The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows


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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2842 reviews.
Lynn_R More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader and this is one of the best and most touching books I've ever read. The story's set at the end of WWII in England and Guernsey and it's written as a series of letters and telegrams between characters (well done). You must read this book. You will laugh, you will cry, you will grow to love these people and once finished, you will feel enriched for having come to know them while simultaneously mourning the end of your relationship with them. This is a book to keep, to treasure, to give to friends and loved ones and to read again and again. Is is too soon to ask for more?
AprilP More than 1 year ago
This was such a charming group of charectors that by the end of the book, I felt like I knew each one of them so well and I wished they were real. The style of the book being in letters was, initially, a little awkward. It gave me a greater appreciation for the lost art of letter writing. A really good story.
1DANA3 More than 1 year ago
Having read the overwhelming number of 5 star reviews, I had to buy this book! I'm so glad I did! The unique and original presentation through nothing more than letters was a perfect and unique method to get every character's point of view effectively. This is such a charming novel full of drama, sadness, humor, serious trauma,perserverence,tolerance, and all facets of love and relationships. Juliet, a writer, is immersed in each diverse character's inspiring story, some in dire circumstances with the horrific occupation of their island by the Germans. This was a pleasure and a joy to read! just beautifully done! Well worth your time! Some other FAVORITES OF MINE...BELOW
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Though I had heard, of course, of the Channel Islands and Jersey and Guernsey, I never knew much about them, nor had I been curious to learn more. That has changed for me. And I had had no idea that Guernsey had been occupied by the Nazis during World War II, or that its inhabitants had been treated as harshly as those in any small town in France, Belgium and Holland that had fallen in the path of the Germany army.
The story is told in the form of a series of letters. I can recall this format being used successfully only twice in the past: In A WOMAN OF INDEPENDENT MEANS as well as in 84, CHARING CROSS ROAD. (In fact, there are a number of similarities between the latter and THE GUERNSEY... SOCIETY. Each book deals, in part, with World War II London and all this implies in terms of rationing and the Blitz, and also with the overlapping worlds of book-publishing and book selling.) The book also contains overtones of that much-loved BBC comedy, THE VICAR OF DIBLEY.
The plot begins innocently enough, describing town life on a small British island. Yet with as many layers as a large onion, the obvious surface keeps being peeled back to reveal ever more complicated and disturbing information.
To mention all of the many themes addressed, then, would read like a list. Suffice it to say that love and romance are included, but also the worst human depravity in history, the way in which the Nazis treated their victims. Even in this bestiality, however, the authors -- like poor Anne Frank -- were able to see some good and some beauty inherent in the human race.
A good read, highly recommended.
DeLapp More than 1 year ago
My friend lent me this book to read, literally screaming its praises to the moon. Admittedly, I only took it to please her; I was wary, from the looks of the cover, title, and setting, that I would find it too "cutesy". The fact that the book is written in letters threw me off a bit, as well. Alas, I was wrong; very, very wrong. Once I started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I could not put it down. It's wholesome and traditional, but never childlike; never naive. This book carries a riveting edge with it. The main character, Juliet Ashton, has a biting, witty sense of humor that you can't help but fall in love with. And the characters -- oh!, the characters! My God, are they brilliant. Buy this book! It will become a well-worn companion.
Allison_K More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best books I've read this year. It's a rich story with interesting and well-developed characters, all told through letters mostly written to and from the main character of the book, Juliet. I did not realize it was a book of letters when I bought the book, so when I started reading the first few pages, I thought I would be disappointed. But the letters make the story come alive, as you discover things about the people in the book. Juliet is an author in post WWII England, who was assigned to write an article about the benefits of reading. She had a column during WWII in which she wrote under a pen name and ridiculed the war. As she was researching her article, she discovered that people on the island of Guernsey had created The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society during the German occupation of the island during WWII. She corresponds by mail with the members of the society, and travels to the island from London. Through her letters with the society members, and letters back and forth with Sidney, her publisher, and other friends, you learn about the joys and tragedies of the people on Guernsey during the German occupation. And you also get to know Juliet's hopes and dreams. I highly recommend this beautifully written book!
gettin_picky More than 1 year ago
This is a great story. I have recommended it to all my reading buddies and family. The story is so well done. Having enjoyed it so much I went searching for additional novels by the author and discovered this was her one and only and she didn't completely finish it by herself. It did explain why there was a small change in writing style towards the end of the book. The author was too ill to make the changes requested by the editor so her niece made the changes for her. I loved the main chacater and found myself wishing that I could have known her and been friends with her. This is such a wonderful story and is so well done, you will not regret spending one second on it.
Biz-Smartz More than 1 year ago
As a 7th grade girl, I sometimes find it hard to locate books that AREN'T about vampires, vampires, zombies, etc. However, I was in luck when I found this book! It really was beautifully written, and I adored the format of letters. Books written entirely in correspondence tend to have a more friendly feel to them, which was exactly what I was looking for. If you enjoyed this book, also check out "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana deRosnay.
DStein More than 1 year ago
I originally picked up this book because the title caught my eye. I thought it was such an original and odd title that I just had to purchase it. Then I went to read it and realized it was written competely in letters between the characters and thought I wasn't sure I was going to like this. Well, I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It took maybe a few pages to get into reading in a letter format, but once you get to know who is writing the letters, you can't put this book down! I, like Juliet, found that I felt that I knew the inhabitants of Guernsey through their letters. And being a lover of books myself, appreciated how such a friendship between Juliet and Dawsey could form without having set eyes on each other or heard one another's voice. But, once Juliet sets foot on the island, the characters come to life and the story just gets more and more wonderful. The most fascinating character by far is one that doesn't even write a letter. Elizabeth lives through the letters of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society which she created on the spot to explain away the predicament they are found in when caught by the Nazis after curfew. This book truly helped me to understand what these characters may have felt while living under the Nazi occupation during WWII. And what I felt was hope, determination and a formidable spirit to go on. I can understand how Juliet fell in love with the characters on Guernsey, because I did as well. The only problem I had with this book, was that it had to end.
BeachReaderPW More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent read. I loved the characters and their stories. A must read for a vacation or on a cold rainy day!!
R_Clark More than 1 year ago
I found it hard to get into this book at first. Reading letters seemed tedious and I almost put it down for good. But for some reason I kept picking it up and then I eventually got hooked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If I had to use one word to describe this book, it would be delightful. I found myself wishing I could be a part of this group of friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Historical fiction that pulls you in and keeps you guessing the whole time. Loved it!
snowflakeinannapolis More than 1 year ago
It's like nothing I have ever read before - comprised entirely of letters from among the various characters. It is a very different, but very moving story. I would highly recommend it. It would also be a wonderful choice for bookclubs. The paperback had a built in readers guide in the back with thought provoking questions included.
booksaremylife1956 More than 1 year ago
Until this book was chosen as one of our book club selections, I intentionally avoided it as one of the plethora of books in the food+ some sort of literary group in the title books. Once chosen, I had no choice. I had just finished reading Team of Rivals which was also wonderful...but what a tome! Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is written in a format I like very much; the entire book is composed of letters back and forth between and among the main characters. The author uses this technique to keep up the pace and the interest in her novel. The story is framed with a light-hearted, whimsical narrator but sandwiches an intriguing bit of WWII history in between. Each newly introduced character's personality, beliefs, values, and character is revealed by their own hand in the style and content of their letters. This was just a delightful, quick read that I wanted to immediately read again once I'd finished. Upon finishing I went at once to my email and recommended that all my friends (reader friends) drop everything and go get a copy and lock themselves away with it. I've also given it as a gift and plan to give it again.
KAV66 More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and was sad when it ended. I listened to the audio version; the readers did a wonderful job. I don't usually like books written in a letter setting but this works! It is a good history lesson without being too heavy, and the authors have a delightful sense of humor.
waelkyrie More than 1 year ago
The characters of this car ride: Myself: a young woman in late 20's who reads mostly social political non-fiction or high-brow or quirky/satirical literature. My mum: a woman in her early 60's who reads time magazine, the news, and enjoys memoirs. My stepfather: an evil lobbyist with a good soul, who reads books about religion, law, and history. I seriously doubt that he's ever read a novel. And somehow, we were all brought together giggling at the same parts of the book, The scene: a long 8 hour road trip after the holidays. We got into the car, and my stepfather gave 6 choices for creating an audioscape. an audiobook on the early church; an audiobook on a boring aspect of the civil war; motown hits. I would have chosen motown, but i had my ipod ready for action- and probably would have put on hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy for a bit. However, my mum had just received the Potato Peel Pie audiobook... and despite uniting my stepfather's and my groans, i never once put my ipod on. If anything, i asked for the volume to be turned up and sank into the story and the characters. the audiotape was truly marvelous: it had the three of us giggling at parts, discussing the german occupation of Guernsey, and all three of us discussing the love life of our narrator and rooting for a certain fella. Truly a marvelous experience.
Sivard More than 1 year ago
I have fallen in love with you. And though I don't bear the slightest resemblance to Mark Reynolds (the impetuous American in your delightful novel), I do want to thank you for compiling a wonderful set of letters. I am a 71-year old man, still battling with my friends over some of the ideas of this book. It is said that crying is good for the soul; my soul, if indeed I have one, hasn't been this refreshed in years. I do wish that Ms. Shaffer were still alive so that I could thank her for bringing Juliet and her entourage into being. Ms. Barrows, I do thank you for restoring my faith in the beauty of ideas. When a book makes one want to drop everything, fly to London and then to the island of Guernsey, just to see how the place seems today, and to perhaps find at least one of the wonderful characters that inhabit this book, well that is some book!!! My sincerest thanks to Ms. Shaffer, Ms. Barrows and to Dial Press.
vjdahlin More than 1 year ago
This is a book I wasn't sure I would enjoy, until I read a few pages and then had a difficult time putting it down to live my own life. Those friends who I have shared the book with have also enjoyed reading it with the same exprience. It is a book that opens hearts and teaches life lessons.
DanaMentink More than 1 year ago
How does an author take a hideous historical event and bring it to life in a charming, witty way that makes it an uplifting story? Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows accomplish this feat in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Set in post World War Two England, Author Juliet Ashton, a wonderfully eccentric character in her own right, is looking for her next book idea and finds it unexpectedly in the people of Guernsey, a tiny British island that suffered through Nazi occupation. The book is told entirely through letters back and forth between Julia and the colorful people who suffered so miserably under Nazi control. It follows Julia as she travels to the island to meet the members of the Literary Society. The members reveal how they survived the war and its aftermath with humor, grace and an indomitable spirit encapsulated in the formation of their literary society. The book is a bit of history, a bit of romance, a bit of a travel guide and a large portion of beautifully written literary fiction. The characters, from the courageous Elizabeth to the nasty Adeladie Addison are so meticulously renedered they could each have their own novels. The tone is so charming and ebullient that it perfectly embodies the unquenchable spirit of the people who survived against all odds.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved the format of the book. It was well written.
3tzmom More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a book club and I wasn't very excited about it. I didn't like the title and didn't know anything about the plot. Once I got into the story I couldn't put it down. I even found myself counting the pages in disappointment because it would soon end. Great development of plot and characters. It was a delight to read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best read I've come across in about 5 years. Loved this book!
Meekmock More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was fun to see the characters develop as you read each letter and response. A very quick read and so entertaining I hated to put it down. Too bad e-mailing and texting have taken the place of letter-writing. There's definitely an art to letter-writing, as seen in this book, that's being lost with our high-tech toys. Everyone in our Book Club LOVED this book.
KRD More than 1 year ago
Everyone in the book club loved this book and we rarely agree on books! It was an easy, pleasant read, but informational and serious as well. Most of us were unaware of the WWII occupation of the Guernsey Islands and it presented yet another side to that war. Actually, most of us were unaware of the Guernsey Islands at all. The use of letters made the story feel very personal as well.