This review is from: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Paperback)
This is a novel comprised of a series of letters (primarily between a writer and her friends/publisher), recounting the stories of a group of islanders who lived on Guernsey during the German occupation of WWII.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's sweet, charming, and entertaining. The book follows two threads, one: an account of the shared past of the islanders, their experiences of the occupation, their relationships, and the incidents that shaped their experience over their years; and two: the present relationships of the islanders to each other and the writer who joins their community.
What I really enjoyed about this book is that it wasn't sad and melancholy. All too many books I read these days have a sad undertone, and this one, despite its subject matter, left me charmed and uplifted. I particularly enjoyed the way the new relationships with the writer were constructed, the romantic threads, the friendship, the love, and the sense of community I found in the pages.
I would recommend this book, but would point out that it's not an especially deep look at the life and times the inhabitants of Guernsey would have endured. That aspect is much more of a backdrop or context, and at the fore is the relationships fostered during and after that time, and it's in this aspect that it shines. It is light and sentimental, and I enjoyed it for those reasons. Readers looking for gritty stories of wartime experience or a glimpse at the relationship between the native inhabitants and those inhabiting occupied territory, will find this too superficial. At it's heart it is a story of relationships, and those who like a stories of friendship and romance will probably like it.