Reader reviews and comments on The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, plus links to write your own review.

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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows X
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
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  • First Published:
    Jul 2008, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2009, 304 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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There are currently 36 reader reviews for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
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Judith

WWII for non-history majors
Page 11: "...one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive---all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment." I can't say it better than that. This book was sheer enjoyment. People writing letters to people (before email which I admit is useful but not nearly so long-lasting.) Those who lived on Guernsey during the war telling their stories and the 'writer's' observations to her publisher. All this entwined with the daily lives of a variety of characters. I couldn't put it down....and I'm NOT a history buff. This isn't school history. This is personal and enchanting if such can be said about anyone in time of war.
Molly

Irrepressible human spirit
The daily privations and loss during a war time occupation are held at bay by generosity and ingenuity resulting in a clandestine feast of contraband pork. The book club hastily formed as an excuse for breaking Nazi curfew becomes a source of strength, courage and hope for the members struggling to survive the war, and results in a journey home for the journalist who visits them after the war.
Patricia

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.
Susannah

could be funnier
I am fond of epistolary novels--those written as a series of letters--but only if there is a good reason for employing this technique. Some excellent examples are Helene Hanff's 84 Charing Cross Road and A Woman of Independent means by Elizabeth Hailey. Now Guernsey Literary has joined their ranks. The reader gets to know all the various letter writers in a depth that would be hard to match in a conventional novel. The story itself is charming, informative and amusing. However, I felt that some of the potentially funny vignettes were not given their full quotient of humor. I wanted to laugh out loud rather than smile to myself. Nevertheless, I am passing my copy along to a friend who doesn't read much but I'm sure will enjoy this book.
Laurie

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 Juliet’s 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.
Elizabeth

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!
Nancy

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
What a lovely story. I enjoyed the letter format and the way the characters were developed. When I came to the last letter, I felt like Juliet. I didn't want to leave the lovely town of Guernsey or the special people that belong to the Literary and Potato Peel Society.
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 give a story of superficial understanding.

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