[52 in 52]

As of last night, I am one step closer to being back on track!!

Last night I finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

If I could describe this book in one word, I would say it is a darling book. I will caution that the writing style takes some getting used to: the entire story is told through a series of letters written between the various characters. When you start reading sorting out who's who takes a bit of work. But once you get used to the letters you can almost distinguish each character's unique voice without looking at who wrote the letter. And from there the whole thing just gets increasingly delightful.

The story centers around Juliet Ashton, a London writer. Following World War II Juliet receives a letter from a man named Dawsey Adams. Dawsey lives on the island of Guernsey, which is one of the Channel Islands owned by Britain and situated in between England and France. During the war, Guernsey had been occupied by the Nazis and things like books were hard to come by. Dawsey had fallen in love with an author via a secondhand book he found in a local bookstore. The book had formerly belonged to Juliet so Dawsey reached out to Juliet to ask if she wouldn't mind sending him some of the author's other works.

As the story unfolds, the reader is introduced to an eccentric literary society and the story of the Nazi occupation.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something charming and endearing. The characters are eccentric and lovable. Honestly it's hard not to fall in love with each and every one of them (with of course a few exceptions--what book is any good without a few people to dislike?). It's a fast read once you get used to the writing style. This is also one of the rare situations in which having two authors really really works. Often times, multiple authors lead to a more disjointed story since each author, try as they might, brings a slightly different voice to their writing. But in a story told through letters written by different people, it just makes the letters feel that much more authentic.

All I know is that I walked away from the booking wanting to move to the island of Guernsey and travel back to the late 1940's so I could be friends with all of the characters mentioned. So next time you want to pick up a book that's charming and endearing, reach for Guernsey.

"Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers."

- From The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.

Image from here.

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