The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is absolutely delightful! I was about 3/4 of the way through the book when I decided to look up pictures of Guernsey to see if I was picturing the island in my head correctly. It turns out that my imagination was absolutely correct. The writers of this book did such a good job painting images of the island in my mind that I fell in love with it before I ever saw any real photos. Guernsey is now on my bucket list of places I have to visit before I die.
The book takes place shortly after WWII has ended. The main character is a writer, and through an odd set of circumstances she ends up corresponding with a group of people on the island of Guernsey. (The entire book is structured as letters written between the characters.) She becomes so enthralled by their experiences during the war (the Germans occupied the channel islands) that she decides to visit and write a book about their experiences. The characters in this book are so delightful that, if you are like me, you will be wishing they were your neighbors too.
This book is rich in literary discussions of the classics. I definitely recommend it for anyone who loves to talk and/or read about books. The characters are endearing, the island is beautiful, and I (embarrassingly) joy-cried several times while reading this book. For me, it was one of those books that I had such contentment visiting every night, that I felt a little lost when it ended.
My favorite books are those that not only entertain me but teach me things I never knew. If I can walk away from a book a little smarter than before I read it, then I will forever be grateful to the author for putting his/her research, time, energy, and heart and soul into creating something for so many people to enjoy. Thank you to Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows for giving us somewhere beautiful, endearing, and wholesome to visit every time we open your book.