Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Genre: historical fiction, romance, epistolary
FTC Disclosure: Bought from Amazon.com
Published: 2008
Pages: 274
Content: PG for adult themes and war imagery.
Reading Challenge: A to Z Challenge (Title G)

Summary: 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 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.
Thoughts: First thought....it was beautiful, fun, romantic, sad, hopeful, and captivating. This is my second epistolary novel and I love them. The authors weaved a beautiful story all from letters. Letters convey such a different emotion...it feels so personal, like these people actually exist and we're sneaking in on their personal lives by reading their letters. It was like coming across some old letters of my grandmother's in the upstairs attic (don't have an attic, but you get the point!).

We learn all about Guernsey island during the German occupation of World War II. I'm sure I learned at some point that some part of England was occupied, but if I did it never stuck...I had no idea that these islands had been taken by Germany. It was a new experience for me to learn how some of our allies fared during the War. What makes it even more poignant is we learn about these experiences from people that we come to love and care about in the novel. So when they laugh, we laugh; when they cry, we cry.

If you haven't read this one, do! Pick it up! You won't be sorry!

Rating: 5/5!!!


  1. The wonder of this was how the writers were able to make something that was charming when it was about war.

  2. I still have this one on my shelf waiting to be read and just today a friend of mine in France told me I had to read it! No excuses now :)

  3. Thanks Heather,
    I write about this period myself so I'll definitely be looking for thi one.

    Publish or Perish

  4. This was one of my favs from last year -- very different from what I normally read (WWII era) but I loved it! I recommend it to all book lovers!

    Glad you enjoyed it, also.

  5. I loved this one too :-) Glad you enjoyed it!

    This was also my first epistolary novel, I must try another one sometime because I really liked how you get to see things from the different point of views.

  6. I won two copies of this and still haven't read it -- BUT I WILL :)


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