Aqsa (On Hiatus)'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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it was amazing
bookshelves: adapted-books, favorites, buddy-reads-read-along

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’d love it the moment I read this quote. Juliet is not boring. I loved her amazing letters and the best thing is that there are letter from almost everyone that is important and that kinda makes it seem like a book with multiple POVs. It’s quite easy to get into and it’s even easier to get used to it in spite of the way it’s written.

Quite apart from my interest in their interest in reading, I have fallen in love with two men: Eben Ramsey and Dawsey Adams. Clovis Fossey and John Booker, I like. I want Amelia Maugery to adopt me; and I want to adopt Isola Pribby. I will leave you to discern my feelings for Adelaide Addison (Miss) by reading her letters.

If it’s not clear from the quote above, you’ll love the characters and the people that don’t even appear. They are just like family and I loved those simple and honest beings with big hearts. You’ll love the pieces of history you’ll be given and you’ll laugh at the wittiness and cry at the same moment. It’s not a heart-breaking book. It’s bittersweet but full of hope. I won’t explain what this is about because I really want you to go in blind like I did.

No flowers or vines can cover such memories as these, can they?

I’d recommend reading the Afterword and the note at the beginning about our two authors. I love Mary Ann for writing this book and her niece Annie to complete it when Mary couldn’t. You’ll get some amazing book recommendations in this and you’ll wanna visit this place and become obsessed with Guernsey. I know I do! I wanna recommend this to everyone! Read this and please do not give in to the temptation of watching the movie first. I’m glad I didn’t (though it was really hard in the beginning when I thought I might not get used to the letter-style) and the book isn’t that long. I’m gonna watch it soon but not before I hold on to what I imagined about this book. I don’t wanna let go of that. If anything, I just never wanted this book to end (view spoiler). If I didn’t convince you yet, then perhaps this will:

‘When was the last time you read a book that made you feel really good? Actually elevated your mood, brought a smile to your face and make you feel warm and hopeful and happy about the human race? If it’s been a while, turn immediately now please to the curiously named The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society … This is such a delightful novel it recently inspired another reviewer to say she actually wanted to hug the book upon finishing it, and it’s an understandable reaction.’

Sunday Telegraph


My book was an ebook but I’ll hug it the moment I buy a hardcopy!

If nothing else, I hope these characters and their story shed some light on the sufferings and strength of the people of the Channel Islands during the German Occupation. 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.

Mary Ann Shaffer
December 2007


About the Movie
Finally watched it and of course the book was better. Half the characters were missing in the movie and I didn't get to see some fav scenes. This made me glad that I read it first. However, it was still kinda good. Sweet too :)

My Thoughts as I Read:
Part One
January Letters:
(view spoiler)

February Letters:
(view spoiler)

March Letters:
(view spoiler)

April Letters:
(view spoiler)

May Letters:
(view spoiler)

Part Two
May Letters:
(view spoiler)

June Letters:
(view spoiler)

July Letters:
(view spoiler)

August Letters:
(view spoiler)

September Letters:
I think this is the last month in this book and should be done letter-wise.

(view spoiler)

Private notes!
I bet Isola will kill me when she learns I am reading her notes!
(view spoiler)
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Quotes Aqsa (On Hiatus) Liked

Mary Ann Shaffer
“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.”
Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer
“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.”
Mary Ann Shaffer, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society


Reading Progress

November 29, 2018 – Shelved
January 26, 2019 – Shelved as: adapted-books
January 26, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
February 12, 2019 – Shelved as: tbr-soon
March 4, 2019 – Started Reading
March 4, 2019 –
5.0% "Pg 11

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.
"
March 4, 2019 –
6.0% "Pg 12

For all his bright and turning mind, I think Mr Lamb must have had a great sadness in his life.
"
March 4, 2019 –
6.0% "Pg 13

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. How delightful if that were true.
"
March 4, 2019 –
7.0% "Pg 14

That’s what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you on to another book, and another bit there will lead you on to a third book. It’s geometrically progressive—all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.
"
March 4, 2019 –
8.0% "Pg 16

Happily, and once again, you were right and I was wrong (it half-kills me to admit this).
"
March 4, 2019 –
8.0% "Pg 16

I love seeing the bookshops and meeting the booksellers—booksellers really are a special breed. No one in their right mind would take up work in a bookshop for the wages, and no one in their right mind would want to own one—the margin of profit is too small. So, it has to be a love of readers and reading that makes them do it—along with first goes at the new books.
"
March 4, 2019 –
8.0% "Pg 16

It was amazing to me then, and still is, that so many people who wander into bookshops don’t really know what they’re after—they only want to look round in the hope of seeing a book that will take their fancy.


This is so true🤗"
March 4, 2019 –
8.0% "Pg 17:

You should—a publisher should send not just one reader’s copy to a bookshop, but several, so that all the staff can read it, too.
"
March 4, 2019 –
8.0% "Pg 17

I hadn’t known her half an hour before she told me that my make-up, my clothes, my hair and my shoes were drab, all drab. The war was over, hadn’t I heard?


I love her!"
March 4, 2019 –
9.0% "Pg 18

This is the longest letter I’ve ever written—you needn’t reply in kind.
"
March 4, 2019 –
11.0% "Pg 22

I’d much prefer to say nothing and look like a feckless, flighty, cold-hearted bitch.
"
March 4, 2019 –
14.0% "Pg 28

The old adage—humour is the best way to make the unbearable bearable— may be true.
"
March 4, 2019 –
21.0% "Pg 41

Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life.
"
March 4, 2019 –
21.0% "Pg 41

Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books.
"
March 4, 2019 –
22.0% "Pg 43

I haven’t heard from you for ages. Does your icy silence have anything to do with Mark Reynolds? I have an idea for a new book. It’s a novel about a beautiful yet sensitive author whose spirit is crushed by her domineering editor. Do you like it?


She’s so fun!"
March 4, 2019 –
25.0% "Pg 49

‘Is it so small a thing to have enjoyed the sun, to have lived light in the spring, to have loved, to have thought, to have done, to have advanced true friends?’
"
March 4, 2019 –
32.0% "Pg 63

The first rule of snooping is to come at it sideways
"
March 4, 2019 –
35.0% "Pg 68

Quite apart from my interest, in their interest in reading, I have fallen in love with two men: Eben Ramsey and Dawsey Adams. Clovis Fossey and John Booker, I like. I want Amelia Maugery to adopt me; and I want to adopt Isola Pribby. I will leave you to discern my feelings for Adelaide Addison (Miss) by reading her letters.


You and me both."
March 4, 2019 –
39.0% "Pg 77
No flowers or vines can cover such memories as these, can they?"
March 5, 2019 – Finished Reading
March 6, 2019 –
42.0% "Pg 83

have I not enough, without your Mountains? I do not envy you. I should pity you, did I not know, that the Mind will make friends of any thing.’ A mind that can ‘make friends of any thing’—I thought of that often during the war.
"
March 6, 2019 –
42.0% "Pg 83

Have you ever noticed that when your mind is awakened or drawn to someone new, that person’s name suddenly pops up everywhere? My friend Sophie calls it coincidence, and Reverend Simpless calls it grace. He thinks that if one cares deeply about someone or something new one throws a kind of energy out into the world, and ‘fruitfulness’ is drawn in.


It happens, doesn’t it?"
March 6, 2019 –
44.0% "Pg 86

I suppose I do have a suitor, but I’m not really used to him yet. He’s terribly charming and he plies me with delicious meals, but I sometimes think I prefer suitors in books rather than right in front of me. How awful, backward, cowardly, and mentally warped that will be if it turns out to be true.
"
March 6, 2019 –
46.0% "Pg 89

There was an old canvas bathing shoe lying in the middle of the path. Eli walked round it, staring. Finally, he said, ‘That shoe is all alone, Grandpa.’ I answered that yes it was. He looked at it again, and then we walked on. After a bit, he said, ‘Grandpa, that’s something I never am.’ I asked him, ‘What’s that?’ And he said, ‘Lonesome in my spirits.’
"
March 6, 2019 –
52.0% "Pg 101

I don’t much care for people—never have, never will. I got my reasons. I never met a man half so true as a dog. Treat a dog right and he’ll treat you right —he’ll keep you company, be your friend, never ask you no questions. Cats is different, but I never held that against them.
"
March 6, 2019 –
55.0% "Pg 107

As Seneca says, ‘Light griefs are loquacious, but the great are dumb.’
"
March 6, 2019 –
65.0% "Pg 127

Her strength did not fail her, nor her mind—not ever—she just saw one cruelty too many.
"
March 6, 2019 –
66.0% "Pg 128

It’s odd, I suppose, to mourn someone you’ve never met. But I do.
"
March 6, 2019 –
68.0% "Pg 133

You see? The two of you do have something in common: you both want me to be miserable. Perhaps you could start a club.
"
March 6, 2019 –
70.0% "Pg 136

Will Thisbee gave me The Beginner’s Cook Book for Girl Guides. It was just the thing; the writer assumes you know nothing about cookery and gives useful hints: ‘When adding eggs, break the shells first.’
"
March 6, 2019 –
75.0% "Pg 146

Maybe I was about to find out what was on the other side of that silence.

Damn, damn and damn.
"
March 6, 2019 –
78.0% "Pg 153

‘It would have been better for her not to have such a heart.’

Yes, but worse for the rest of us.
"
March 6, 2019 –
81.0% "Pg 157

For a while there he was downright chatty, but these days he doesn’t have two words to rub together.


I couldn’t help myself; the writing is so so so good!"
March 6, 2019 –
88.0% "Pg 172

They had come to see how I was. How kind. How disappointing
"
March 6, 2019 –
93.0% "Pg 181

Mrs Taylor has a rash on her arms. What, or who, from? Tomatoes or her husband? Look into further.


How could you not laugh?"
March 6, 2019 –
95.0% "Pg 186

‘“Seize the Day”,’ she said. ‘That’s an inspiring thought, isn’t it, Isola?’
‘I suppose so,’ I said, ‘if you like being goaded by a bit of rock.’
"
March 6, 2019 –
97.0% "Pg 188

Think of it! We could have gone on longing for one another and pretending not to notice for ever. This obsession with dignity can ruin your life if you let it.
"
March 6, 2019 –
99.0% "Pg 192

As the members of the literary society found during their ordeal, companionship can help us surmount nearly any barrier, imposed, self-imposed, or imagined.
"
March 6, 2019 – Shelved as: favorites
March 6, 2019 – Shelved as: buddy-reads-read-along

Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Justus (new)

Justus Lyell Oh my gosh I have been wanting to read this for soooooooo long. I think that there is a Netflix movie of this? I gotta read the book before I watch it.


Aqsa (On Hiatus) Oh, you really should! I didn't think I'd enjoy the writing style (It's all in letters) but you can get comfortable so fast! Also, I downloaded the movie too and waiting to finish this before watching that :)


Laurene Loved your review!


Aqsa (On Hiatus) Laurene wrote: "Loved your review!"

I hadn't posted it full yet, I can't believe you read my thoughts🤗 I'm so glad you loved it! Thank you so much ❤


message 5: by Barbie (new)

Barbie Super review, Aqsa! :-)


Aqsa (On Hiatus) Barbie wrote: "Super review, Aqsa! :-)"

Thank you, Barbie :)


JV (semi-hiatus) Brilliant review, Aqsa! 🤗 I can relate so much with the first quote! I'm a Juliet, well, the gay version 😄


Aqsa (On Hiatus) JV wrote: "Brilliant review, Aqsa! 🤗 I can relate so much with the first quote! I'm a Juliet, well, the gay version 😄"

Thanks, JV :) Haha, you're awesome ❤ I can relate to it too much myself.


message 9: by KAS (new)

KAS Wonderful review, Aqsa ;) So glad you enjoyed this totally unique read!! 😘❤️


Aqsa (On Hiatus) KAS wrote: "Wonderful review, Aqsa ;) So glad you enjoyed this totally unique read!! 😘❤️"

Thanks a lot, KAS :) It's really sweet 😘😍


message 11: by Dan (new)

Dan Lutts Thanks for the great review, Aqsa. I can relate to your reluctance to the letters style of the book. I'm glad it worked out for you.


Aqsa (On Hiatus) Dan wrote: "Thanks for the great review, Aqsa. I can relate to your reluctance to the letters style of the book. I'm glad it worked out for you."

Thank you for reading, Dan :) Yes, it was new for me but it worked really well :)


message 13: by Joe (new) - added it

Joe Krakovsky You always seem to look at a story and see the little things that make it shine or make it praiseworthy, and then people say, "Oh, I want to read that too!" In this case I had to find at the bottom of the review the blurb that says "Channel Islands during the German Occupation." That got my attention. :-) In a way you are just like my mom, making me read stuff!


Aqsa (On Hiatus) Joe wrote: "You always seem to look at a story and see the little things that make it shine or make it praiseworthy, and then people say, "Oh, I want to read that too!" In this case I had to find at the bottom..."

Aw, you're so sweet Joe. Thank you for reading my long reviews and for noticing those 'little things'. I really hope you enjoy this book!

P.S. Your mom is a book lover too? That's so cool :)


message 15: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary S. R. Awww wow those quotes 😭😭😭 this is such a beautiful review I've had this on my shelves apparently? (I had no idea) and you've made me wanna read this now jssvajisshskjji I already love it my precious 😍


Aqsa (On Hiatus) Mary wrote: "Awww wow those quotes 😭😭😭 this is such a beautiful review I've had this on my shelves apparently? (I had no idea) and you've made me wanna read this now jssvajisshskjji I already love it my precious 😍"

Aww, thank you so much, precious 😘😘 I hope you get to read it soon and that you love it as much as I did! ❤❤


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