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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

It’s a funny thing how I came to read this book… A few years ago when I guess it was first out I saw it whilst shopping with Mum. I very nearly bought it but for some reason didn’t…. Then I got given it for Christmas but instead of reading it myself I gave it to Aunty Pat, then… a few months ago my cousin Rebecca randomly sent me a copy! She has never done this before.. so I knew that some one upstairs REALLY wanted me to read this book, so what better time to do so than over Christmas.

I must mention that the reason I was drawn to it in the first place was because in the early 90s I had in fact lived in Guernsey and worked at the Peninsula Hotel.

The book is set just after the second world war. Letters fly back and forth from London where the author Juliet Ashton lives to the residents of Guernsey who are the members of the ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society’. They get to know each other through their correspondence and it forms the notion of a new book by Juliet, who goes out there to meet with them all and learns more.

The book reminds me very much of ’84 Charing Cross Road’ which I loved! (I had to break it to my Aunt that that location is now a pizza hut!! and they say things have improved!)

The book is actually a true delight, it mixes sorrow with laugh out loud humour, sums up life, the twists and turns it takes, there is excitement, tragedy everything really in such a small book!

The thing I took away from it was that I had lived on that island and had a ball quite frankly and in the recklessness of youth had not ever really thought about what had occurred there during the war. I knew it had been occupied as the evidence was still there, the awful shelters are still to be found and of course there was the museum but we were too busy living our day to day lives to think of it, which I deeply regret. Maybe this is why someone was so keen for me to read it…..

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