Monday, March 14, 2011

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

... by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

I got this one out from the e-library. It is narrated all through letters. I find it hard to get into books that are written through letters, and this proved true again with this book. The story is set in the 1940's and the main character is Juliet. She's a writer, and is interested in hearing more about this literary club with a funny name. She starts writing back and forth with the members of the club, and getting to know these interesting characters through their letters.

In this type of book, I find you really need to pay attention to details, such as the tiny line above each letter which tells who it is to and from. I don't pay attention to small details like this, and thus found it quite tricky to keep everyone straight.

But, the genuine characters started to show through quickly, despite being narrated in letters. There were some good relationships building between Juliet and a few of the Guernsey crew. I did not feel that the romantic relationship parts of the story were developed well at all. I had no real interest in any of those stories. When Juliet started dating Mark, you could tell that he didn't seem to be all that interesting to her since he really wasn't mentioned much at all. See, she was writing to her friend, Sophie, about her personal life. This is where you would gather most of her thoughts on the people in her life. Poor Sophie, she really didn't have much of a role in this book at all.

However, as much as I dislike this narration type, I really enjoyed the story. I liked Juliet very much, and started to really like the Guernsey characters of Isola, Kit, and whatever that guy's name was - Chauncey or something like that. (See? I can't even remember his name, and he's a main character, and I just finished reading this in the last hour!)

I was pleased to read that Juliet, at the old age of thirty-two, ended up finding love where she didn't expect. I like happy endings in stories, and I really liked this "happily ever after" ending. I do wonder what becomes of Sidney, her gay male friend who is hiding his sexuality, and poor Sophie who lives far away. There wasn't quite enough detail on these characters for me, but there was enough for me to have fond feelings and concern for their future. Maybe there will be a follow-up story...

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