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15 Quirky Heartfelt Novels

If you’re like me, when you see a book described as ‘heartfelt’, you’re immediately skeptical. I’ve read too many books that are overtly manipulative, or achingly earnest, and it’s made me wary. For some reason, the qualifier of ‘quirky’ sets me at ease. It promises a book that’s a little more offbeat, and that offsets the sickening sincerity somehow. Here are 15 quirky heartfelt novels that won’t give you the ick.

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The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

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Don Tillman has never had a second date. He’s got a good job as a genetics professor, he’s highly intelligent and articulate, he maintains a good level of personal fitness and hygiene, and he can cook (according to his carefully calibrated Standardised Meal System). But something always goes wrong – like the Ice Cream Incident. Or the Jacket Incident. In The Rosie Project, Don sets out to find love with a questionnaire he’s designed to find his most compatible potential partner. He soon discovers that the woman he’s most drawn to doesn’t actually tick any of the boxes, but maybe that’s okay if the Incidents aren’t deal-breakers. Read my full review of The Rosie Project here.

Hot tip: I highly recommend reading this quirky, heartfelt novel on audiobook. Some of the nuance doesn’t quite land on the page, but it really sparkles in the audio format.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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Eleanor Oliphant is a bit of an odd duck. She has a routine for everything: work, meals, chats with Mummy, vodka, and that’s about it. It’s a lonely life, because she also has an… unusual way of relating to people. But, as Gail Honeyman reveals gradually throughout Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, it turns out she has a very good reason for being a little left-of-center. As “fine” as Eleanor is with the way things are, perhaps there’s more to life than what she’s had so far. It’s a lot more trauma-heavy than your standard feel-good fare, but this quirky, heartfelt novel is sure to make you want to hug it to your chest by the end. Read my full review of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine here.

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

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In a sleepy small town on the Maine coast, Evvie Drake rarely leaves her big empty house. All the neighbourhood gossips blame the death of her husband for her self-isolation, and she lets them think that – even though it couldn’t be further from the truth. That’s where Evvie Drake Starts Over begins, but it’s all about to change. Professional baseballer Dean Trenney arrives to rent Evvie’s granny flat, and the two of them strike a deal: she won’t ask him why he’s suddenly lost the ability to pitch, as long as he won’t ask about her dead husband. This is a quirky, heartfelt novel about new beginnings and unlikely connections.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

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This quirky, heartfelt novel will have you making room in your heart for the guy who grumbles in the queue at the post-office. A Man Called Ove follows a curmudgeonly old-before-his-time 59-year-old man (called Ove, in case you missed it). He’s been having a rough trot. He’s still mourning the loss of his wife, and recently found himself forced into early retirement. As fate would have it, on the day he plans to intentionally depart this mortal coil, an exuberant young family moves in next door. That’s when everything changes for Ove, even though he resents it every step of the way. Read my full review of A Man Called Ove here.

Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman

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Chani Horowitz is a twenty-something journalist, desperate for her big break. She thinks it’s going to come in the form of an interview with heart-throb (and her celebrity crush) Gabe Parker. And it does… just not in the way she expected. Funny You Should Ask is a quirky, heartfelt novel that plays out across two timelines. The first is Chani’s interview-cum-whirlwind weekend with Gabe, the second is a decade later, after a brutal divorce and a lot of therapy. Chani’s tired of being asked about the profile that changed everything for her, but maybe revisiting it could heal the wounds she thought she’d have to live with forever.

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

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If you’re looking for quirky, heartfelt novels that will appeal to bibliophiles, you’ll get the best of both worlds in The Reading List. Aleisha is a bright but anxious teenager with a summer job at her local library. One day, she finds a crumpled up piece of paper in the back of one of the returns, a reading list full of novels she’s never read. On a lark, she decides to read her way through the list – and ends up passing it on to a patron, Mukesh. Mukesh is a widower, desperately seeking any way to connect with his bookworm granddaughter. This list of books might be the very thing to save them both.

Less by Andrew Sean Greer

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Arthur Less worries that he is “the first homosexual to ever grow old”. He finds himself suddenly single, when his long-time fuck-buddy dumps him to marry a far more eligible (and age appropriate) bachelor. Arthur Less decides that he must act. He can’t RSVP “no” to the nuptials and admit defeat, but he couldn’t possibly attend either, especially with his own 50th birthday looming… so, he proceeds to accept every half-baked invitation he’s received to literary events around the world, and sends his ex his regrets, citing “unfortunate” prior engagements. Less is a quirky, heartfelt novel with a road-trip vibe and the literary chops to win a Pulitzer Prize. Read my full review of Less here.

Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

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A 24-hour bookstore sounds like every booklover’s dream – who wouldn’t want a place to go when you get the itch for a book haul at 3AM? But there’s more to Mr Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore than meets the eye, as Clay Jannon is about to find out. The shop has barely any customers and they never seem to actually buy the books on the shelves; they simply ‘check out’ weird titles from little-used corners. Clay turns to some of his analytical friends to try and figure out what’s really going on here, but it turns out the bookstore’s secrets – and those of its enigmatic owner – extend far beyond its walls.

The One-Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson - Book Laid on Wooden Table - Keeping Up With The Penguins

It doesn’t get any more quirky or heartfelt than The One-Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared. Centenarian Allan Karlsson is sitting in his retirement home, contemplating the dreadful birthday party the staff and residents are planning for him (with no booze), when he decides to do something different. He jumps out the window, and so begins a whirlwind adventure, with hoodlums and drug money and foiled assassination plots and elephants and (of course) lots of vodka. It’s like a European Forrest Gump, but less earnest and more funny. Read my full review of The One-Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared here.

The Cat Who Saved Books by Sosuke Natsukawa

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Quirky, heartfelt novels often have strange bedfellows at their heart – and they don’t get much stranger than a bookish high-school student and a talking cat. In The Cat Who Saved Books, Rintaro Natsuki finds himself roped into helping the feline save the world’s books from neglectful owners. They visit the man who leaves his books locked in cabinets unread, the company director who cuts books down into snippets in the name of teaching others to ‘speed read’, and persuade the publishing magnate to set aside his profit dreams to make books what they should be. It’s an unusual and fantastical story, but all the most heartfelt ones are.

The Other Side Of Beautiful by Kim Lock

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Mercy Blain hasn’t been outside her house in years. Until she watched it burn down, that is. In The Other Side Of Beautiful, she finds herself living in a camper van, with her ever-faithful sausage dog Wasabi by her side, forced to re-enter the world she’s been avoiding. Lacking any other options (or any permanent address), she drives the length of Australia from Adelaide to Darwin. She has to contend with badly-timed breakdowns, grey nomads, a potential love interest, and a mysterious box of cremated remains under the passenger seat. This is a quirky, heartfelt novel about plunging headfirst into what scares you. Read my full review of The Other Side Of Beautiful here.

Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows - Balli Kaur Jaswal - Keeping Up With The Penguins

You don’t need to read a word of Erotic Stories For Punjabi Widows to know that it’s a quirky heartfelt novel – just look at that title! The story has the goods, too, with an unusual premise and a close examination of cultural politics in immigrant communities. A twenty-something in dire financial straits takes on a job teaching creative writing at a local community center. That’s how she finds herself drawn into the heart of London’s Punjabi community, with a group of older Sikh widows learning for the first time to express their desires and creativity. Of course, the unconventional approach risks invoking the ire of the Brotherhood, but some secrets need to be shared, even if they risk scandal.

Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson

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Lillian is 28-years-old and down on her luck. She could’ve lived the good life, but her mother was bribed into letting her take the fall for her roommate’s drug possession back in high school. So, she drifts from shitty job to shitty job, barely able to see past the fog of poverty and depression. The inciting incident of Nothing To See Here comes when Lillian receives a letter, from that roommate who escaped a drug charge. Madison begs Lillian to come and take her up on a “job opportunity”. She doesn’t know until she gets there that the “job opportunity” is taking care of Madison’s step-kids. Who spontaneously combust, at inconvenient times. Just… whoosh! It doesn’t get any more quirky than that. Read my full review of Nothing To See Here here.

The Unusual Abduction Of Avery Conifer by Ilsa Evans

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The Unusual Abduction Of Avery Conifer is one of those books with a dark premise, but a tone so quirky and heartfelt that it’s an absolute delight to read. Two older women on opposing sides of a family divide come together to protect their granddaughter after they learn she is being abused by her father. Beth and Shirley are very Odd Couple: the cynic and the optimist, the conscientious planner and the free thinker. But Winnie, the sneaky and snarky great-grandmother, really takes the cake. This is a wise and witty novel about the lengths women will go to protect their family. Read my full review of The Unusual Abduction Of Avery Conifer here.

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald

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Zelda is 21 years old. She lives with her older brother, Gert, and she’s obsessed with Vikings. Not the TV show, or the football team – literal Vikings, the Norse people who kicked around Northern Europe up until the 11th century. Zelda’s a little bit different, and she knows that, but she’s figured out how to get by in the world. That is, until she figures out that Gert has made friends with some not-nice people who are getting him to do not-nice things for money… and she decides to take matters into her own hands. When We Were Vikings is a surprisingly charming and quirky heartfelt novel that balances compassion with humour in a beautiful way. Read my full review of When We Were Vikings here.

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M Pirsig

I am not a very Zen person, and I have very little interest in motorcycle maintenance – so what on earth could have compelled me to read a book about both of those things? Well, Zen And The Motorcycle Maintenance holds the dubious honour of being the most-often rejected best seller. Robert M Pirsig’s manuscript was turned down 121 times before he found an editor happy to take a chance on his weird book, and even then expectations were low. It went on to top the best seller lists, and sell millions of copies worldwide.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M Pirsig - Book Laid on Wooden Table - Keeping Up With The Penguins
Get Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance here.
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I was reassured by the Author’s Note on my edition, which promises: “[This book] should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It’s not very factual on motorcycles either.” It seems Pirsig had a good sense of humour, and a knack for turning a phrase – both qualities I appreciate in an author.

Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance is an autobiographical story about a father-and-son motorcycle road trip across the United States, but in telling it, the narrator undertakes a philosophical odyssey and examines how we think and perceive the world. So, not exactly light reading.

As the “autobiographical” part of that summary suggests, Pirsig actually did undertake a 17-day journey with his son, Chris, from Minnesota to Northern California on the back of a Honda CB77. He also undertook the philosophical odyssey himself, too, but I’m hoping (for his sake) that there’s more than a little creative license in Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, because things get dark.

In between legs of the trip, the narrator/Pirsig spends a lot of time talking philosophy to himself (in-text essays he calls Chautauquas). The philosophy is pretty basic stuff at first, until he turns to rhetoric and the Ancient Greeks in the final act. Reading Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance is like taking a shaved-down Intro to Philosophy class. You could probably get about the same level of understanding from reading the Wikipedia page about the book. The urge to skim was strong as I was reading it, particularly once I passed the halfway mark. I found myself desperate to skip the philosophical meandering, and get to the road trip story.

It sounds like Pirsig would’ve been alright with that, though. He once said: “Two different books are commingled [in Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance], one about ideas and the other about people. If a reader just wants to know about the people, that’s okay. It’s still a readable book.” Never thought I’d be a ‘people person’, but there you have it!

The philosophy stuff is linked to the road trip stuff by the narrator’s back story, and this is where Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance took a turn that I didn’t expect. It turns out the narrator has a history of mental illness, and personifies it in the form of Phaedrus. Phaedrus is both the narrator’s past self and his shadow self, a college professor who became crazed by his quest to understand what constitutes good writing, or ‘Quality’ as he calls it. The narrator/Phaedrus was detained and hospitalised, and treated (without consent) by electroconvulsive therapy, causing the apparent split between his two selves. He’s basically a middle-aged Holden Caulfield, with more delusions of intellectual insight.

But, as I said, the philosophy – and the back-story that informs it – kind of bored me, in the end. It was the road trip I was interested in, and the narrator’s relationship with his son. Given how closely Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance aligns with Pirsig’s own life and experience, I thought it was kind of brutal that he included the scenes where Chris shits his pants (twice! on one road trip! that’s why we pack more underwear than we need). Of course, this was overshadowed by the heart-wrenching Afterword, which reveals that Chris was murdered a few years after the book was published. Pirsig seemed to believe that his son was reincarnated in some fashion, by way of an accidental pregnancy with his second wife – if that brought him some comfort, I’m glad.

All told, Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance is a book I’d recommend to privileged white men who take themselves too seriously. For me? It was fine, but not one I’ll be re-reading.

My favourite Amazon reviews of Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance:

  • “Don’t know what people see in this book other than the catchy title, but it is nothing squared. It is not good at philosophy and it’s not good at storytelling so you’ve been warned.” – Molly
  • “Attempted to read this gobeldegook and never finished it. Some people like Limburger cheese but most find it stinks. This book has little to do with motorcycles. After reading some of the book, I finally realized that a mental case with half baked philosophy is the author! This book is like the emperor’s new clothes. I didn’t get it so I guess I’m not a intellectual snob.” – none
  • “The first part is just a long string of examples of poor parenting. One really starts to feel bad for the son by the end of it. The second engages in the worst kind of sophistry, misrepresents Taoism, misrepresents Zen, and basically claims to be a distillation of all three. The author claims that reality itself is subservient to an “indefinable” substance called “quality”. It’s basically Plato’s abstract ideals only sloppier. It’s also worth pointing out that this has nothing to do with motorcycle maintenance. If you’re looking for that, there are plenty of online videos out there on other platforms.” – jason

The Night Parade – Jami Nakamura Lin

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The easiest way to get me to pick up a new release is to liken it to one of my favourite books. That’s why, when my friends at Scribe promised me that The Night Parade was like Carmen Maria Machado’s In The Dream House, I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a copy for review.

The blurb goes on to explain that The Night Parade combines fable, culture, memory, art, legacy, and legend to tell Jami Nakamura Lin’s story, of mental illness and grief after the loss of her father. Before you even get to the first chapter, you’ll be stunned by the beauty of this hardback, and the illustrations by the author’s sister, Cori Nakamura Lin.

I found The Night Parade less familiar than Machado’s work, because Lin is writing to very different cultural reference points and touchstones. She draws from her heritage as a Japanese Taiwanese American woman, using the folklore of the yokai (supernatural creatures) to describe her experience of bipolar disorder and anticipatory grief. So, reading it landed somewhere between Machado and Sayaka Murata for me, with shades of Maggie Nelson and Susanna Cahalan.

Lin offers remarkable insight, her academic understanding of both illness and narrative informing an unusually keen self-awareness. Her experience of mental illness defies the story we’re comfortable with (“things were bad, then they got better, now I am healed and strong”), and she doesn’t shy away from that. Using the traditional Japanese narrative structure (four acts), she tells a different story, one that’s perhaps more true and realistic, but challenging to read at times.

Buy The Night Parade on Booktopia here. (affiliate link)

10 Romance Books For Bibliophiles

It’s the season for romance and passion – and there’s nothing we’re more passionate about than books! So, here’s a list of romance books for bibliophiles, love stories with bookish themes, and happily-ever-afters for book lovers.

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Beach Read by Emily Henry

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If you’ve spent even a minute on #Bookstagram over the last year or two, you’ve encountered an Emily Henry book. The best-selling author of sunny romances really found her people in the online book lover communicate, and she leaned into it – nothing wrong with giving the people what they want! Beach Read is exactly what you’d expect of romance books for bibliophiles. A romance novelist and a literary fiction author happen to take neighbouring beach houses, both in the hopes of breaking their own spell of writer’s block. They went to the beach looking for inspiration, and they found each other instead. But is their chemistry enough to overcome all of their differences?

By The Book by Jasmine Guillory

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The Venn diagram of adult bibliophiles who read romance books and who loved Disney’s Beauty & The Beast is very nearly a circle. For any book lover, a remote mansion with a huge library (and a sexy beast willing to let you use it) is pretty much the dream. The Meant To Be book series re-imagines these Disney fairytales for adults, and the grown-up version of Beauty & The Beast is By The Book. Jasmine Guillory transforms Belle into a twenty-something publishing professional, desperate to progress in her career – even if it means becoming a live-in cheerleader for a moody high-profile author who’s behind on delivering his manuscript.

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

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The romantic leads of Meet Cute Club are Jordan – founder of the fledgling titular club – and Rex – a “frustratingly obnoxious and breathtakingly handsome” bookseller who makes fun of Jordan for buying books “meant for grandmas”. Naturally, they’re destined to be together. This is a wonderfully sweet rom-com with relatable characters, and an important message about (forgive me) not judging a book by its cover. It’s also one of the most delightful queer romance books for bibliophiles you’ll find on any shelf.

How To Find Love In A Bookshop by Veronica Henry

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The clue is in the title: How To Find Love In A Bookshop is the ultimate romance book for bibliophiles. The story follows Emilia Nightingale’s fight to keep her late father’s bookshop out of the hand of developers, while her village customers look for love and the life they want to live. It’s a delightful story with the coziest possible vibes, a David and Goliath battle against gentrification and corporate greed, sharp and sweet dialogue, and heart-warming love connections. You’ll find yourself browsing for love as well as books next time you’re at your local independent bookstore.

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

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A blocked ghost writer falls in love with her dead, sexy, no-longer-corporeal editor? Yes, please! The Dead Romantics is both a spooky story and a fun romance read for bibliophiles – that’s the best of both worlds! The fact that the main character can see and speak to ghosts is almost incidental to the romance plot at first, but it’s the crucial hook that makes this a fun and delightful read. Plus, most editions come with bonus content, including a list of the author’s own favourite comfort reads. Read my full review of The Dead Romantics here.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams

The Bromance Book Club combines all the elements that bibliophiles love in romance books. Baseball player Gavin Scott tumbles head-first into a crisis of confidence when he finds out his wife is divorcing him. Turns out, she’s been faking her orgasms for the entire duration of their marriage. Ouch! In a last-ditch effort to save their relationship (and ignite their sex life), he joins Nashville’s all-alpha-male romance book club. Will the wisdom of Courting The Countess help Gavin unleash his inner Fabio? “The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.” This is the first in a best-selling series of romance books for bibliophiles.

Thank You For Listening by Julia Whelan

There’s plenty of romance books for bibliophiles about authors and readers, but what about those hard-working heroes who narrate our audiobooks? They finally get a look-in in Thank You For Listening, a moving and uplifting romance about overcoming your fears to find love. Sewanee Chester has long given up on the idea of fairy-tale romance, and has no expectations of being swept off her feet when she takes on a job narrating an audiobook for one of the world’s most beloved romance authors. When sparks fly with her co-narrator, Brock McNight, she starts to realise that maybe romance books aren’t totally unrealistic after all.

Well Met by Jen De Luca

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“All is faire in love and war.” That’s the slogan of Well Met, an enemies-to-lovers romance novel that takes place in the unlikely setting of a small-town Renaissance Faire. The heroine, Emily, moves to Willow Creek, a (fictional) small town in Maryland, to help her sister and niece recuperate after a serious car crash. She finds herself roped into volunteering at the Faire, when she’s not working at the local independent bookshop. She clashes with Simon, the Faire’s organiser, but once they’re both in costume and hanging out in the tavern, all bets are off! Read my full review of Well Met here.

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

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Paris is for lovers… book lovers, that is. With Shakespeare & Co, literary salons, and a rich history as a haven for prolific bohemian authors, it’s the logical setting for romance books featuring bibliophiles. The Little Paris Bookshop is one such book, the story of the city’s (sadly, fictional) ‘literary apothecary’. Monsieur Perdu can prescribe a book to heal any pain or problem… except his own. For years, he’s been dispensing paperback cures from his floating book shop on the Seine, but he might finally be ready to pursue a cure for his own broken heart.

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer - Keeping Up With The Penguins

A book club formed as an alibi for German occupiers of an English Channel island during World War II seems an unlikely basis for a romance book… but that’s what you get in The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society. This epistolary novel is part sweet, slow-burn romance, part WWII historical fiction. A writer is searching for a story for her next manuscript, when she receives a letter from a man who lives on the island of Guernsey. They strike up a correspondence, and soon she is drawn into his isolated community, where books and food keep neighbours and friends connected in a world that’s falling apart. Read my full review of The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society here.

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society is billed as “a moving tale of post-war friendship, love, and books,”. I’m not into WWII historical fiction as a rule, but the bookish aspect of this one drew my attention.

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer - Keeping Up With The Penguins
Get The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society here.
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This one also has a heart-wrenching authorial story. Mary Ann Shaffer was a 70-year-old former librarian, encouraged by members of her book club to write a book of her own. She was inspired by a visit to the English Channel island of Guernsey, and crafted a story that combined that location with her own lifelong passion for books and literature. Sadly, Shaffer’s health began to decline after she submitted her manuscript to publishers, and her niece Annie Barrows had to take over for final re-writes and edits. Shaffer passed away shortly before The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society was published in 2008, so she never saw her debut novel in print.

But wipe your tears away, we’ve got a book to review! The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society is an epistolary novel, set in 1946. The action takes place between London, a city still recovering from the Blitz, and the island of Guernsey, which was occupied by Germans from 1940 to liberation in 1945.

32-year-old writer, Juliet Ashton, found fame and financial security (in very lean times) by writing comedic columns as an intrepid and subversive character. As the novel begins, she’s writing to her publisher to say that she’s ready for a change, to write under her own name about weightier topics. She begins casting around for an idea.

Around the same time, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams, a stranger from the island of Guernsey. A book that had previously belonged to her – The Essays of Elia by Charles Lamb – has found its way into his hands, and he writes to her to tell her how much he enjoys it. They begin a correspondence, and Dawsey tells Juliet all about the literary society run by the residents of Guernsey. It began under strange circumstances, as an alibi for being out after the curfew imposed by German occupiers. Juliet is fascinated, and the story sparks an idea…

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society is a highly readable book, and surprisingly moving. The wide cast of characters is charming and entertaining, and the letter format is used to great effect. Most importantly to me, the war is more than a convenient backdrop – it’s integral to the plot and the characters, and Shaffer neither romanticises it nor exploits its horrors for dramatic effect.

I read an excellent review by Stevie Davies for The Guardian, which I think sums it up beautifully:

Shaffer’s Guernsey characters step from the past radiant with eccentricity and kindly humour, a comic version of the state of grace. They are innocents who have seen and suffered, without allowing evil to penetrate the rind of decency that guards their humanity.

Stevie Davies (“Bright and dark” – Review of The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society)

Given how well it flows and gently tugs on heartstrings, it’s no surprise that The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society hit the best-seller list. I’d imagine that book clubs the world over had a field day with it. It was also adapted into a 2018 film (starring Lily James as Juliet), and the trailer looks quite promising.

Overall, this isn’t a challenging or life-changing read, but a perfectly pleasant one – the perfect gift for a casual reader of historical or romantic fiction, or one with which to pass a quiet rainy afternoon yourself.

My favourite Amazon reviews of The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society:

  • “Read the whole thing, dog conversations and all. Terrible. I was excited by the title and that turned out to be the best part.” – Sharon tonkin
  • “How could they send four to five letters in the same day!!!!! They weren’t texting, they were writing letters! DUMB. And really, can somebody write letters everyday??? That tells me that Juliet didn’t have a life. WEIRD” – SuzieG
  • “WW2 is SUPPOSED to be used as the backdrop and reason for the title, but the disjointed writing could cause a historically inept person to believe WW2 was fabricated by the authors as a convenient cause for secret food gatherings. This book is assanine.” – Siren23
  • “Want to read about a starving Nazi soldier strangling a cat, boiling it and eating it? No? How about starving Nazi soldiers using spoons to scrape the bottom of a boat to pick up any food scraps left over? How about learning that the heroine you’ve been rooting for all along has been killed in prison and won’t return to her beloved island? Neither did I. The charming and romantic parts of which there were plenty were ruined with these graphic parts. It’s like serving a delicious salad with a few rotten boiled eggs and a teaspoon of spoiled salad dressing. It tastes good except for the rotten bits and in the end you are left with a bad taste in your mouth.” – Ivy Jolie
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