Maxwell's Reviews > The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
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really liked it
bookshelves: 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 WWII. The novel also follows the perspective of a lovable and unique cast of characters who live on Guernsey, one of the Channel Islands that was held by Germans during the war.

I loved how this book grew to have a lot of emotional depth while maintaining a lightness in tone that made it very readable and almost fun. Granted, it deals with some pretty sad material as you'd expect with a story following WWII, but the characters don't wallow and aren't full of despair because they have each other and their shared loved of books to bind them together.

Again, my only issue was the ending. The book could've been at least 50+pages longer and I wouldn't have minded at all! I was expecting some sort of epilogue or concluding chapter to tie it all together. I know the author unfortunately was unable to finalize the manuscript before publication because of her health, and so her niece finished it for her. It never feels like two authors wrote this, and maybe that's because we are reading letters from so many perspectives that even if they had very different writing styles it would've worked well with this format. But that could've contributed to the novel's ending not necessarily stacking up compared to the rest of the book. Otherwise, this is a great novel that I think would appeal to a lot of readers, and I'd highly recommend it!
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Reading Progress

March 11, 2018 – Started Reading
March 11, 2018 – Shelved
March 11, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
March 11, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
March 11, 2018 – Shelved as: kindle
March 11, 2018 –
page 1
0.33% "I've heard such good things about this and with the movie coming out this year I figured I'd finally give it a go."
March 11, 2018 –
page 101
33.01% "This is charming. And I can’t remember the last time I read an epistolary novel; it’s delightful."
March 11, 2018 –
page 171
55.88% "Even though this is all only told through letters I still feel like I have a pretty good grasp on the characters. It’s a pretty clever writing style to be able to developer characters in that way"
March 11, 2018 –
page 236
77.12% "I love Juliet and Dawsey and literally all of the characters"
March 12, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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Brittany's Pages I loved this as well! It even prompted me to start penpalling people and writing more letters.


Paula I very much enjoyed this book as well and was one of my first 'epistolary' novels. I'm an avid letter writer (and bookworm) so it resonated with me.


message 3: by Helen (new) - added it

Helen Fabulous review, I enjoyed reading it! :-)


Nathan Fears Just finished this book today and went ahead and gave it a 5-Star, even though I wish I could give it 4.5 because I have the same exact major complaint. The ending is crazy rushed and seems very unlike the entirety of the book. Still a fantastic book, though, with a lot of great research done on it and told in a unique way.


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