The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer is written in the form of letters to and from a writer, Juliet Ashton, who has become popular during the early 1940s writing a newspaper column called 'Izzy Bickerstaff goes to War.'
It is 1946, Juliet's flat has been destroyed by bombs and she is struggling to find material for a new book with which to shake off her rather frivolous 'Izzy Bickerstaff' image. The book starts with letters to her friend and publisher Sidney Stark and his sister Sophie in Scotland. Then one day a letter arrives from a farmer in Guernsey called Dawsey Adams who has found her address in a second hand copy of a book written by the 19th century writer Charles Lamb. He wants her help in tracking down more works by Charles Lamb. The letter eventually finds her and intrigues her and so begins her idea for the subject of her new book. She replies immediately and starts a correspondence with, and receives letters from, not only Dawsey Adams but also other wonderful characters like Eben Ramsey, Isola Pribby and Amelia Maugery all members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Their letters tell of their time during the German occupation of the island and underneath the good humour and cheerfulness lie the personal stories of the hardships and tragedy they endured. The second part of the book consists of Juliet's letters back to London and Scotland from Guernsey where she has gone to meet her new friends and to research her book. The characters are endearing and Juliet is a wonderful central character; the book is heartwarming and yet at times unbearably sad, suffice to say though that the ending is everything you would want it to be. I'll leave it with you to read the book to find out the reasons for the foundation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.