The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Slipping in right under the dead line – I pinky swore with Alita from Alita.Reads that we would both read this book in September. She totally smoked me…. but I am done with the book and here is my review. Thanks Alita – what a blast! 😀
The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet’s name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book’s epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life.
An epistolary novel is a novel written as a series of documents. The usual form is letters, although diary entries, newspaper clippings and other documents are sometimes used. Recently, electronic “documents” such as recordings and radio, blogs, and e-mails have also come into use. The word epistolary comes from the Latin word epistola, meaning a letter.
I know I know… I could have written my own synopsis… but honestly… I am tired and my brain is fuzzy and words to describe this delightful book are totally escaping me so if I would have written the synopsis it would have been one word:
Uniquely written, this book is made up entirely of letters. Yes! Letters! Correspondence back and forth, fun and witty and informative – letter by letter we piece this story together… the remarkable start of The Potato Peel Pie Society and the books they enjoyed! I love books – about books!
Pride and Prejudice
Past and Present
The Cantebury Tales
The Pickwick Papers
Selected Essays Of Elia
The Collected Poems of Wilfred Owen
Letters of Seneca
Selections from Shakespeare
I have enjoyed a few books centered around war this past year and have to say this is the best one I have read. As I mentioned earlier, books about books is really a soft sell for me…. I just love to rad about other book lovers. They fascinate me! I loved reading about other people in the “Society” and how the book club developed. I group that started out as a “cover story” that became rea… did I mention that I love that?
I know I am gushing and repeating myself and doing all sorts of things that when I read this review tomorrow I will roll my eyes – but honestly I have to get this out there – read this book! Warm and welcoming characters that will invite themselves into your heart.
This would make a wonderful book club read!
I wanted to include a recipe for Potato Peel Pie… I did not have the time to make this as I had hoped to… however if I ever get my book club to read this I think I will have to put in the effort:
- 2 cups raw, grated potato skins (I added some of the white part to keep the texture somewhat tender), use mashed potatoes for filling
- 1/3 cup grated onion
- 1 egg, beaten
- 3 Tbs flour
- sour cream (optional)
- chives (optional)
- butter (optional)
- garlic (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a small pie plate. Mix grated potato peels with egg, onion and flour. Press the mixture into the pie plate and up the sides to form a crust. Bake crust for 20-25 minutes. While the crust is baking, cook potatoes, drain and mash. You can add your favorite mashed potato flavorings here i.e. garlic, onion, milk, butter, salt, etc. Fill crust with mashed potatoes and sprinkle with beetroot. Bake in oven at lower temperature of 375 for 10 minutes or until browned.
I received this book for review