Mrs Readalot has always had a thing for stories about World War II. Not exactly a morbid fascination, more of a hunger to know what happened in those hellish years. and how anybody managed to come through it.
It started as an eight-year-old, winning "Hansi: Captive of the Swastika" as a Sunday School prize.
Young Miss R read that book over and over, until it fell apart. This was the first she'd ever heard of Hitler, or the Nazis (which in her innocence, she thought was pronounced "nayzzeys").
Young Miss R loved stories about real life heroes and heroines, those who would risk their lives to save others. Her imagination placed her right there, in Germany, and she wondered, what would she have done if she'd been there? Would she have kept her head down and tried to blend in, stay safe? Or would she have found the courage to do right in the midst of pure evil?
This question has always haunted her as she plowed through any and every WWII story she could lay her hands on. At age 13 Summer of My German Soldier left her devastated and weeping; in her twenties the complete Bodie Thoene series kept her awake at night; The Diary of Anne Frank, The Hiding Place, The Odessa File, The Book Thief and countless others have built up a vivid picture of Europe's struggle... and now she discovers that the Germans occupied Guernsey too.
British Guernsey, one of the Channel isles. English speaking, union-jack waving Guernsey.
And here comes a book to paint the human story: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
A bit of a mouthful, that title. But what a book.
I'll let Mrs Readalot tell you about it in her own words...
Mrs Readalot Says:
I gobbled up this lovely read in a couple of nights. It's a little book, not too bulky for snuggling up with under the covers.
Unusual too. The story is told completely by way of a collection of letters.
The time-frame is early 1946; the War has just ended and people are trying to piece their lives back together.
The main character, Juliet, is a Writer, so of course I loved her at once.
Juliet comes across as a very likeable character: warm, funny, honest, loyal. Generous.
Juliet lives in bombed-out London and has just found success as an author with her first book and is looking for something to write about next.
She receives a letter from a member of the Guernsey Literary Society and becomes intrigued.
I won't give too much away about the story, because you really should read it for yourself.
I learnt a lot from reading this book, about the German Occupation of Guernsey (about which i was previously ignorant), but this was not a heavy read at all. It was hopeful, original, heart warming and interesting.
But more than that, I fell in love with Guernsey. I want to go there! I want to meet Juliet and Dawsey and Kit, Amelia and Eben and Isola. I want to borrow some books and join in their bookclub; I want to write by the window of Elizabeth's seaside cottage. I think I'll be adding "Visit Guernsey" onto my Bucket List.
And Pssssst! They're making a movie of the book soon, starring Kate Winslet.
I. CAN'T. WAIT.
Mrs Readalot rates The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: ♥♥♥♥♥
Need more convincing?
Read Remaliah's wonderful review over at Lily & Georgie (our Book Club Host for February); she made me want to hurry up and finish my George RR Martin and dive into Guernsey!
You can also check out what the people on Good Reads think about this book... (a great place to find out about a book before you buy it)
If you need no further convincing, just jump over to Book Depository and grab a copy of your own for a mere NZ$9.64 - free postage anywhere in the world.
Mrs Readalot's Bloggy Bookclub
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