The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Book - 2008
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As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.
Published: New York : Dial Press, 2008.
ISBN: 9780385340991
0385340990
9781607516309
1607516306
Branch Call Number: F SHA
Characteristics: 277 p. :,maps ;,20 cm.
Additional Contributors: Barrows, Annie

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DBRL_IdaF Aug 10, 2017

A true epistolary novel - written entirely in letters. In post-World War II London, author Juliet Ashton is searching for a subject for her next book. Then a letter arrives from a man in Guernsey who felt compelled to write to her after coming into possession of a used book with her name and addr... Read More »


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GCPL_Angela Oct 30, 2017

I had my doubts about this one -- it's been on my radar probably since around the time of its publication, but I think I was put off by the cutesy-ish title. (I still think a different title would be better.) But I'm pleased to say that this book is, in fact, pretty delightful. It pulls off what so many others attempt (and fail at); Juliet is a genuinely charming and wry lead, and I found myself frequently highlighting her most amusing observations. The rest of the cast could have easily fallen into the trap of being forcedly "quirky," but Guernsey almost never plays its hand too far on this front. Many of the other characters are also, well, *characters*, in the most literal sense of the word -- (eccentrics, you might say?) but they are not caricatures. Kit could have easily have been cloying, but she is wonderful -- moody and clever, but never annoying in her precociousness.

Blessedly, any romance is handled deftly as only a minor subplot, occurring almost entirely off-screen. When a particularly pivotal scene does occur, it is cut through with a dose of humor, saving what could've been a hokey scene in a way that doesn't feel forced.

I have some minor quibbles, but I won't get into those for the sake of spoilers!

While largely lighthearted, scattered throughout are sobering reminders of the ravages of WWII on the homefront. At times, this can make the tone feel a bit muddled. However, much like the eponymous Literary Society the Islanders form, the idea seems not to gloss over atrocities, but to remind the reader that in spite of tragedy, in spite of evil and terror, hope and humanity remain. What a lovely, comforting thought that is. All in all, it's a very enjoyable read -- genuinely funny and affecting. Do yourself a favor and read it.

b
belljennie
Oct 25, 2017

At first I thought the unique way of presenting the novel would keep me distant from getting to know the characters. How wrong I was.
Each character was given a voice and I came to enjoy the fresh perspective on not only the character building but the insight to WW2 I'd not known of.
Fabulous read.

DBRL_IdaF Aug 10, 2017

A true epistolary novel - written entirely in letters. In post-World War II London, author Juliet Ashton is searching for a subject for her next book. Then a letter arrives from a man in Guernsey who felt compelled to write to her after coming into possession of a used book with her name and address in it. This is Juliet's first introduction to the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a group that was formed on the spur of the moment as a cover to fool German occupiers.

Soon letters are flying in all directions - between Juliet and various members of the book club, Juliet and her best friend, Juliet and her new beau (or is he?), Juliet and her editor, the club member and Juliet's editor, the editor's secretary and some of the aforementioned. It's easier to track than it might seem.

The channel island of Guernsey was occupied by Germany for most of the war, and they had no contact with the rest of Britain until the war was over. This allows for some historical exposition.

Eventually, Juliet travels to Guernsey for an extended visit and becomes a part of the community. Soon enough, she's not only an interested author, but more like one of the family.

A couple of the characters seem too good to be true, but for the most part, I enjoyed the idiosyncrasies of the various residents.

CRRL_MegRaymond Jul 25, 2017

In the aftermath of WWII, a writer is looking for a “feel-good” story. What she finds is a Guernsey book club, formed as a wartime alibi.

t
todraudt
May 20, 2017

One of my all time favorite books. Sweet, gentle and engaging!

laurauk May 04, 2017

13+ An enjoyable read, in letter format. Set in German occupied Channel Isles. Fun characters! A beach read for those who like a very well written book.

s
susannastarlight
Apr 26, 2017

After reading this I'm ready to fly to the Channel Islands to explore the area and it's fascinating history--an island settled by the Britons and refuge to pirates during the middle ages.

l
larisssa11
Feb 25, 2017

Enjoyed the book! Wonderful read through.. makes you want to travel there and meet the characters. Recommend.

m
MindfulDaydreamer
Sep 22, 2016

This is a delightful epistolary novel and I did not want to put it away when I reached the last page. For several days after finishing it, I found myself wondering about the characters and creating stories in my mind about how their lives on the island continued to unfold. I highly recommend this charming book to anyone who enjoys WWII fiction with a focus on the kindness of humanity, as well as to anyone who truly adores books and reading. Be prepared to smile and chuckle while enjoying this story!

r
Riddlereads
Sep 16, 2016

A wonderful change of pace for lovers of historical fiction. The atrocities of WWII are balanced with a wonderful cast of characters who will keep you inspired with their love for one another and their ability to find humor in everyday situations. Thoroughly enjoyable.

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shirlynd
Feb 08, 2016

shirlynd thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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rpavlacic
Jan 06, 2016

rpavlacic thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

emmapri May 04, 2011

emmapri thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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segovel
Sep 16, 2010

segovel thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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JuniperAvenue
Sep 09, 2013

"Come quick.... And bring a butcher knife."

k
Kemendraugh
Apr 16, 2010

“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.”

m
mking
Aug 24, 2009

"What happens in Guernsey stays in Guernsey."

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