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Book-A-Like: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society & The Help

Moving stories with depth and heart feature in this week's QBD Book-A-Like.

Processed with MoldivThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows: A moving tale of post-war friendship, love and books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is a captivating and completely irresistible novel of enormous depth and heart. It's 1946, and as Juliet Ashton sits at her desk in her Chelsea flat, she is stumped. A writer of witty newspaper columns during the war, she can't think of what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance he's acquired a book Juliet once owned - and, emboldened by their mutual love of books, they begin a correspondence.
Dawsey is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and it's not long before the rest of the members write to Juliet - including the gawky Isola, who makes home-made potions, Eben, the fisherman who loves Shakespeare, and Will Thisbee, rag-and-bone man and chef of the famous potato peel pie. As letters fly back and forth, Juliet comes to know the extraordinary personalities of the Society and their lives under the German occupation of the island. Entranced by their stories, Juliet decides to visit the island to meet them properly - and unwittingly turns her life upside down.
Gloriously honest, enchanting and funny, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is sure to win your heart.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett:
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can look like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

QBD Reviews: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

classics
 

Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.

guernsey

As soon as this book was published, it was a classic. This is the most heartwarming book I have ever read, and I can guarantee it will be read and loved by generations to come.

Set in the aftermath of World War II, this book is based on the correspondence of Juliet, a witty newspaper columnist stuck for ideas. But inspiration falls in her lap in the form of a letter from Dawsey, a man who has come into possession of a book previously owned by Juliet, and the two soon become fast penpals. Dawsey tells her of Guernsey, which suffered under German occupation during the war, and of the Literary and Potato Peel Society, which was founded as a way for the island's inhabitants to come together and socialise under the noses of the Nazis.

Dawsey describes each of the members with such warmth and humour, that Juliet can't help but find an excuse to visit the island for herself. And once she does, her life will never be the same.

Reading this book always leaves me with a big goofy smile on my face. It is funny, lovely, heartbreaking, redemptive, optimistic, and every other adjective for 'wonderful' that I can think of. I have recommended this to countless people, and every single one of them has fallen in love with this book. So what are you waiting for?