Posted by Myckyee at 4:28 PM
A whimsical story, written in the form of letters just after WWII between a writer and members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, unfolds through bits and pieces in the letters, teasing the reader here and there with hints of events to come which will be told in future correspondence.
I find books written in the form of letters or via other epistolary techniques such as diary entries very easy to read but often lacking in substance. This book thankfully avoids this deficiency but suffers from other problems, the most prominent being its similarity to Helene Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road. In one letter the protaganist is asked to enquire about a particular book at bookshop, and her reply is: "I told Mr. Hastings you would like a good, clean copy (and not a rare edition) of More essays of Elia." Anyone who has read 84 Charing Cross Road (even though it is non-fiction as opposed to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) may recognize that style of writing. Add to that that Charing Cross also took place during and after WW11, and there are too many similarities for me.
Another problem is the title - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s sweet, whimsical, charming - all those things - but difficult to say and even harder to remember.
Despite these reservations, I enjoyed the book. The characters are brought vividly to life and the letters were sometimes quite humorous.