“Perhaps there is some sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” — The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society p. 10
If a book could be my soulmate, I’m pretty sure this would be THE ONE. (Although I’m afraid I’d be a very unfaithful mate to books… there are just TOO many to love.) The point is I am completely enamored, head-over-heels about this book. I’ve read it several times and still laugh and cry every single time.
I remember the first time I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society (I mean, with a name like that, how could you not pick it up?), I thought the format of using letters as the “dialogue” was a bit strange, but once I became familiar with the characters and style, I was hooked. I could not put it down. When I was finished with the story, very sadly finished as I never wanted it to end, I thought for sure the stories and characters were real. I was certain that this was a true story, but when I quickly looked and realized it wasn’t, I was in shock. The people on the island of Guernsey had become so real and alive to me, I couldn’t fathom that they hadn’t really existed at some point in time. It was kind of a devastating discovery, but it didn’t deter me from returning to the book again and again.
Now that I’ve read it several times, I realize the characters are definitely “characters”, each with their own very specific quirks and personalities. They aren’t quite as complex as “real” people, and I can sort of see the “stock” character format behind each one. But that doesn’t make me love them or want to know them any less because they’re such wonderful, funny, endearing characters. I have a serious crush on Juliet and want to be her best friend. When she breaks up with her fiancé because he had moved her books to the basement and replaced them with his trophies??? I could feel her outrage because I was right there with her! The nerve!
The story takes place just after WWII and covers some of what happened on the island of Guernsey during the war. Oddly, I always forget about that part of the story until I’m reading it again. Perhaps it’s because I love the other parts of the story so much and don’t want to think about the horrors of that time, but I’m so glad they’re there.
I’d be interested to know how the rate of tourism on Guernsey increased after this book came out. I definitely have it on my bucket list to make a pilgrimage to Guernsey before I die. I even looked at houses for sale on the island once… that’s how much I love this book!
So… if you haven’t read this book yet, or even in a while, I’m pretty sure you know what I think about that! And you might as well just go ahead and buy it… she’s a keeper!