The Fantastic Fictioneers are reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer for their Friday, June 17th meeting.
Although this book is fiction, I came away with a lot of information about what happened to the Channel Islanders during the German occupation of the islands in World War II. The Channel Islands belong to England and lie just off the coast of France in the English Channel. Hitler was thrilled to capture them because they were part of England.
A few people were having a pork dinner one evening, having killed an illegal pig, and ended up being out past curfew. As some of them were walking home, soldiers stopped the little group and asked why they were on the street. Elizabeth totally invented a story about how they were part of a literary society that happened to meet that evening. They became so engrossed in the discussion that they stayed too late. The group felt compelled to meet every two weeks thereafter to prove that the story was true.
That is the beginning of the Islanders' story, but the book actually begins after the war, when a journalist is contacted by one Island gentleman asking her if she can find a book for him. He had found her address inside the cover of a book that had happened to make its way to the bookshelves of the literary society. Although not all of the story is pleasant, it reads quickly and ends well.
I posted another article about this book on April 12, 2010. If you are interested in this book and want a little more before picking it up, please check out my previous posting.