Friday, October 30, 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Genre: Adult Fiction

Author Website:

One Word Review: Delightful

First Line: “We sold over forty copies of the book, which was very pleasant, but much more thrilling from my standpoint was the food.”

Synopsis: 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.

Jess’s Review: I can hardly find the words to express how much I enjoyed reading this book. The book is written as a series of letter, which at first I was very leery of, but once I got used to it, I fell in love. I savored reading each letter as if they were my own and when I was finished I literally hugged the book to my chest and sighed. Very cheesy moment, but true nevertheless. The characters were vivid and vibrant, and the story was interesting and moving. The book made me laugh and cry and had me wishing that people wrote more letters. Then I remembered all the great comments we get on Bookworm Nation and it made me feel better! Each of the characters finds solace in the books they have read and in the people they read them with. It’s the first book in a long time that I actually wrote down page numbers so I could go back and copy down the quotes. I’ll share a few with you….just to peek your interest so you’ll read this book…ASAP.

“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. How delightful if that were true.” p.10

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books.” P.53

“Mind you I cannot always make sense of what he [Shakespeare] says, but it will come. It seems to me the less he said, the more beauty he made. Do you know what sentence of his I admire the most? It is, “The bright day is gone, and we are for the dark.” I wish I’d known those words on the day I watched those German troops land….” P.63

A good book can bring people together as friends and I’m honored to call each of you who read this blog…friend!


  1. So I bought this at Costco the other day, I guess I better read it! Great review!!!

  2. I loved this book. I think you'll like it too Kath. We read it for book club and I had to buy it.

  3. Aw, that sounds so great and heartwarming. Great review.

  4. This is the second rave review I've read of this book today. I'm adding it to my to-read list right now!

    Great review - and I love the quotes you included.

  5. I am SO happy you loved this book. I was worried about the letter format too, but then I just LOVED it. Oh my word, it is just delightful.


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