The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

By Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows,

Book cover of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Book description

The beloved, life-affirming international bestseller which has sold over 5 million copies worldwide - now a major film starring Lily James, Matthew Goode, Jessica Brown Findlay, Tom Courtenay and Penelope Wilton 'I can't remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one ... Treat…

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Why read it?

11 authors picked The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

This book ticks all the boxes for me in terms of great historical fiction.

Told entirely in the form of letters written firstly between writer, Juliet Ashton and the sublimely named Dawsey Adams, one of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and then via letters from other members of the society. The fact that it is a book that brings Dawsey and Juliet together and then books and stories which are the backbone of this wonderful novel, makes it even more special.

However, it is the characters who really bring it to life and particularly…

How does The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society fit into my list of WWII books with unexpected love stories?

I was initially drawn to this epistolary novel by the romance between Englishwoman Elizabeth McKenna and German officer Christian Hellman. It appeared to be, like my own novel, a tale of lovers on opposite sides of the war. But as I read on, I realized that there were many forms of love expressed through the various characters, with perhaps the most powerful being the enduring bond of friendship.

With a staunch commitment to each other, the Society members demonstrate…

Did I save the best for last? Maybe. If there is one story that proves that reading and food have the potential to save the world (or at least a small community) this is the book. This is always the book. I’ve read it a dozen times and it always satisfies. So much so that I’m taking a book pilgrimage to Guernsey this summer. If you haven’t read this novel (which I’m guessing, you probably have) I’m delighted that you get to travel back to wartime Germany and experience this masterpiece for the first time. This is the kind of…

 Most war novels are concerned quite naturally with the actions of the participants. This story, written in retrospect, concerns itself with the impact on the civilian population.

As the only part of the UK occupied by Nazi Germany,  Channel Islanders experienced the constant demands and dangers of occupation. Post-war, these issues gradually surface again after an exchange of letters leads to a visit to the Society and its members by an interested writer, where slowly and gently the brutality, hardship, treachery, survival, courage, and dark secrets of wartime are once again reluctantly revealed. It is also a reminder of the…

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society… post-WWII. Told through letters it reveals the story of Juliet Ashton who lost her parents and is looking for a new family. Though she doesn’t know it. She finds it in an odd assortment of characters who are part of a book club I would die to join. Again, each “family member” has a different personality that draws you in and moves the story forward. A lovely, lovely book about taking risks and finding love.

Confession one: I saw this book around for months before I read it, and I thought the title was the worst thing I’d ever seen. No way was I going to read a book with that title. Then it was a selection in my book club, so...anyway, I fell in love. It’s charming, terrifying, heartbreaking, and a bit romantic. And so, so funny. Ironic that I would include it in this list, since the protagonist literally starts the book writing about how she’s tired of trying to make people laugh to cope with World War II, and yearns to write…

This book overflows with charm, while also managing to balance a very dark theme – the hardship of occupied Guernsey during WWII – with a beautiful love story. The tale begins in the immediate aftermath of the war when London-based writer Juliet Ashton responds to a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey, a total stranger, who has come across her name written in a second-hand book, and has some questions. She enters into a correspondence with him, and in time with all the members of the extraordinary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. The narrative dips into the past…

From Roisin's list on the messiness of life and love.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society begins in London just after the Second World War. Writer Juliet Ashton exchanges letters with a man she’s never met, a native of Guernsey. As they exchange letters, she finds out about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which was started as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island. The cast of characters is charming, eccentric and above all, were so believable that I felt I was reading about real people. I highly recommend this beautiful book. While the characters are…

Many people don’t realize that part of the United Kingdom was occupied by the Nazis during WWII. The inhabitants of the Channel Islands, just off the shore of France, lived under German rule from 1940 through to liberation in 1945. This novel, told entirely in epistolary style with letters and a few telegrams between the characters, highlights the wartime deprivations they endured and the extraordinary resilience of ordinary citizens. The “literary society” in the title is initially a ruse to explain an unauthorized violation of curfew, but I love that it becomes a way for the characters to discover the…

From Barbara's list on little-known aspects of World War II.

This too is a book I loved. Immediately after the war Juliet begins a correspondence with a pig farmer on Guernsey, the Channel island that had been under Nazi occupation throughout the war, and learns of the impromptu book club they formed and how their love of books sustained and strengthened them through the challenges they faced. The letters are at times funny, sad, wise, eccentric and will, in the end, completely win your heart, as they did Juliet’s.

From Irene's list on uplifting contemporary novels.

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