Linda (Houston TX)
I want to join this club.
This book is a true delight - an innovative way to present a story without dialogue. I absolutely loved it and loved the people. Although I pretty much knew where the book was going to go, it was a wonderful ride getting there, with joyous stops along the way - and a few twists and turns. I would join the society in a heartbeat, and this is one of the books I would recommend to the rest of the members. You will love this book, and the characters will be your best friends. You will miss them when you come to the end.
Elizabeth (Cincinnati OH)
Charming and Unique
This creative novel has a lot to offer. Formatted in letter-only narrative, a wonderful story unfolds in post-war England. Although the basic history is known, it offers a perspective of how hard hit England was and how difficult it is to recover from the horrors of war and the legacy it leaves. But this book isn't depressing or preachy--it's lovely and chronicles the wonderful journey of a writer. Fun stuff for people who understand how writing can bring people together and create a powerful bond. This novel would be great for book groups--it's not long and offers a beautiful humanity as well as interesting history of the English island of Guernsey which was occupied for five years by the Germans. A great read--I'm already looking forward to re-reading it!
Laurie (Nellysford VA)
Beach Read for Bibliophiles
What a delicious beach read for lovers of books, book clubs and historical novels. Presented as a series of letters written among friends, acquaintances and business associates during 1946, the story includes charming reviews of literary classics by readers with very fresh views of those classics, and touches on an aspect of WWII history which was new to me.
When I found myself weeping over the letters recounting Holocaust experiences, I regretted my cranky reaction to what seemed to be a whiney, preachy paragraph on book store profit margins found in Juliets letter of January 23.
In some ways, the book is a light read, and the main character a post-WWII Bridget Jones. The characters, however, are memorable and, in the short time required to read the book, the reader will experience a wide range of emotions and, perhaps, come away with a desire to learn more about the German Occupation of Guernsey and other Channel Islands.
Melissa (Maryville TN)
Humor & Heartache on Guernsey
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the correspondence letters in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Filled with humor, heartache, and mystery, each letter gives a glimpse into the lives of inhabitants on the island of Guernsey as well as the life of our main character, Juliet. While learning about each of the inhabitants of Guernsey, we are introduced to several works of literature by authors we may have heard of before but have shown little interest in until now. I inherited several volumes by Charles Lamb from my grandmother, and I have to say that I became so intrigued by him just through the correspondence of Dawsey and Juliet, that I will be setting out to read Lamb this summer. I did have some difficulty, however, believing that correspondence in 1946 could be delivered, read, and replied to within a three-day time span. With that said, I still give it a 5 and highly recommend it.
Patricia (Dallas TX)
Interesting History, Unsatisfactory Ending
First of all, I sat up till 2 in the morning reading and finishing this book. The story it tells about the inhabitants of Guernsey (one of the UK Channel Islands) during WWII is fascinating. The first-person/letter-writing format carries the story along in a way that straight narrative might not have.
However, at some point the book becomes a romance novel, which sort of trivializes the history contained in the first part. There are two stories here - the one about the island inhabitants during German occupation (title of the book), and the one about the main character (recipient of all the letters), which deteriorates into a silly romance at the end.
Three quarters of the book held my riveted attention, and I appreciated the addition of humor. The last quarter disappointed me terribly. The ending was happy, but the story it tells is inane.
I recommend the first part for its historical perspective. I cannot recommend the last part.
Cheryl (Angola NY)
Sign Me Up.
I would love to be a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. This is a delightful book! The authors are able to develop wonderful characters, convey little known WWII history and demonstrate a love of books and reading through a series of letters and telegrams. There's even a romance. I would recommend this book to everyone.
Maxine (Effingham IL)
The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
This little book is a gem! The authors take readers through the gamut of emotions from laugh-out-loud to lump-in-the-throat; you care about the finely drawn characters because they are so real. Book clubs should have wonderful discussions about this story.