cope up with the hard times of the war through reading and interaction with other members of the society..Every member's recollection of how it helped them to get over it and move on was amazing..There are people who get different ideas reading books and the discussions were too beautiful....The book also explores Juliet's life and  her friends who help her whenever need arise...

The novel also explores the importance of love, care and affection during the hard times...The book is not just about the misery and the dark period  of the war, but how one can overcome all of it by sheer force of love , understanding and helping each other..In spite of reading the horrendous times of the war , the later part of novel part highlights moving on with charm, hence the distressing feeling melts way as the book closes,this  made me to love the novel even more....The book club help them to come alive, at times they are caught while returning home during curfew, still nobody miss the sessions and discussions.. Shortly after war Dawsey  develops a love for Lamb's work and that is how he writes to Juliet...All in all its an amazing book on WWR II and overcoming obstacles..Its sad that Marry Ann Shaffer did not live to see the success of the book, this book was completed by her niece Annie Barrows...It is also sad that we didn't get to read more of her work...

1 comment:

  1. Hi VB - It is great to see you getting a blog up again. I hope that you are well.

    I can see how a book like this could really work. I like the idea of reading letters that are being exchanged between different parts of Europe.


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