The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.


From the Hardcover edition.

Baker & Taylor
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.

Baker
& Taylor

In 1946, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey, who tells her about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation.

Publisher: New York : Dial Press, c2008
ISBN: 9780385341004
9780385340991
0385340990
Characteristics: 277 p. : maps ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Barrows, Annie

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b
Booksss14
Jan 19, 2018

"Delicious" is one of the first words that come to mind when I think of this book. It is excellent. It is delightful. I devoured this book in three days. Yes. Three days. That is such a long time to finish a book, especially for me! But The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a book you savor and try your best to milk the very last drops from it - wishing, hoping, dreaming that it would never end. Okay. Maybe I am exaggerating. But wait - am I? The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a divine book; it truly is exquisite. It is intelligent and witty and warm and utterly delectable. I. LOVE. THIS. BOOK. Please, do read it! You will not regret the decision, my friends. I assure you, you will not. So what are you waiting for? Order this book right now! You will thank me one day!

e
Einer2
Jan 07, 2018

A delightful book with a unique style. The other bonus is that it helps keep alive the story of something that can never be allowed to happen again! Loved the characters who came so alive even though the story is told entirely through letters exchanged by a few. Makes me want to visit Guernsey and perhaps never leave.

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.

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Quotes

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b
Booksss14
Jan 20, 2018

"There wasn't a one of them who truly loved literature. Because that's what my cookery book was - sheer poetry in a pan." - Clara Saussey

b
Booksss14
Jan 20, 2018

"Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life." - Isola Pribby

j
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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shirlynd
Feb 08, 2016

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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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