Mary Ann Shaffer – Allen & Unwin - NZ$35.00 A$29.95
I predict that this utterly delightful and charming book will become something of a phenomenon by year’s end with sales, hugely assisted by word of mouth enthusiasms, running into the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions.
Let me start by quoting the publisher’s afterword:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is a first novel from a 70-year-old former librarian, Mary Ann Shaffer. She first became interested in Guernsey when visiting London in 1976. On a whim, she decided to fly to Guernsey but became stranded there as a heavy fog descended and no boats or planes were permitted to leave the island. As she waited for the fog to clear, she came across a book called Jersey Under the Jack-Boot, and so her fascination with the Channel Isles began.
How sad, but her story is a triumphant one, a simple and captivating tale of love and friendship and books, a story told entirely by way of letters. It is set in Guernsey and London and takes place between January and September 1946. I read it in two long sittings and was totally enchanted.
Every book group in the English speaking world will be selecting this title once the word is out.
And as a bonus it comes in a handsomely designed, chunky, and most appealing hardback package.
My congratulations to Australian publishers Allen & Unwin on a fine piece of publishing, it is not often fiction is treated with such care.
Don’t miss this one, everyone is going to be talking about it.