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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
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Archive: Other Books > The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - 4 stars

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Joy D | 3183 comments The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - 4 stars

Epistolary historical fiction set in England in 1946. The protagonist, Juliet Ashton, has spent the WWII writing a morale-lifting humorous column for a newspaper. She receives a letter from a Guernsey resident who has found her address inside a book she used to own, and they become informal pen pals. Through his letters, she learns of the titular society founded during the German occupation as a cover story for breaking curfew. The society subsequently became reality and the members used it as a distraction from their state of privation. Members correspond with Juliet, leading her eventually to travel to Guernsey. Backstories of the members are gradually revealed.

The book is split into two halves: the first is focused on her various correspondences and a whirlwind romance with a wealthy American, and the second on her time in Guernsey. The writing of letters works well in the first half, as it seems natural. In the second half, I didn’t think it worked as well since many of the characters were easy to meet face to face, and the letters began to feel forced. The authors were challenged to write letters in many different voices and succeeded to a large degree.

One of the best aspects of this novel for me was the emphasis on the power of literature as a vehicle to escape from an oppressive environment, to broaden horizons, and to enkindle a sense of camaraderie among the participants. Content warnings include harm to animals, concentration camp descriptions, and war-related hardships. It ventures a bit too far into the romance arena for my taste (I normally avoid romances), but overall, I found it a charming novel with a good measure of substance. Recommended to fans of WWII-era historical fiction.

Memorable quote:
“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.”

Link to my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2182 comments A big favorite of mine that I just lent to a couple of friends who also gave it a thumbs up!


Karin | 6919 comments I really liked this book when I read it, and am always happy when others enjoy it as well.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 5631 comments I was rather 'meh' about this one.


message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 8279 comments I liked it!


Jgrace | 2748 comments I loved it. The audiobook is excellent. It uses several voice artists to read the different characters. It's one of my all time favorites.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7692 comments I also really enjoyed this one, but, I admit, it is not one where the details stuck with me.

I am, however, looking forward to the movie that is coming out on Netflix this Friday! I have big plans to stay in and watch it Saturday evening :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTDNG...


KateNZ | 2211 comments Same, Nicole. I really enjoyed reading it, but be darned if I can remember any of the details of the story! All the more pleasure if I decide to watch the movie :)


Colleen Ooooh - a movie? I remember it being sad near the end, but the details are not all there - like most books I read. It was worthy & a great WW2 read with some history.


Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7692 comments Colleen wrote: ".....but the details are not all there - like most books I read. ."

I suffer from the same affliction, Colleen. It is like my brain retains the details for the length of time it takes me to read the book and then dumps them about 24 hours afterwards to make room for details of my next book!


Jeremiah Cunningham | 689 comments This was one of those books where I asked myself why everyone enjoyed it so much. I found it utterly boring and almost contemptible. Odd how sometimes our views are so against the grain with particular books.


Elise (ellinou) | 524 comments I read it this year for January's Decathlon and enjoyed it very much! It's not often that I find light-hearted (still serious, not funny, but light to read) novels about this particular subject, so it was a very pleasant read.

I know the movie was coming out this month but I'd forgotten it was so soon! Good, by Saturday I'll be finished with this season or OItNB so I can watch that in the evening ^^


Joy D | 3183 comments According to the info I've been able to find on the movie, it's only on Netflix.


Joanne (joabroda1) | 7229 comments Have had this on on my shelf for a while now-seen so many good reviews here, I need to move it up


Karin | 6919 comments Nicole R wrote: "I also really enjoyed this one, but, I admit, it is not one where the details stuck with me.

I am, however, looking forward to the movie that is coming out on Netflix this Friday! I have big plan..."


Darn, I don't have Netflix. We have cable and Amazon Prime.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

This move was recommended to me on Netflix the other day. I had no idea it was a book! Good review. I'll read it before I watch the movie.


message 17: by Ann (last edited Aug 08, 2018 08:00AM) (new) - added it

Ann  (ann_us) A nice review, Joy. I really liked this book too, especially the audio version. Prior to reading this book, I didn't realize that Guernsey had been occupied during WWII. I may consider rejoining Netflix to watch the movie, especially if PBT members like it.


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