The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“ I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” 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...

Details The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

TitleThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Release DateJul 29th, 2008
PublisherThe Dial Press
Number of pages274 pages
GenreHistorical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, Book Club, Romance, War, World War II

Reviews The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

  • Linda Sexauer
    Several years ago, I worked at an art gallery here in Anchorage. Though I loved the art, I wasn’t much good at selling it. More often than not, I just chatted up the customers, who were from all over the world.One night, four elderly people wandered in. They told me they were from a tiny island off the coast of southern England called “Guernsey”. I’d never heard of it, so they proudly explained it was the only part of British soil that ha...
  • Megha
    Dear Mary Ann Shaffer,I recently read your book 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'. It brought a few questions to my mind.Juliet writes in one of her letters: "Dear Sidney, What an inspired present you sent kit - red satin tap shoes covered with sequins" Didn't Sidney know what present he had sent?If you had to resort to sentences like these to speak what you wanted to, didn't you realize that the letter format and your writing d...
  • Emma Kaufmann
    Once again I find myself reading ten pages of a book which is meant to be 'great' and wondering why it is just rubbish. I was meant to read this for a book club but it was about as palatable as a potato peel pie so I spat it out uneaten.Now, I'm sure there are American authors who can write in an authentic British voice (no one springs to mind, and Elizabeth George is terrible at it but at least her plot is not clunky) but Mary Ann Shaffer isn't ...
  • Beth F.
    Gush, gush, gush, gush, gush, gush, gush!!! GUSH!!!!! So yes, clearly I loved this book.I think the only person I wouldn’t recommend this book to is one of those people who only read meaty tomes that might give regular people a brain embolism while they’re trying to make sense of the 17 different layers of subconscious meaning. I’d also hesitate from recommending this book to most men. However, if you have the ability to find joy and deligh...
  • Cayenne
    This was one of the lovliest books I have ever read. I have read many books and seen many movies about World War II, but this one was the best. It was so real. I felt like I knew the characters and I wanted to run over to Guernsey to meet them in person. The stories about their experiences were so touching, not just because they were hard, but because the people were so brave. Horrible things happened to them, but I didn't feel traumatized readin...
  • Alisa
    I'm in favor of:-pig farmers as romantic leads-parrots named Zenobia who eat cuckoo clocks-women who do the askingI'm not in favor of:-strong silent types as romantic leads-adorable children-parrots getting more page time than goats
  • Ruth
    I won an ARC of this book either from the NYer or from the publisher. I forget which, as it's been sitting around for a while.This epistolary novel is something I should have loved. I generally like novels in letters, it’s almost like peering into lighted windows at night as you pass, sewing the bits of life seen there into a coherent whole.It’s fun, this book, in its witty comments, sort of the way I wish I could talk all the time. Yet, abou...
  • Tatiana
    The words that immediately come to mind when I think of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society are nice, cute and, unfortunately, hokey(ish). I certainly understand its popularity (#4 most popular book of 2007 on Goodreads!). There is a distinct air of wholesomeness, inoffensiveness about it, plus it is occasionally funny (in a cute, inoffensive way), with a bit of tragic war business thrown in. But it got tiring for me very quickly. F...
  • La Petite Américaine
    This book is boring, predictable, and pointless. Maybe the kind of thing that charms the sentimental. It's a series of letters in post WWII England between an author facing writers block and an island community who formed a book club during the German occupation. Eventually we meet the characters (who, oddly, have the same voice as the author in their letters) who come to describe one saintly, cliche, full of b.s. woman who held them all together...
  • Laura
    A friend gave this to me with the recommendation, “You’ll LOVE this – it sounds like you!” I assume she meant because the main character is a witty book lover, not because she’s a critical spinster. I don’t dare ask.At any rate, this is easily one of the most charming books I’ve read in a while. Our heroine, Juliet, spent the war writing light pieces for a women’s magazine, and now she yearns for more substantial material. When sh...
  • Kelly
    This book garners a 1.5 from me. What a painful read.I won't dwell too long on what makes this book so wrong, but let's start with the problem of how difficult it is for a GOOD writer to develop character via the epistolary form. Now for two mediocre writers, it's even worse. I distinguish no voices among the twelve million uninteresting characters. Second, how about the "plot?" There isn't one, and what is moderately plot-like is so loosely stru...
  • Will Byrnes
    The GL&PPPS tells of Nazi occupation of this Channel Island during WW II. The story is told via a series of letters exchanged between residents of the island and a writer attempting to learn about their experiences. We are offered a wide range of characters, some warm and charming, some extremist buffoons, some heroic, some not so heroic. The core of the story is Elizabeth, a particularly brave and wonderful individual. She is the emotional heart...
  • Amy
    I don't do this often, but I am commanding my fellow Good Read Sisters to stop what they are doing, order a pizza for the family and hide yourselves away with this book! You all deserve a treat and if I could I would come run your homes while you read - this book is that good. It's unique - all letters - but please don't be put off by that. On the contrary, Shaffer is able to add an edge of humor with this device...and is she also paying homage t...
  • Dem
    Have to admit when this book was recommended to me I was a little worried as for one I found the title strange and two I did not find the blurb very enticing. I am not going to try and sumarize the story as I feel I could not do it justice. I found this novel wounderful and I was lucky to be able to curl up on my couch while the wind and rain howled outside(end of May!!) and finish the last 150 pages of this book and enjoy it I did. The story of ...
  • Shannon (Giraffe Days)
    The Second World War has ended and people across the world are picking up the pieces. It's 1946, January, and Juliet Ashton is on a book tour around England for her recently published collection of humorous columns that had been so popular during the war, Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War. She's not used to being a success and she does tend to throw things at people, but on the upside a very wealthy and attractive man keeps sending her flowers.A surpr...
  • Cathrine ☯
    4.25★A group of connected stories told via letters about "how [people] held on hard to [their] kindness and [their] courage."Thirty-five of my GR friends have read this book, thirty-two of their ratings were 4 or 5 stars. I read all of their reviews but will not Like them for fear of causing a crash on the GR Home notification feed. Obviously a crowd favorite! It won several awards. So what can I add. It was delightful and charming, just wonder...
  • Srividya
    To,The Art of Letter Writing,Current Status: LostAddress: UnknownDearest Friend,I am sure you must be really surprised to receive this message from me after such a long time. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me for this long absence and absolute neglect or will any reason I give you for this absence be taken as naught but excuses? I have failed and I accept that but you should know that you were never forgotten. In fact, many a times, I t...
  • Ij
    This book is a fictional collection of letters, telegrams, and notes centered on an author, Juliet Ashton, who connects with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Society). The letters are primarily about residences of Guernsey during the occupation by the Germany Army, during WWII.The Society came about due to friends being caught out, by the Army, after curfew. These friends had just enjoyed a meal of roasted pig, which was a novel...
  • Chrissie
    Wonderful book! Both light and amusing and serious, gripping and informative. This is a must-read for everyone; one of those books that is just so much fun to read.
  • Kim
    Until I read this novel, my knowledge of the Channel Islands was limited to the breeds of dairy cattle which take their name from the Bailiwicks of Jersey and of Guernsey, the fact that the Islands are a tax haven and have a flower growing industry and my memories of the 1980s television series Bergerac. Thanks to the book, I now know more. In particular, I know that the Channel Islands were occupied by Germany during World War II. Given the geog...
  • Jean
    Don't let the title put you off. Or the fact that it has two authors (the second recruited apparently when the first, her aunt, sadly became too ill to complete it.) Or the fact that it is a series of letters, or what literary types call an "epistolary novel". Or the whispering on the grapevine that it's a cosy piece, mostly read by women. All these tended to make me hesitate. But I'm so glad I persevered.The book has a post-war setting, but much...
  • Laura
    I just can't say enough about this book. I don't usually like WWII fiction, but this book is making me re-think that. A book for book-lovers, a book for someone who has always wanted to write a book, a book for lovers, for friends, for the historical fiction lover, a book of connection, a book of everything. Just everything. Read this book. You won't be sorry.
  • Katie
    When I first heard about this book, I assumed it was going to be yet another knock-off of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood--you know, an eclectic group of strong-willed, spirited women rely on each other through love, loss and everything in between. THEN I heard that the book is about WWII and tells the story of the Germans' occupation of the Channel Islands, which sold me--WWII is one of my favorite subjects. So THEN...I read the book,...
  • Cait • A Page with a View
    3.5 stars. It's all very wholesome and heartwarming, but also a bit dull since every character's letters have the SAME tone. They easily could have been more developed & complex people. The idea of the whole story being told through letters and telegraphs is fun. And I love anything British. So I did enjoy this book, but still feel like it's a bit overhyped.
  • PattyMacDotComma
    5★I absolutely loved this. I think I’ve avoided it because of the cutesy title, but I’m glad I finally caved. It’s a delightful story written in an exchange of letters between newspaper columnist Juliet and some residents of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, an island in the English Channel that is closer to France than Great Britain. They are an eccentric lot, to say the least.During WW2, Juliet wrote a light-hearted newspaper column to keep up...
  • Juliet
    I love being caught up in a novel and drawn right into its world. It happens fairly rarely these days but with this book I was quickly captured (I haven't done any writing today as a result!)Set in 1946 in London and on the Channel Island of Guernsey, which was occupied by the Germans in World War II, the book is constructed entirely of letters, and develops the story of Juliet Ashton, a writer saddened and disillusioned by the war (during which ...
  • Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
    I came so close to giving this book a pass. I dislike short stories, this one looked even worse in that the entire book is written as a series of letters, Yuk! Dead wrong...20 pages in I got used to the format & was completely hooked. It just sweeps you along in a gentle tale of how folks on a small island bonded together to survive the absolutely harrowing German occupation during WW2. Hard-hitting subject? You bet; but it’s laugh out loud fun...
  • Mona
    Review of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" Book Lovers on a Bucolic Island This novel has some things in common with Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry(Here's my review of that book: )It's a sweet story about eccentric and loveable book lovers on a pretty, isolated island where time has stopped and people are nicer, more civilized, and more neighborly than they are in today...
  • Mark
    This was a really clever gradual unfolding of friendship and the suffering undergone by the captive population of Guernsey during the occupation of the Third Reich during the early 1940's. Its all recounted by letters and as a result of this I have seen it compared favourably and unfavourably to ' 84 Charing Cross Road ' and its letter technique but this is surely an unfair comparison as the latter is not a novel recounting an imagined story and ...
  • Annalisa
    I really wanted to like this book more. It's set in post-Nazi-occupation and everyone seems to love it so it seemed a sure thing to me. It started off very promising with fun charming characters and enticing writing. I just loved Juliet's passionate fervor for life and found myself often smiling at her antics. And I loved Adelaide Addison's uppity nose in everything. I was sure I was going to love this.But then Juliet set off the Guernsey to meet...