The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Many years ago, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, and I loved it. I just reread it, knowing that I would like to see the new movie that’s been made of it, and discovered the pleasure of it all over again. I loved it even more this time around! This book really is a treasure! It is historical fiction, the story taking place during the occupation of the Channel Islands during World War II. It is written as a series of letters between the different characters, and it is absolutely delightful getting to know those characters. If you haven’t read it, you must.

From the publisher:

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.

My favorite quote from the book:

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.

4 thoughts on “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

  1. Kristen M.

    I watched the movie without rereading and really enjoyed it. But I definitely do want to reread now because I remember the book just being so much richer (as is usually the case with books to movies).



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