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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  599,149 ratings  ·  53,416 reviews
“. . . 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, Dawse
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by The Dial Press
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Amy Personally, I think this is Juliette's-Anne Shirley-moment (or rather one of many). In my mind, and experience with my own book shelves, I feel like s…morePersonally, I think this is Juliette's-Anne Shirley-moment (or rather one of many). In my mind, and experience with my own book shelves, I feel like she is saying that she has spots where there are the books she loves the most, the spots where subjects are similar, or how a certain book makes you's a personalized, not practical, and definitely not formulaic system. This is one of those systems you couldn't figure out if you tried, because the system is as unique as the person who makes it up. That is my guess, because that's how I am. (less)

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Average rating 4.17  · 
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Linda Sexauer
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2008
Several years ago, I worked at an art gallery here in Anchorage. Though I loved the art, I wasn’t much good at selling it. More often than not, I just chatted up the customers, who were from all over the world.

One night, four elderly people wandered in. They told me they were from a tiny island off the coast of southern England called “Guernsey”. I’d never heard of it, so they proudly explained it was the only part of British soil that had been occupied by the Nazis during World War II. The isla
Mar 08, 2009 rated it did not like it
Recommended to Megha by: Wanda

Dear Mary Ann Shaffer,

I recently read your book 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'. It brought a few questions to my mind.
Juliet writes in one of her letters:
"Dear Sidney,
What an inspired present you sent kit - red satin tap shoes covered with sequins"

Didn't Sidney know what present he had sent?
If you had to resort to sentences like these to speak what you wanted to, didn't you realize that the letter format and your writing didn't go well together?

Learning from your bad exam
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the abrupt ending frustrated me, the rest of the book was so soothing. This is probably due to the fact it was written in letters to loved ones and not the subject matter itself, as it focuses heavily on the atrocities of WWII. Also, it's a book about books! Nothing makes me happier than reading a book about why reading is wonderful.
I read this because I watched and loved the Netflix adaptation (yes, I'm that monster who sometimes watches adaptations before reading the source material).
*3.5 stars*
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true.”

Believe it or not—as shallow as this may sound—the stunning movie tie-in cover was the catalyst, goading me to take a hard look and commit to a book that’s done little more than float along my periphery for years.

What do you get when you combine a roast pig dinner, an unavoidable lie and the most unappetizing pie? A mouthful: The Guernsey Lite
Will Byrnes
May 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Schaffer - image from from - Schaffer wrote most of the book, but was terminally ill so called in her niece, Barrows, to help her complete it.

The GL&PPPS tells of Nazi occupation of this Channel Island during WW II. The story is told via a series of letters exchanged between residents of the island and a writer attempting to learn about their experiences. We are offered a wide range of characters, some warm and charming, some extremist buffo
Emma  Kaufmann
Sep 08, 2008 rated it did not like it
Once again I find myself reading ten pages of a book which is meant to be 'great' and wondering why it is just rubbish. I was meant to read this for a book club but it was about as palatable as a potato peel pie so I spat it out uneaten.

Now, I'm sure there are American authors who can write in an authentic British voice (no one springs to mind, and Elizabeth George is terrible at it but at least her plot is not clunky) but Mary Ann Shaffer isn't one of them.

This book has an epistolary plot that
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
I'm in favor of:

-pig farmers as romantic leads
-parrots named Zenobia who eat cuckoo clocks
-women who do the asking

I'm not in favor of:

-strong silent types as romantic leads
-adorable children
-parrots getting more page time than goats
Oct 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: almost anyone - I covered the specifics in my review
Gush, gush, gush, gush, gush, gush, gush!!! GUSH!!!!! So yes, clearly I loved this book.

I think the only person I wouldn’t recommend this book to is one of those people who only read meaty tomes that might give regular people a brain embolism while they’re trying to make sense of the 17 different layers of subconscious meaning. I’d also hesitate from recommending this book to most men. However, if you have the ability to find joy and delight in the simple pleasures of a feel-good book, you too m
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I loved this book - it's on my favorites shelf. So obviously I recommend it!

In my March 2018 buddy read with Trish (which kind of disintegrated because she raced ahead and finished the whole book in like one day :p) I was impressed with how well the authors melded actual historical facts about the island of Guernsey during WWII, and people's wartime experiences, with the novel's storyline. I could see the seams a little - interesting true stories and anecdotes tend to show up in the book as rand
Amalia Gavea
‘’Real dyed-in-the-wool readers can’t lie. Our faces always give us away. A raised brow or a curled lip means that it’s a poor excuse for a book, and the clever customers ask for recommendation instead, whereupon we frog-march them over to a particular volume and command them to read it.’’

Following an exciting April, I chose to start May with a focus on more contemporary, approachable reads that are simple but rich in themes focusing on the relationships within a family, within the members o
definitely in the minority with my feelings on this one and i think its because im realising epistolary stories just arent for me.

its a little ironic because, in one letter, juliets publisher says ‘ive read your chapters and they wont do. strings of anecdotes dont make a book.’ and thats all this book is! its full of letters with anecdotes.

i do like that i learned about the island of guernsey, i appreciate the different perspective of WWII, and i LOVE the adoration for books (so many good quote
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the lovliest books I have ever read. I have read many books and seen many movies about World War II, but this one was the best. It was so real. I felt like I knew the characters and I wanted to run over to Guernsey to meet them in person. The stories about their experiences were so touching, not just because they were hard, but because the people were so brave. Horrible things happened to them, but I didn't feel traumatized reading about them. I felt uplifted at their endurance a ...more
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Update 8/13/2018

Just saw the movie adaptation. Very faithful to the book, if not in plot (can't remember details 7 years later), certainly in tone. Saccharine and especially annoying in its watered down portrayal of Nazi occupation. Suffering-lite.

The words that immediately come to mind when I think of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society are nice, cute and, unfortunately, hokey(ish).

I certainly understand its popularity (#4 most popular book of 2007 on Goodreads!). There is a dis
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
I won an ARC of this book either from the NYer or from the publisher. I forget which, as it's been sitting around for a while.

This epistolary novel is something I should have loved. I generally like novels in letters, it’s almost like peering into lighted windows at night as you pass, sewing the bits of life seen there into a coherent whole.

It’s fun, this book, in its witty comments, sort of the way I wish I could talk all the time. Yet, about halfway through it began to pale. Everybody in the b
L A i N E Y
How can you write a review for a book that put perpetual smile on your face for 277 pages??

Definition of “supremely-enjoyable-while-reading” kind of book for me: so delightful, real funny and warm.

Five long years since I first put this on my tbr shelf, should have read it a lot sooner...

rating: ★★★★½

Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful book, I wish I owned it as a real book, instead of on my Kindle, because I would reread it right now. The title is terrible or I would have tried it out sooner. It sounds so kitschy and is rather hard to pronounce too. Potato Peel Pie is a tongue twister!
Written by Mary Ann Shaffer who was a librarian, an editor, and a great family storyteller, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, is an epistolary novel about the trials of the people living in the Channel Islands,
This book is a fictional collection of letters, telegrams, and notes centered on an author, Juliet Ashton, who connects with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Society). The letters are primarily about residences of Guernsey during the occupation by the Germany Army, during WWII.

The Society came about due to friends being caught out, by the Army, after curfew. These friends had just enjoyed a meal of roasted pig, which was a novelty after the occupation. Not wanting to give the r
Aqsa (On Hiatus)
Read for March Reading Sprint-2019 in Buddy Reads.

First look at that title. It’s weird, isn’t it? I would never have read this if not for the amazing cover next to it and the good reviews and let’s admit, the fact that there is a movie on this.

what is the matter with me? Am I too choosy? I don’t want to be married just for the sake of being married. I can’t think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can’t talk to, or worse, someone I can’t be silent with.

I knew I
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a historical novel by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows that was published in 2008.

A novel about the trials of the people living in the Channel Islands, in particular, Guernsey, during the German occupation of World War 2.

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject.

Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-own
A beautiful book! The whole thing is told in letters. After WWII the world is trying to recover. A young woman, Juliet, wrote funny stories using a pseudonym for the paper to bring up morale. They have been published in a book. Now she is looking for her next project when she receives a letter from Guernsey.
Dawsey came across a book she owned by Charles Lamb. Since her name and address were in the flyleaf he decided to write her and let her know he had the book and loved it.
So began a corres
La Petite Américaine
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: rants, sucked
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Have to admit when this book was recommended to me I was a little worried as for one I found the title strange and two I did not find the blurb very enticing. I am not going to try and sumarize the story as I feel I could not do it justice. I found this novel wounderful and I was lucky to be able to curl up on my couch while the wind and rain howled outside(end of May!!) and finish the last 150 pages of this book and enjoy it I did. The story of the occupation of Guernsey is facinating and reall ...more
Sep 25, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Jeslyn Rumbold
A friend gave this to me with the recommendation, “You’ll LOVE this – it sounds like you!” I assume she meant because the main character is a witty book lover, not because she’s a critical spinster. I don’t dare ask.

At any rate, this is easily one of the most charming books I’ve read in a while. Our heroine, Juliet, spent the war writing light pieces for a women’s magazine, and now she yearns for more substantial material. When she receives a letter from a Guernsey man who has in his possession
4.5 Stars

”We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know we'll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
'Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away”

-- We’ll Meet Again,Vera Lynn / Frank Sinatra, Songwriters: Hughie Charles / Ross Parker

Published posthumously in August of 2008, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society recalls the occupation of the Western European Channel Islands during WWII through letters and telegrams, which sounds very
Bionic Jean
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-authors-q-t
Don't let the title put you off. Or the fact that it has two authors (the second recruited apparently when the first, her aunt, sadly became too ill to complete it.) Or the fact that it is a series of letters, or what literary types call an "epistolary novel". Or the whispering on the grapevine that it's a cosy piece, mostly read by women. All these tended to make me hesitate. But I'm so glad I persevered.

The book has a post-war setting, but much of the action refers to the Nazi Occupation of Gu
Apr 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: quirky

I read this book ages ago. Loved it, then forgot much about it. But guess what? They made it into a movie this year (2018), an amazing movie. The actors (all of them unknowns) were excellent, as were the plot, atmosphere, etc. It’s intricate and sophisticated, and thankfully not a soap. Man did it draw me in, and it never let go. Now I realize why I loved the book, and of course now I want to reread it.

This is a WWII love story, and the plot revolves around a book club. How can a
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I don't do this often, but I am commanding my fellow Good Read Sisters to stop what they are doing, order a pizza for the family and hide yourselves away with this book! You all deserve a treat and if I could I would come run your homes while you read - this book is that good. It's unique - all letters - but please don't be put off by that. On the contrary, Shaffer is able to add an edge of humor with this device...and is she also paying homage to Anne Bronte and the Tenant...? [if you read it y ...more
Dec 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-in-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, kindle
Ok I really enjoyed this book up until the end! It wasn't a bad ending, per se, but it felt really rushed. I was honestly taken aback by it's abrupt ending. That was a bit of a bummer. Nevertheless, this was a really endearing story about the power that books have to bring people together—so how can it not be great?

It's told in a series of letters and telegrams between characters, but mostly from the perspective of Juliet Ashton, a journalist and book lover from England, just after the end of WW
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fans of 84, Charing Cross Road
I absolutely loved this. I think I’ve avoided it because of the cutesy title, but I’m glad I finally caved.

It’s a delightful story written in an exchange of letters between newspaper columnist Juliet and some residents of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, an island in the English Channel that is closer to France than Great Britain. They are an eccentric lot, to say the least.

During WW2, Juliet wrote a light-hearted newspaper column to keep up British spirits. Meanwhile, during WW2, the islanders wer
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Mary Ann Shaffer worked as an editor, a librarian, and in bookshops. Her life-long dream was to someday write her own book and publish it. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was her first novel. Unfortunately, she became very ill with cancer and so she asked her niece, Annie Barrows, the author of the children’s series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half, to help her finish the ...more

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“I don't want to be married just to be married. I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with.” 2260 likes
“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.” 1611 likes
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