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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. — As Juliet and her ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780385340991
ISBN-10: 0385340990
Publication Date: 7/29/2008
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 688

4.2 stars, based on 688 ratings
Publisher: The Dial Press
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 0
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on
Helpful Score: 28
What a wonderful book! Having just finished this one, I am still smiling and thinking of the characters. Had I the time and money, I'd be booking a trip for Guernsey right this minute. As it is, I feel as though I've already visited and been made to feel at home.

Set in both London and Guernsey Island, this novel follows author Juliet as she becomes friends with the inhabitants of the island shortly after the end of World War 2. Told in epistolary style, Juliet learns of the occupied island and its deprivations, as well as the resounding spirit of the people who live there. As she writes, she becomes more and more intrigued with the stories of the people who survived the hard times, and she decides to create a book based on their experiences. In order to gather more information, Juliet moves temporarily to the island and soon finds herself immsersed in the culture and relationships.

This is absolutely one of the most delightful books I've read all year. The characters are real, the relationships are unique, and Juliet is hysterically funny, as well as warm hearted and genuine. I did have a bit of trouble keeping all the characters straight in the beginning, but once I caught on, I was enthralled. The pages just fly by and while you will learn a little of what happened to Guernsey during World War 2, you will learn much more about love and friendship. Highly recommended!
reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 54 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 20
This is one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. I loved it...couldn't put it down and when it ended I wanted to know more about the island, the characters, the war. I'm not going to post it until I have shared it with everyone I know and then read it again.
reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 289 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
An exemplary epistolary novel about and for bibliophiles! The central correspondent is the witty, free-spirited Juliet Ashton, having written a humorous newspaper column during World War II subsequently compiled into a best-selling anthology called Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War, in search of new material for her next project. A stranger, who happens to be a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, comes into the possession of one of her books and writes her a letter. Intrigued by the stories of how the Channel Island of Guernsey survived the German Occupation, Juliet strikes up a correspondence with members of the Society and ultimately travels to the Island, living among them to research her book.

Despite the somber overcast of WWII in the immediate past, Juliet's correspondents are full, vibrant characters, fleshed out in descriptive letters which are so missing from our modern communication. The novel harkens back to a more traditional time when friendships can blossom and be sustained on letters, but at the same time Juliet is a modern, independent woman in search of meaningful work and relationships. I'm saddened to learn that the primary author has passed away--requiring her niece's collaboration due to her failing health to make revisions--but not before knowing that this poignant book will be well received because it truly succeeds in showing how deep friendship and "the love of art ... enables people to transcend any barrier man has yet devised."
reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 293 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 17
I really enjoyed this book. A very fast read as it is all letters written to, and from, the main character, Juliet. Juliet is a writer and begins a correspondence with a stranger from Guernsey, after the war. This leads to her hearing from other members of the Potato Peel Society, and eventually a trip to Guernsey to interview them for a possible book. A wonderful group of characters, whom we meet totally through their letters. It isn't all roses, though. The war is still fresh in all their minds and they are missing one of their members and hoping she makes it home as she was sent to a concentration camp. Their stories, told through their letters, are wonderful - both sad and interesting. A good story; I hated to see it end.
sfc95 avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 686 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 15
Not my normal reading, but I read the rave reviews and thought I would check it out. It was a very good book, with just the right amount of humor and seriousness. I will say the book is too short and there is still more I want to know about the characters. maybe there will be a second book.
Read All 257 Book Reviews of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society"

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reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 4 more book reviews
Love books like this
loshie avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on
Great book.
robine4206 avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 50 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. It was a quick easy read and provided a different view point to World War II. I remember from high school history that the islands off the French coast were occupied by German troops during World War II but I never really thought about how it affected the locals. This book opened a whole new discussion at book group about the Germany army and their interaction with the local people. There is so much literature available about the Holocaust that sometimes you become so involved with that one aspect of the war that you forget other people were also affected. I enjoyed this book and found the discussion at my book club stimulating. The book discussed the hardships the people on one small island faced while being occupied and how that occupied force reacted to the local community.
perryfran avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 959 more book reviews
Very enjoyable novel written in the form of letters (epistolary novel). I wasn't sure at first if I would like this form of writing (I had never read another epistolary novel) but as I got into it, it turned out to be very unique and quite enjoyable. The story is about a writer named Juliet who receives a letter in 1946 from a stranger from Guernsey (one of the Channel Islands between England and France) after finding her name and address in a second-hand book by Charles Lamb. The stranger's name is Dawsey Adams, who is a farmer on Guernsey and is also one of the founders of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a literary book club on the island. He asks for the name of a bookshop in London so that he can obtain more writings by Charles Lamb. Juliet is intrigued by the letter and wants to use the literary club for an article she is supposed to write for the newspaper. Well this leads to a series of letters between the often quirky residents of Guernsey and Juliet. Juliet finds out that the literary society was originally formed as a ruse to hide a pig-bake from the Germans who occupied Guernsey during WWII. The novel consists solely of letters between Juliet, the Guernsey residents, and her other friends residing in London including her publisher, Sidney. Juliet eventually visits Guernsey and falls in love with the place and its people.

This was mostly a very enjoyable look at Guernsey and its residents after they had suffered through five years of occupation by German forces. But the novel does deal with some very bleak sides of this occupation including heart-wrenching descriptions of German concentration camps where some of the Guernsey residents were sent for various infractions. The book was also full of literary references related to the books the society were reading. There was also a quirky tale of a visit from Oscar Wilde and letters he wrote to one of the residents. Overall, a very likable, pleasant, and satisfying read.

There is also a 2018 movie based on this novel that is currently showing on Netflix. I'll be watching it soon.
robinmy avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 1808 more book reviews
Shortly after the end of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton is looking for a subject for her new book. She receives a letter from a man who lives on the Isle of Guernsey. He found her name in a book and wrote to ask her about it. She begins a correspondence with him and several others on the island who tell about their lives in Guernsey during the war.

I heard a lot of good things about this book, so I thought I'd give it a try. I listened to over two hours of the audiobook and wasn't even sure what the story was about. The whole story is letters. Though some of the letters were amusing, I was having a hard time following the story. This book wasn't for me. My rating: DNF.
NancyAZ avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 84 more book reviews
3.5 stars. This was my second time reading this book as my book club picked it for this month. It was a 3.5 star rating for me nine years ago and it is the same today.

I liked learning/remembering little tidbits of the German occupation of the island of Guernsey during World War II and I think I would love to visit there some day but the story was just okay for me. I don't care for the format of the whole book being told through letters. It felt flat.
miss-info avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 386 more book reviews
When I first started the book I thought the letter format would be a distraction and I would not be able to get into the story. I was wrong! After the first few letters I was hooked, and grew increasingly more hooked as the book went on.

I saw the Masterpiece Theater Mini-series Island at War before I read the book, so I could see the island in my mind's eye as I read. I strongly recommend pairing the movie with the book; two different stories about German occupation of the channel islands, both very well done.

(Island at War is on Netflix)
reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 11 more book reviews
This was an amazing book. We discussed it in a Book Group, to which I belong, and everyone loved it.
This is a book that teaches history, in a fascinating way. It details the occupation by the Germans of Guernsey Island during WWII, through a series of letters written after the end of the war.
The characters are interesting people, that you would like to know, and about whom you care. I highly recommend this book.
reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 2 more book reviews
I picked up the book a few times and wasn't sure it was for me. My sister said give it a chance and sure enough I was pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the book immensely. A great insight into life after immediately following WWII in London and Guernsey.
miss-info avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 386 more book reviews
When I first started the book I thought the letter format would be a distraction and I would not be able to get into the story. I was wrong! After the first few letters I was hooked, and grew increasingly more hooked as the book went on.

I saw the Masterpiece Theater Mini-series Island at War before I read the book, so I could see the island in my mind's eye as I read. I strongly recommend pairing the movie with the book; two different stories about German occupation of the channel islands, both very well done.

(Island at War is on Netflix)
miss-info avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 386 more book reviews
When I first started the book I thought the letter format would be a distraction and I would not be able to get into the story. I was wrong! After the first few letters I was hooked, and grew increasingly more hooked as the book went on.

I saw the Masterpiece Theater Mini-series Island at War before I read the book, so I could see the island in my mind's eye as I read. I strongly recommend pairing the movie with the book; two different stories about German occupation of the channel islands, both very well done.

(Island at War is on Netflix)
miss-info avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 386 more book reviews
When I first started the book I thought the letter format would be a distraction and I would not be able to get into the story. I was wrong! After the first few letters I was hooked, and grew increasingly more hooked as the book went on.

I saw the Masterpiece Theater Mini-series Island at War before I read the book, so I could see the island in my mind's eye as I read. I strongly recommend pairing the movie with the book; two different stories about German occupation of the channel islands, both very well done.

(Island at War is on Netflix)
miss-info avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 386 more book reviews
When I first started the book I thought the letter format would be a distraction and I would not be able to get into the story. I was wrong! After the first few letters I was hooked, and grew increasingly more hooked as the book went on.

I saw the Masterpiece Theater Mini-series Island at War before I read the book, so I could see the island in my mind's eye as I read. I strongly recommend pairing the movie with the book; two different stories about German occupation of the channel islands, both very well done.

(Island at War is on Netflix)
miss-info avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 386 more book reviews
When I first started the book I thought the letter format would be a distraction and I would not be able to get into the story. I was wrong! After the first few letters I was hooked, and grew increasingly more hooked as the book went on.

I saw the Masterpiece Theater Mini-series Island at War before I read the book, so I could see the island in my mind's eye as I read. I strongly recommend pairing the movie with the book; two different stories about German occupation of the channel islands, both very well done.

(Island at War is on Netflix)
reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 102 more book reviews
I didn't think I would like this book as much as I did. It had loveable, quircky characters, a deep meaningful plot with an outside story. It came together beautifully and I really enjoyed it.
jazzyheather avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 37 more book reviews
Loved, loved, loved this book! I was skeptical about reading a book full of letters, but after reading the fourth letter I was hooked and couldn't put it down. The characters in the book are amusing. Shaffer really took her time developing the characters and makes you fall in love with them and you can't wait to see what will happen next. This is a great summer read!
miss-info avatar reviewed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on + 386 more book reviews
When I first started the book I thought the letter format would be a distraction and I would not be able to get into the story. I was wrong! After the first few letters I was hooked, and grew increasingly more hooked as the book went on.

I saw the Masterpiece Theater Mini-series Island at War before I read the book, so I could see the island in my mind's eye as I read. I strongly recommend pairing the movie with the book; two different stories about German occupation of the channel islands, both very well done.

(Island at War is on Netflix)

Book Wiki

People/Characters
Juliet Ashton (Primary Character)
Dawsey (Major Character)
Isola Pribby (Major Character)
Remy (Average Character)
Eben Ramsey (Average Character)
(Show all 16 People/Characters)
Awards and Honors

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