World War II in the Lens of Literature: How a simple commonality held together chaos. How Novels Fought Nazis.

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The world, the motive, the pain. Farewell reconciles, stranded soldiers, unfamiliar homes, and what you can call a lifestyle unknown, a lifestyle distorted.  It was June of 1940 when the British Channel Island of Guernsey first faced its confrontation with the enemy, the green-robed soldiers who marched through the meek town with both a sense of hostility and apprehension radiating from their eyes.  German occupation had finally planted its flag. The recollections of World War II comprise more than accounts of the monumental damage that physically scared the Earth, but also comprise a more untouched notion, the truth behind the community.  Between the rubble and the turmoil, lay a community of distinctly diverse individuals who were borrowed together by the reality of yet one commonality, war.

To dimensionalize this piece of history, the historical novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, written by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer, tells the story of how one book by the classic writer Charles Lamb brought together a group of Guernsey natives and a young writer of London all baring a suffering from World War II.  In addition to this touching, yet meaningful gathering by the means of one book, the novel had transformed into an innocent, yet powerful tool against the Nazis.  This remarkable work of Barrows and Shaffer captures more than the bonding of a community of readers, but also the power literature posses in therapeutically releasing one’s grievances.  Through its unique form, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society offers a series of letters spoken to and from Juliet Ashton,  the fictionalized London-based writer of the story, who’s copy of Essay of Elia by Charles Lamb fell into the hands of a Guernsey victim of German occupation.  Through a sequence of compelling circumstances and a yearning desire to hear the truth behind victims disheveled by the same war which disheveled her own life, 32-year-old Juliet Ashton embarks on a journey to the Channel Island.  What comes within Ashton’s prolonged expedition irreversibly alters her life, drilling the reality behind war, loyalty, fortitude, and love into her now irrevocable enlightened mind.


A Must Read for All Audiences;


As you turn through the gripping pages of the letters of this novel, readers involuntarily recognize the force of nature behind books that served as yet a damaging yet non-damaging weapon against the Nazis.   The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society undoubtedly illustrates the ability books played in bringing forth a sense of wholeness and belonging to a set of broken people and stand as a message unforgettable to individuals both first-handedly subjected by the war and to youth today.  


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a fictional book which reflects upon true events of German Occupation of the British Channel Island of Guernsey.

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World War II in the Lens of Literature: How a simple commonality held together chaos. How Novels Fought Nazis.