Sunday, February 14, 2016

Book 129: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Our Smyrna Public Library Book Club selected this book for all of us to read. I didn't start out loving it, and I didn't end up loving it, either, but it was a good read in the end.

Like The Screwtape Letters (the bane of my assigned reading in high school - only to be topped by the bleary-eyed total aggravation that was Ethan Frome) - this book was written in the letters from one character to another. The reader has to figure out pretty quickly who these characters are, or lose touch completely with the story line. I was immediately put off when I realized the book was formatted this way - it takes so much work to stay on track.

I read the book nearly to completion during the big snowstorm at the end of January. It took 100 pages for me to get hooked in, and normally - if it hadn't been a book club assignment - I would have dropped it altogether. My life's too short to read books that don't grab me and drag me screaming in horror or delight into the depths of its plot.

In the end, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a charming little book, worth the patience it took to get through it. At the end, I was a little bit charmed and certainly in love with many characters within the book, and I forgave the author for dragging me through the first 100 pages.

I would encourage you to give this book a chance, even if the letter format isn't your cup of tea.

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