The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Status: Main Selections
July 2008 -- The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society begins in January 1946, when popular author Juliet Ashton, much like her fellow British citizens, is emerging from the dark days of World War II. As Juliet exchanges a series of letters with her publisher and her best friend, readers immediately warm to this author in search of a new subject in the aftermath of war. By the time Juliet receives an unexpected query from Dawsey Adams, we are caught in a delightful web of letters and vivid personalities and eager for Juliet to find the inspiration she seeks.

Dawsey, a farmer on the island of Guernsey in the English Channel, has come into possession of a book that once belonged to Juliet. Spurred by a mutual admiration for the writer, the two launch an epistolary conversation that reveals much about Dawsey's Guernsey and the islanders' recent lives under Nazi occupation. Juliet is especially interested to learn about the curious beginnings of "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," and before long she is exchanging letters with its other members — not only Dawsey but Isola the vegetable seller, Eben the fisherman, and blacksmith Will Thisbee, creator of the famous potato peel pie.

As Juliet soon discovers, the most compelling island character is Elizabeth, the courageous founder of the society, who lives in the memories of all who knew her. Each person who writes to Juliet adds another chapter to the story of Elizabeth's remarkable wartime experiences. Touched by the stories the letters deliver, Juliet can't help but travel to Guernsey herself — a decision that will have surprising consequences for everyone involved.

Drawn together by their love of books and affection for each other, the unforgettable characters of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society collectively tell a moving tale of endurance and friendship. Through the chorus of voices they have created, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows have composed a rich tale that celebrates the power of hope and human connection in the shadows of war.

Message Edited by PaulH on 04-07-2009 02:01 PM
Message Edited by PaulH on 05-28-2009 08:31 AM
by oskardawg on ‎06-03-2009 05:57 PM
i didn't think that i would like this book very much for some reason, but it had been staring at me for weeks so i gave in and read it.  i love this book!  The fact that the book was written as letters among friends was a refreshing change and made it a quick and enjoyable read.
by mboromom on ‎07-05-2009 01:28 AM
Absolutely one of the best books I have read within the past year.  The style is so British! Sparse, yet quite descriptive.  Reading this book reminds us all that when words are used well, quality tops quantity! I loved the manner of storytelling through letters between characters.  It was so intimate and developed the characters gradually and completely. Everyone in my book group loved this book! You can't go wrong with Guernsey!
by bonereader on ‎07-05-2009 02:12 PM
what a wonderful surprise read. my book club loved this pick. it was so much fun to read the letters of the clever and amusing female protagonist.
by readittome on ‎08-09-2009 12:36 PM
Loved this book!  an easy, enjoyable read.  Loved the time frame (post WWII)  and the style (series of letters between characters).  Would be a great book club book!!!
by Wisteria-L on ‎08-09-2009 04:43 PM

I was given this book to read and review for a book tour. I started to read the first couple of paragraphs as I do many books when they first arrive. I couldn't put it down and it turned out to be one of my favorite books of 2009. I wasn't sure how I was going to like reading the format of corresponding letters to the characters. It turned out it was what made this book so special. One line I loved on page 53...."Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books."

Guernsey is one of those exceptional books so be warned, you will never enjoy a bad book again. Don't miss this treasure. 




Bookworm's Dinner

by rose6040 on ‎01-09-2011 07:26 PM

An enjoyable read worth sharing.  I couldn't put this one down. 


The letter writing format was clever and made for an interesting and fast read.  The characters were charming and believable and their stories gave an historical and personal view of the German Occupation.


I loved it.

by sarah223 on ‎01-11-2011 06:29 AM

My favorite author, Juliet Marillier, recomended this book to all her fans and all I've read are excellent reviews of it, so, I for sure have to add this to my wishlist and get it soon!!!! :smileyhappy:

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