If I could just give a book *heart eyes* I would. This book is like a million *heart eyes*. I read this book between 8am and 3pm in one day! (Thank goodness for the second to last day of work giving me the time!).
I wanted to read the book before the Netflix film premiered….and….well…I’m now so ready to watch it. My Friday night is booked!
Set immediately after WWII, the book is told in letters. Mostly between author Juliet and her best friends Sidney (also her publisher) and his sister Sophie (her oldest friend from school). After acclaim for her wartime work, Juliet is looking for inspiration which comes in the form of a letter from the Channel Island of Guernsey. Occupied during WWII by Germans, the islanders created their own clandestine society. Started out of an illicit pig roast, when caught after curfew by Germans, member Elizabeth comes up with the idea for the literary society. Potato Peel Pie is one of the rationed creations created by islanders.
Juliet receives a letter from Dawsey, former pig farmer, who found her name and address in an old book sold on the island. Intrigued by the story of the literary society, Juliet starts a correspondence with the members of the group. Learning their stories, she decided to go to the island for more information. The islanders welcome her with open arms and open the society’s doors for her. She learns more about life during the occupation, and starts a relationship with a young girl whose mother was taken off to a Concentration Camp for assisting German prisoners. The story of Elizabeth and Kit is heartbreaking, but it is interspersed with lovely stories of the rest of the islanders taking over Kit’s care. It made me want to pack up everything and move to the island. Even though I had never heard of it until this book!
I honestly can’t say anything bad about this book….other than it was too short! I need more stories of the cast of characters. I also can’t wait to watch the show.
Also, it’s a tragic story of how the book was written too. A labor of love by Mary Ann Shaffer, the book was started in the 1980’s. By the time it was sold and being worked, she became ill and couldn’t get the stamina to continue writing. She tapped her niece, Anne Barrows, the only other writer in the family. She completed the book, but Mary Ann died before seeing how well received the book was.
If you’re in a book club, read this book! It’s the perfect book to talk about. Even in the midst of horrible war stories, there is a beautiful heart on this island that is just amazing.