The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

A book review of ‘The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society’. A romantic book set after the second world war, that makes you fall in love with its characters.

The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society is a novel that really touched me. It is an epistolary novel, which means that the novel consists of letters written by various characters and I think that it makes the book more sensible. The novel tells the story of Juliet Ashton who starts corresponding with Dawsey Adams, an inhabitant of the island Guernsey. This all takes places in the aftermath of the second world war, which plays an important role in the novel. The novel caught my curiosity because of the film adaptation that came out in 2018. When I started reading, I found what I expected, a novel with an amazing story told in cleverly written letters.

A look at the world at that time

The letters in the novel are well written and they fit every character. The references to other letters or characters make this book fun to read and realistic. Because of this manner of writing, you’re also pulled into the time in which the story takes place. It causes every character to be more elaborate. You can also relate more to every character and get to know them individually. You get to look at the world through their eyes. Also, you get to look at other characters through their eyes, which becomes relevant at one point, when Adelaide Addison detests the literary club.

The story, which takes place after the second world war, is in one word heart-warming. It is like everything these characters experience together creates happiness in a very dark time. You can feel this while reading the letters. Because you get a look in the lives of all these different characters, the feelings really come to life. You also really get a good sense of how they felt back then, happy the war was over but sad for what and who they had lost.

Other reviews

I have read various other reviews on this novel and found out that these were divided. Some people absolutely loved it, as I did, and some did not. This novel draws upon events from during the second world war, like the children going to the mainland or the Germans setting a curfew on the island. Next to these historical elements, is a romantic story of a journalist who sets of to see the island and the people she’s been corresponding with. The combination of these two elements causes different expectations for different people. I’d say that I loved the novel, but I am a lover of romantic stories and if people are looking for a story more about the war then this book isn’t the one.

That I loved this book is quite clear. I loved the epistolary form, which made more sensible and it made every character stand out. Still, I can understand why others did not like the book, the book tells a story of a journalist who goes to Guernsey to find out more about a book society and the book doesn’t necessarily tells a story about the war and the effects.

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