The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society(TGLPPPS) is as distinct and entertaining as its name suggests. I was initially wary of picking it up since the plot is set against World War II and I felt that it could have an unsettling effect on me if gory incidents were mentioned. However this book proved me all wrong ...the novelty of this book lies in the fact that World War incidents are interwoven with tales of camaraderie,love and books :)
TGLPPPS is an impromptu society that gets formed when a bunch of Guernsey residents are spotted on the road past curfew time by the Germans. The addition of potato peel pie to the name has an interesting background to it - in the absence of flour and other ingredients needed for the pie during war time,potato peel was used as a substitute. This was served during the literary meetings and hence appended to the society's name.
This book is written in an epistolary manner and through each letter you will see the characters come to life. The beauty of this book lies in the fact that the content of a letter would help you paint vivid images of the person writing it. Juliet Ashton the protagonist of this book is a character whom you will completely fall in love with as you read on. She is 30 something, single, a confused writer wondering about the plot of her next story. A few letters from Guernsey sets her mind ticking and soon she lands there to meet friends whom she was only met through letters.
Throughout the book there are references to works of Charles Lamb , Bronte sisters , Jane Austen , Oscar Wilde and what not. It is a treat for any literary loving person as they discuss Wuthering Heights and Pride and Prejudice.
Juliet Ashton would often mention that though she had not met the people in Guernsey she felt she was a part of them. I got the same feeling about all of them . I could imagine living in Guernsey with Isola and Dawnsey and Kit and Eben. (the characters in the book)As I was reading the book , I felt closer to some of the characters , fell in love with some , adored a few ...felt like I was living next door with them. This is one of the very few books in recent times that has made me feel this way. A truly heart warming read.
TGLPPPS is a must read for any one who loves a dash of literature thrown in with World War details. It is a book that is a complete page turner as you would want to get closer to the characters.It is a book that would make you feel like a part of you was in it. An awesome read and one of the best books I ve read in a while.
P.S. This is my first entry for Orbis Terrarum 2010