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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society » User review

A True Delight!

  • Jul 25, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
What a wonderful book! Having just finished this one, I am still smiling and thinking of the characters. Had I the time and money, I'd be booking a trip for Guernsey right this minute. As it is, I feel as though I've already visited and been made to feel at home.

Set in both London and Guernsey Island, this novel follows author Juliet as she becomes friends with the inhabitants of the island shortly after the end of World War 2. Told in epistolary style, Juliet learns of the occupied island and its deprivations, as well as the resounding spirit of the people who live there. As she writes, she becomes more and more intrigued with the stories of the people who survived the hard times, and she decides to create a book based on their experiences. In order to gather more information, Juliet moves temporarily to the island and soon finds herself immsersed in the culture and relationships.

This is absolutely one of the most delightful books I've read all year. The characters are real, the relationships are unique, and Juliet is hysterically funny, as well as warm hearted and genuine. I did have a bit of trouble keeping all the characters straight in the beginning, but once I caught on, I was enthralled. The pages just fly by and while you will learn a little of what happened to Guernsey during World War 2, you will learn much more about love and friendship. Highly recommended!

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More The Guernsey Literary and Pota... reviews
review by . May 04, 2011
I had heard people talking about this book ever since it was published--countless people I know had read it and loved it--so I bought it; but then I found myself passing it by on my TBR (to be read) shelf time and time again because I wasn't sure it was my cup of tea (as it turns out, I misunderstood what the book was about from the descriptions I was given). Then I met a new friend and neighbor and she kept at me about it, saying I must read it. FINALLY, after close to two years gathering dust …
review by . January 17, 2010
The Guernsey Society seems a bit old fashioned
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer is a charming epistolary novel (for those of you who forgot your high school English terms, that means that the book is a series of letters) but perhaps too charming.   In the novel, a young, unmarried British writer named Juliet has found success with a series of newspaper columns during WWII. Now (in 1946) the columns are compiled as a book and she's even more successful. As she searches for a new topic to tackle, …
review by . March 11, 2011
   Okay, that’s definitely a long title. It’s also a perfect title for a perfectly entertaining, intriguing and informative love story, world war II drama, and mystery with a twist. The twist is that the story’s told entirely in letters between the characters. The wonder is it works so perfectly.      A writer looking for a book idea after wartime success finds herself accidentally corresponding with people who’ve lived through the German occupation …
review by . July 10, 2010
  When my mother recommended this book to me, I took a look at the cover quotes and found myself immediately skeptical. Phrases like "New York Times Bestseller" and a recommendation from the author of "Eat Pray Love" don't always lend themselves as a marker of a mindful read.  However, after giving it a chance I was pleasantly surprised. This novel explores the experiences of a collection of  characters in both Guernsey and England and their coping mechanisms …
review by . June 24, 2010
I admit; this was a hard book to get into.  It is written in a series of letters between the main character (Juliette, if I remember right), and her publisher Sydney, plus many others, most of whom are members of a literary society that was formed by an unlikely group of people thrown together by events during WWII, on the Channel Island of Guernsey.  This book has it all: romance, suspense, humor, horror.  Once I got used to the manner of writing, I loved reading how each character …
Quick Tip by . August 09, 2010
Poverty and suffering are AWESOME, apparently. I threw the book into the wall when the author used the word "random" to mean "unexpected," in her faux-period letters, a meaning that emerged in the computer age. I give this book a big fat *fart sound*.
Quick Tip by . July 08, 2010
A book lovers book - I didn't want it to end. My book club loved discussing all of the characters in this one.
Quick Tip by . June 23, 2010
Could not get into it. Not sure what the hype is all about.
review by . June 02, 2010
Pros: Literary; entertaining; excellent character development; not formulaic; exquisite audio rendition.     Cons: Irreverent and immoral in places; unrealistic ending; pacing concerns; similar styles among characters.     The Bottom Line: Reading this book will help you discuss both tragedy and whimsy using a British accent--unless you already have one. In that case, this work may prove disappointingly inaccurate.     Dear Readers,     …
review by . May 27, 2010
Sentimental tale
The year is 1946, and British writer Juliet is feeling restless. She wants to write something new but doesn't know what. As luck would have it, she receives a letter from a Guernsey man and a pen-friendship develops. He tells her about the island literary society and its unusual history, and before she knows it she is corresponding with all the members and planning to visit them in person.       Written entirely as a series of letters between Juliet and her friends, this book …
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Tammy Koudelka McCann ()
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Wiki

The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume Izzy Bickerstaff) writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet's name in a used book and invites articulate—and not-so-articulate—neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book's epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident—including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation—and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet's quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as will readers.(Aug.)
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Details

ISBN-10: 0385340990
ISBN-13: 978-0385340991
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Publisher: The Dial Press
Date Published: July 29, 2008
First to Review
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