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 »new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends -- and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society -- born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island -- boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.« less
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!
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
This book is a lot of fun. I really got into it and found myself wanting to read more. But that is why i am even more disappointed that the ending seemed wrapped up too quickly and easily. It is still a great read, but the ending did seem like an easy way for the author to find a finish.
The characters were so life like. The style of writing made it very easy to finish this book in less than a day. Elizabeth Gilbert's review of the book was spot on when she called the novel smart and delightful and when she commented about forgetting (the characters) weren't (her) actual friends and neighbors. Loved this book!!!!