The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

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

Published: 2008

# of pages: 274

Quote: "I knew that all children were gruesome, but I don't know whether I'm supposed to encourage them in it. I'm afraid to ask Sophie if Dead Bride is too morbid a game for a four-year-old. If she says yes, we'll have to stop playing, and I don't want to stop. I love Dead Bride.
So many questions arise when you are spending your days with a child. For instance, if one likes to cross one's eyes a lot, might they get stuck that way forever - or is that a rumor?" -Juliet to Sidney pg. 175

Great book! It's very well written and interesting, especially for lovers of literature and writing. What stuck out the most to me was how unique this book is. I've never read anything like it. I had never heard of the island of Guernsey and never heard of the Channel Islands and what life was like there during the German occupation during WWII. The entire book was an interesting view of WWII, one that is made even better by the variety of characters and their different experiences.

The book is completely written in the form of letters. Most of the letters are from or to Juliet Ashton. She is a writer in London in the 1940s who receives a letter from a random man on the island of Guernsey. Little does she know, but that is the beginning of multiple correspondences and friendships that she forms with an entire group of people on Guernsey. This group of friends accidentally started a literary society during the German occupation. While most of the members had never read books for pleasure before, they all discovered a love of literature that reflected their personalities. Juliet is intrigued and decides to learn more.

It took me a little while to really get into the book, mainly because I'm not usually fond of the letter format in novels. However, the second half of the book grabbed my attention and I fell in love with the characters. Juliet's letters are full of humor, there were several times where I laughed out loud. The novel has a little of everything - adventure, mystery, romance, humor... I definitely recommend it to all adults, especially if you are interested in the WWII era, literature, or historical fiction in general. Some older young adults may also enjoy this, but it may be a little intense, plus there is some mild bad language.

Let me know what you thought of this book if you've read it! And I can imagine that this may be made into a movie someday...what would you think about that?

Other Reviews:
Booknotes by Lisa
Dolce Bellezza

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.


Myckyee said...

Nice review!

I didn't love this book, but I still found it worth the read. I found it very much like '84 Charing Cross Road' by Helen Hanff.

Anonymous said...

Didn't you love the game of Dead Bride?! It made me laugh at the "irreverent" creativity. I think Elizabeth was a person (or, should I limit her to character?) children and adults love. She's an inspiration!

Ricky Peterson said...

Very nice post. You can find many sandy beaches and places of historic significance in Guernsey.The bays of Havelet and the rocky Belle Greve are considered in high esteem for their stunning views. You can enjoy yachting and snorkelling in Havelet. Vazon Bay is considered among the largest beach.You can experience host of water adventure sports in Pembroke and the l’Ancresse Bay. Dont fail to visit waterfall, towering cliffs and the wonderful sandy bay of Petit Bot bay. For more details refer Guernsey Islands

Nymeth said...

I love epistolary novels and I've heard nothing but good things about this one. I need to pick it up!

Michelle said...

I keep reading good reviews of this book. Will definately look out for it.

Susan said...

I have this book on my TBR shelf! I really enjoyed your review. I am hoping to get to this soon, so that if I like it as much as so many bloggers seem to, I can give it for Christmas presents this year! lol

Andrea said...

Myckyee, 84 Charing Cross Road is one I've heard about here and there and been meaning to read. Funny because I thought Guernsey was so unique, but I see from your review that there a lot of similarities! I think what stuck out the most with this book was the different viewpoint of WWII.

Dolce, I loved the way Juliet and Kit interacted!! How she slowly fell in love with being a parent figure and had so much FUN. And it was awesome how Elizabeth was written. She's a favorite character and doesn't even have an appearance in the book!

Nymeth, I kept hearing about this one too and I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. I think you'll like it! It's appealing to lovers of literature. :-)

Michelle, I think it receives good reviews for a reason! Let me know when you think of it when you do read it!

Susan, it would be a great gift for lovers of literature. The literary references and the LOVE the characters have for reading and writing is something we can relate to.

Kim L said...

This is one that was suggested and turned down for my book club. I kind of wish we had gone with this one, because I really didn't like the book we ended up reading. Anyhow, great review!

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