This is the first thread I've ever started so fingers crossed that I have put everything in the right place!
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an epistolary novel in a very similar style to Helene Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road so I suspect that if you enjoyed that then you will enjoy this. I must admit, the title was the reason I chose this as my first post-thesis read; I was desperate for something easy going and comforting but what I wasn't expecting was to fall in love with so many characters so quickly. This is the sort of charming book that you want to devour but then loiter over towards the end for fear of it being over too soon.
The narrative consists of letters between a writer, Juliet, who is struggling to come to terms with post-war London and the prospect of starting a new book and other characters, such as her close friend and editor, Sidney and the eponymous Guernsey Literary Society. The epistolary relationships are speedily established and soon confidences are being exchanged about what life was like for the Islanders during the German occupation. Books are of course integral to the plot, a second hand copy of Charles Lamb is responsible for the initial introductions and there is also a gentle love story that gives the ending momentum but by no means dominates the story.
The books main strengths are the way Mary Ann Shaffer was able to evoke the atmosphere of Guernsey, no mean feat considering she was an American, and of course, the wonderful characters. I'm sure that accusations of it being slightly twee in places could be partly justified, but it never becomes overly sugary. In fact it is often dark and even desperately sad in places.
Thoroughly and unexpectedly enjoyable, I only wish there was more to look forward to from this writer but sadly, she died earlier this year and the manuscript of her only novel was completed by her niece. I look forward to hearing whether anyone on BGO hated this or loved it as I did.