"Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." Groucho Marx

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

This book was a quick read. Although it's almost 300 pages long, it's entirely comprised of letters written to one another amongst a group of friends. Because of this format, it's a little difficult to get the characters all straight in the beginning, and honestly some of them never did fall completely into place for me, but the main ones did and that was enough. I enjoyed the change in format very much for the first half of the book. Towards the middle, only reading letters back and forth became a little tedious. The tedium was not great enough to ruin the story though. It's got some very funny parts in it that make it enjoyable throughout.
It was really interesting to find out how the author tied everything together by using only letters and telegrams sent amongst this small group. There were times when I wasn't sure how she was going to create the necessary cohesiveness, but she did- you really don't miss a thing. Except attachment that is... I think because of the unorthodox form this story takes, I didn't fall in love with the characters like I could have otherwise done. All the requirements were met- the characters were all endearing with good traits and annoying habits, they were well developed and not without humor, but there was always a detachment formed through the letter writing that made it difficult to really sign your heart over to one of them. When I finished this book, I did so with a quiet, polite satisfaction when the components really lent themselves to a rowdy 'Woohoo!'- if I could only have fallen in love with the characters. Rather, I ended up just liking them very much.

You will find an official plot line description at:

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