Best book you’ll read this summer has a quirky title

July 20, 2010

Bobz Book Reviews

Guernsey-cover

“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society,”

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

A delightful read for any time of year, this New York Times #1 bestseller is a perfect summer treat now that it’s out in paperback.

The use of a string of letters to tell the story doesn’t even seem like a gimmick once Shaffer and Barrows pull you into this gem.

In the novel, Juliet Ashton is a journalist and author who finds herself intrigued by a request she receives in the mail from a resident of Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands between France and England.

The setting is just a year after the end of World War II. Guernsey’s inhabitants had endured four years of occupation by the forces of the Third Reich, and woven through the novel is their telling what life was like as British citizens under German military rule.

Telling the story – all through “the post,” at Brits call the mail – are the members of the book club with the odd name, as cleverly drawn a group of characters as have ever won over your heart.

Not to give away the story, but there’s a bit of romance involved, a bit of drama, some must-turn-the-page excitement, but in a genteel, well-mannered, earlier-generations sort of way.

In the Dial Press small paperback version I picked up, this wonderful story is told in just 274 pages.

A yardstick I’ve come to use as my standard for good reading is if I don’t want a book to end. Suffice it to say that 274 pages were hardly enough. What a great work of literature. — bz

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About Bob Zyskowski

Bob is the Client Products Manager for the Communications Office of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. A 40-year veteran of the Catholic Press, he is the former Associate Publisher of The Catholic Spirit. You can follow him on twitter or email him at zyskowskir@archspm.org.

View all posts by Bob Zyskowski
  • Londiniensis

    ” in a gentile, well-mannered, earlier-generations sort of way.”

    Gentile? Are you trying to imply that this book will not appeal to Jews? Or are you trying to equate non-Jewishness with being well mannered in an old fashioned way?

    Or is b—-y spell checker useless at distinguishing wrong, but impeccably written, words?

  • Bob Zyskowski

    Thanks so much for the proofreading. Can’t recall the last time I used the word genteel. Proves that everyone needs an editor, no?

  • http://www.celulit.com.hr/celulit-tretmani Jacinta Spratte

    I like your blog!Just keep on doing so.Greetings.