Juliet Ashton, in the epistolary novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
, is a writer living in post–World War II London who has begun to experience some degree of success and feels the pressure to make her next book a real winner. But Juliet finds herself stuck on her current project, along with just about every aspect of her life. Then a letter left in an old novel draws her into an exchange with Dawsey Adams, a bookish farmer on the remote island of Guernsey. Dawsey begins to reveal to Juliet the story of how Guernsey survived German occupation, and soon Juliet is corresponding with all the members of this close-knit community. Not only does she decide to tell their story—"Every biography should be written within a generation of its subject's life, while he or she is still in living memory," she explains—but she also allows herself to fall in love with these people (and, ahem, one in particular), despite the fact they are so unlike her pals in the big city. In fact, Juliet follows her fascination to the point of entering into their story. She travels to the island of Guernesy, and by the end she has married one of her pen pals and adopted another (and, you guessed it, found a subject for her new book). Imagine it: researching a place, finding it interesting, connecting with the people and then, not writing about it or looking at photos online or watching a movie about it, but plunging ahead, full-bore, into a new life.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
Dial Press Trade Paperback