Several months ago, my best friend started gushing about a book called The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. She said it was a very sweet story that she loved so much and wanted to reread as soon as she finished it and that I really should read it. My reaction? A lot of eye-rolling.
Pfft! What a stupid title! Seriously does it want to get any longer? And the cover is oh-so-soppy and looks like it’s being marketed as a ‘women’s novel’ (an idea I loathe – you don’t need to market to our gender, women’s literary tastes are just as varied as men’s). Oh, and it has two authors! Seriously the quality of this novel cannot be very good if it needs more than one author (I later found out the two writers are aunt and niece, and the niece took over the re-writing of a certain section of the book after her aunt became ill).
After much huffing and puffing that would have made the cast of Angry Old Men proud, I read the book. And I could not have been more wrong about it. It is seriously wonderful. It is set around a group of mismatched people who become as close as family after starting a book society as a ruse during the WWII occupation of the Channel island, Guernsey; and the writer who comes to know them and become a big part of their lives. It is told through a series of letters and I quickly fell in love with all of the different characters. I do not want to give too much of the plot of this novel away, so let’s just say this is what Jane Austen would write in the twentieth century. Very sweet, very clever and heart-warming. I would happily read it again right now.
And so I have eaten very little today, as it’s time for me to eat up a whole lot of humble pie. I must admit that, yes, I am a book snob, and I dismissed this book way too quickly. Don’t make my mistake!