Friday, May 22, 2009

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

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

My initial reaction to this book was positive. I liked it. Perhaps it wasn't what I normally go for, but I generally liked it. The characters were likeable enough and the format was handled deftly, even if it left a bit to be desired syntactically.

However, after chewing on it for the past week post-read, I have to say that it didn't leave me with much. Once again, I enjoyed it. But what had drawn me to the book was the subject matter: german occupation of a remote island during WWII, and the subsequent discussion of the communal experience of occupation and war. That was there, but the author failed to capitalize on it.

Essentially, it ended up being a silly sort of predictable love story/search for one's love. I'm not even sure that side plot had a place in the book. In fact, the story arc of the main character's relation to a little girl in her care is much more fascinating, but at times seemed merely glossed over.

I wanted to like this book, because I could tell that it was enjoyable, and I can see why it is so loved by the many who recommended it. But it just wasn't for me. I suppose it just seemed all a bit too neatly tied up in a little bow. Perhaps I'm alone in this opinion, but I don't want my discussion of the Post WWII world neatly tied up. I like it to be as messy as possible, myself.

This review was reposted from my account at Good Reads. Oh, you love reviewing books, too? Join! We can be friends!

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