The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Summary and book reviews of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, plus links to an excerpt from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and a biography of Mary Ann Shaffer.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
Hardcover: Jul 2008,
Paperback: May 2009,
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 shes 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 friendsand what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Societyborn as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their islandboasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the societys 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.
Comparisons between The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and the works of Jane Austen are inevitable. Elizabeth Bennett pops into the reader's mind early in the book, as the writings of the main character, Juliet Ashton, display the same sort of sharp, irreverent wit as the heroine of Pride and Prejudice.
As with Austen's works, the main strength of this novel is the authors' ability to develop characters that readers genuinely come to care for. Each of the islanders has a unique voice and personality which is evident not only in their own correspondence to Juliet, but in the gossipy letters the neighbors compose about each other as well. There are a couple of exceptions; a self-righteous neighbor and an overly saintly missing member of the Society are one-dimensional, but the rest of the characters are so well-drawn that it's easy to forgive the occasional cursory sketch. (Reviewed by Kim Kovacs).
Barnes & Noble
Through the chorus of voices they have created, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows have composed a rich tale that celebrates the power of hope and human connection in the shadows of war.
[A] small charming novel.
This debut by an "aunt-niece" authorial team presents itself as cozy fiction about comfortably quirky people in a bucolic setting, but it quickly evinces far more serious, and ambitious, intent...the engrossing subject matter and lively writing make this a sure winner.
"[T]his is a warm, funny, tender, and thoroughly entertaining celebration of the power of the written word. This marvelous debut novel, sure to have book club appeal, is highly recommended"
Publishing News (London) - Sue Baker The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is written with great charm, the humour offsetting the tragedy, and with the values of bravery, fortitude and endurance. It also has that magic something, and seems to charm everyone who reads it.
Mary Doria Russell
Here's who will love this book—anyone who nods in profound agreement with the statement, 'Reading keeps you from going gaga.' The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a delight. Tart, insightful and fun.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by lydia Jackson the guernsey literay and potato peel pie society. The characters were unbelievable. Juliet was no London lady who had lived through WW2. She is the fantasy of an American with over-romantic views the realities of war and the occupation by an invader. Yes this can be researched and this author has... Read More
Rated of 5
by Pat Are you kidding me? I read a lot of books and enjoy a wide variety of literature so when this book was recommended to me I couldn't wait to get started. I read about 20 pages and realized that I needed to go back and start again because I must have missed something... Read More
Rated of 5
by Anna The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Chosen by our book club it is one of the best books I have recently read . I cried and laughed in equal measures. What a sensitive approach to the Occupation of which I knew very little. It has spurred me on to delve a little more into that period... Read More
Rated of 5
by Xara Sucky Book I hated this book it was so boring and had nothing in it that made you want to read it any faster. The only thing that stopped me from stopping half way through was that I had to read it for school. A complete waste of my time.
Rated of 5
by joyce the guernsey literary and potatoe peel pie society What a great book!!!! I'm sorry it ended but happy I had the opportunity to read it. I actually cried at the ending.
Rated of 5
by Louise As delicious as pie! It was the name of the book that first caught my eye and intrigued my interest. I knew very little about the Island of Guernsey or its involvement in WW2. The letter writing format made it easy to pick up and put down and I loved how the characters... Read More
A Short History of the Channel Islands, including Guernsey
The Channel Islands are a group of islands
approximately 30 miles off the coast of Normandy, France (map).
They are organized into two bailiwicks: The Bailiwick of
Guernsey (made of up of the islands of Guernsey,
Alderney, Sark, Herm, Jethou, Brecqhou and Lihou), and the
Bailiwick of Jersey (containing the island of Jersey and a
few smaller, uninhabited islets).
Despite being closer to the French coast than they are to
Britain, the islands are a self-governing possession of the
British Crown. This state of events came about because the
islands were annexed to the Duchy of Normandy in 933 and
thus became part of the lands of Duke William of Normandy in
1035. When William invaded England in 1066, becoming William
I of England (better known as William The Conqueror), he
brought with him his existing territories including the
Channel Islands. About 150 years later, in 1204, King John...
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