What a unique book!
In 1946 Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a place she has never been. Told in a series of letters between Juliet and a man who lives in the Channel Islands after the German occupation, which then turns into a story of survival, and a growing love of books that passed the time.
What initially began as a ruse grew into a group of people who were already readers, or became voracious readers, under the scenario of a book club – The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Then of course Juliet begins to receive letters from the other members telling her of the time that was spent in the Channel Islands, how life became, the rebuilding of the lives and the town after occupation.
When Juliet finally travels to Guernsey, It is if she has lived there, she feels at home and with all of the correspondence and things she knows about the town folk, she feels at home. Staying in a home that is no longer inhabited, she learns the story of the person who lived there – sent away to a prison camp and later died. Her daughter she had left behind, and the way the town rallies around the little girl whose father was one of the German officers that guarded the island.
As she stays longer she feels that staying in Guernsey, she feels as though she wants to stay in the small town instead of London. She misses what isn’t in her life – spouse, children, getting married. But her current suitor in London isn’t the one.
I liked the book. The concept that it was written as a series of letters being sent back and forth gave it a sense of authenticity, and quite inventive if you ask me. With its no holds barred approach, you can feel the sincerity of the people writing the letters in complete and total confidence, unbiased as they could without anyone else knowing unless you told them.