Guernsey And The Second World War

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Every now and then a book is published that is totally absorbing, difficult to put down and when finished, leaves the reader begging for more. One such book is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, written by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows, a book set within and after World War Two.

Shaffer visited Guernsey in 1976 and was fascinated by the wartime occupation. During her research, she learnt tales of terrible cruelty and great courage.

A best selling book, it has sold millions of copies worldwide and has also been translated into many languages.

During The Second World War, the Germans occupied Guernsey - the jewel of the Channel Islands. The Germans built fortifications, a concentration camp. Many of Guernsey's children were evacuated to England in order to keep them harmed by the Germans.

Set in an imaginary post occupation Guernsey and London, the story follows Juliet Ashton, a promising writer, who lives in London and writes columns for The Spectator. Through chance and a mutual love of literature Juliet starts communicating with some local Guernsey people who, in order to cope with the harsh realities of the war, set up a book club. It soon becomes obvious to Juliet that the book club is every bit as strange as its name would suggest.

The book is what is known as an epistolary which means that it written in the form of letters and first person narrative. In the story, Juliet learns all about occupied Guernsey, its dispossession and the relentless courage of the Guernsey residents. Juliet becomes intrigued by the many tales of difficult times, rationing and separation from loved ones. Finally, Juliet relocates to Guernsey and finds herself immersed in the island's culture, hospitality and charm.

The authors received worldwide acclaim and gained commentary from the world's most well known media, and some excellent reviews, posted on Amazon.

Comments included some where the reviewer wanted to move to Guernsey as a result of reading the book and other comments include that it was a book the reviewer simply could not put down.

The Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, despite its unusual title, has charm and lightness, however it also carries significant substance. It is humerous, moving and a page-turner from beginning to end.

This is a book that allows readers from around the world to find out just what Guernsey was like during the occupation - through letters, love and courage. Sadly though, it is the only book published by Mary Anne Shaffer. Because of the book's immense Global popularity, it has most definitely put Guernsey on the map. Definitely one to chat about at book clubs.

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Steve Smith has 1 articles online

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Guernsey And The Second World War

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This article was published on 2010/12/25