Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

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

Shaffer died earlier this year, leaving this book to be finished by her niece. The result of their joint efforts is a con job: it comes at you like a quirky, fluffy piece of chick lit about a lonely thirtysomething writer named Juliet in postwar London. But once you're in the door Guernsey reveals itself to be an entirely different animal, a story about war and peace and love and death that's much smarter than it has any right to be. Through a chain of used books and charming letters, Juliet ends up visiting the war-shattered Channel island of Guernsey, where the gutsy, eccentric inhabitants are trying to reconstruct their lives in spite of all the missing pieces. Guernsey proves that love stories don't have to be fantasies; they can be tart and wise and real.