The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
Rate this:
194
7
4
 …
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * NOW A NETFLIX FILM * A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

"Treat yourself to this book, please--I can't recommend it highly enough."--Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

"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 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.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Praise for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

"A jewel . . . Poignant and keenly observed, Guernsey is a small masterpiece about love, war, and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends." -- People

"A book-lover's delight, an implicit and sometimes explicit paean to all things literary." -- Chicago Sun-Times

"A sparkling epistolary novel radiating wit, lightly worn erudition and written with great assurance and aplomb." -- The Sunday Times (London)

"Cooked perfectly à point: subtle and elegant in flavour, yet emotionally satisfying to the finish." -- The Times (London)
Publisher: New York : Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, 2009, c2008
ISBN: 9780385341004
Branch Call Number: SHA
Characteristics: 277 p. :,maps ;,22 cm
Additional Contributors: Barrows, Annie

Opinion

From Library Staff

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... Read More »


From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment
k
kyle000
May 22, 2020

Enjoyed this book!

l
ljgadin168
May 08, 2020

This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It moved me to tears after reading the Acknowledgement section where Mary Ann Schaffer said “I hope, too, that my book will illuminate my belief that love of art- be it poetry, storytelling, painting, sculpture, or music- enables people to transcend any barrier man has yet devised”.

s
samsue
May 06, 2020

A delightful book. The setting, the people dealing with the German occupation and the townspeople who stick together against the enemy by hiding their activities behind a sham book club. Lovely.

i
Inga57
Mar 24, 2020

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an epistolary novel told through a series of letters I picked up in 2008 when it was first published. Simply stated, I couldn’t get into this story by way of letters only, so I shelved it for ten years.

An entire decade goes by with nary a thought when the movie version pops on Netflix as a recommendation, so I watched it . . . two nights in a row! After seeing the movie, which I loved, I knew I had to give the book a second chance, which I did by way of Kindle Immersion read.

Before reading the novel I first went to the back of the book to read the Acknowledgments section followed by the About the Authors pages. There is a lot to be learned here as Mary Ann Shaffer is the Aunt of Annie Barrows. When Mary Ann became ill, she asked her niece, Annie, to finish the book, which of course she did.

Fortunately, it turns out the family is rich in fine storytelling and Mary Ann was the jewel in their crown, and as Annie points out, “Suddenly, the rest of the world had a seat at the table where I had been feasting my whole life, and, as with any family party, they clustered around Mary Ann, weeping with laughter – or sorrow – as her stories billowed forth.”

For three nights I read with new eyes knowing the backstory of these two authors and of course the film version. Each night delicious offerings were told by a team of five narrators navigating us through London and Guernsey with a feast of interesting characters by way of the written word. The only flaw, as Annie would say, is that the feast comes to an end.

May God Bless Mary Ann Shaffer for bringing this success story to the masses, and to her niece, Annie Barrows, for tying it into a neat package worthy of any story shared at the table, with laughter and tears in abundance.

AnnabelleLee27 Dec 26, 2019

The overall tone (witty) and style (epistolary) of this novel will not appeal to some readers but for many, like me, it will charm, touch, and be a deeply satisfying read. It is filled with quirky characters and is by turns humorous, heartbreaking, and inspiring. I did need to make a quick list of characters since I read in short, interrupted bursts and easily loose track when there are many characters as in this case and I would have loved an epilogue as the ending was quite abrupt. Still, this was a quick, funny, and satisfying read.

TSCPL_AlexH Dec 19, 2019

I adored this book. It's been a long time since I've read such a sweet story. Getting to know the characters through their letters was such a treat.

s
samsue
Dec 07, 2019

This is a lovely book, a compilation of letters written from the fictional author Juliet to and from old and new friends, leading us to the Channel Islands and stories of what life was like for those who lived in occupied territory during WW II. An absolutely delightful story. Perfect for those dark, chilly days of winter.

s
sjcrisp
Aug 31, 2019

Easy, cute read. The movie on Netflix of this book didn't quite follow, but it was pretty good too.

v
vkreads
Aug 11, 2019

When I read a description saying the book was all composed of "letters written," I thought,
"oh, no, what an inusual set up...I probably won't like it."
Glad to say...I was wrong. The letters-written format, written in relationship to each other,
was a delight of conversational continuity; funny people, funny phrases, thoughtful content.
A community of letter writers. strangers, friends; strangers who become friends.
(the lost art of letter writing, we should each revive in our lives.)

This book was a page turner; funny, funny; delightful; lovely, distinctive, educational, heart-warming.

t
tinaburke
Jul 04, 2019

One of my favorites

View All Comments

Quotes

Add a Quote

"That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment."
— Mary Ann Shaffer (The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)

l
LaNomada01
Dec 19, 2018

“That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It’s geometrically progressive—all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”
― Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

b
Booksss14
Jan 20, 2018

"There wasn't a one of them who truly loved literature. Because that's what my cookery book was - sheer poetry in a pan." - Clara Saussey

b
Booksss14
Jan 20, 2018

"Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life." - Isola Pribby

j
JuniperAvenue
Sep 09, 2013

"Come quick.... And bring a butcher knife."

k
Kemendraugh
Apr 16, 2010

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

m
mking
Aug 24, 2009

"What happens in Guernsey stays in Guernsey."

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
s
shirlynd
Feb 08, 2016

shirlynd thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

r
rpavlacic
Jan 06, 2016

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

emmapri May 04, 2011

emmapri thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

s
segovel
Sep 16, 2010

segovel thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at PMPL

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top