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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  458,820 Ratings  ·  42,760 Reviews
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.

“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 th
...more
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published July 29th 2008 by The Dial Press
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Meg You might like the Cecilia and Kate series by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede. If I recall correctly, it's two women in the Victorian era who…moreYou might like the Cecilia and Kate series by Caroline Stevermer and Patricia Wrede. If I recall correctly, it's two women in the Victorian era who get tangled up in magical derring-do.(less)
Katherine My bookshelves are colour coded by their spines, Allie, so I'm somewhat biased when I say, "NO! Organizing your books however you want is not bad, in…moreMy bookshelves are colour coded by their spines, Allie, so I'm somewhat biased when I say, "NO! Organizing your books however you want is not bad, in fact, it's wonderful!" To each their own, in my opinion. A haphazard collection of books is in no way superior to a collection organized along some theme. (less)
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Community Reviews

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Linda Sexauer
Jul 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
Several years ago, I worked at an art gallery here in Anchorage. Though I loved the art, I wasn’t much good at selling it. More often than not, I just chatted up the customers, who were from all over the world.

One night, four elderly people wandered in. They told me they were from a tiny island off the coast of southern England called “Guernsey”. I’d never heard of it, so they proudly explained it was the only part of British soil that had been occupied by the Nazis during World War II. The isla
...more
Megha
Mar 08, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Megha by: Wanda

Dear Mary Ann Shaffer,

I recently read your book 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society'. It brought a few questions to my mind.
Juliet writes in one of her letters:
"Dear Sidney,
What an inspired present you sent kit - red satin tap shoes covered with sequins"

Didn't Sidney know what present he had sent?
If you had to resort to sentences like these to speak what you wanted to, didn't you realize that the letter format and your writing didn't go well together?

Learning from your bad exam
...more
Emma  Kaufmann
Sep 08, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Once again I find myself reading ten pages of a book which is meant to be 'great' and wondering why it is just rubbish. I was meant to read this for a book club but it was about as palatable as a potato peel pie so I spat it out uneaten.

Now, I'm sure there are American authors who can write in an authentic British voice (no one springs to mind, and Elizabeth George is terrible at it but at least her plot is not clunky) but Mary Ann Shaffer isn't one of them.

This book has an epistolary plot that
...more
Beth F.
Oct 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: almost anyone - I covered the specifics in my review
Gush, gush, gush, gush, gush, gush, gush!!! GUSH!!!!! So yes, clearly I loved this book.

I think the only person I wouldn’t recommend this book to is one of those people who only read meaty tomes that might give regular people a brain embolism while they’re trying to make sense of the 17 different layers of subconscious meaning. I’d also hesitate from recommending this book to most men. However, if you have the ability to find joy and delight in the simple pleasures of a feel-good book, you too m
...more
Alisa
Feb 17, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I'm in favor of:

-pig farmers as romantic leads
-parrots named Zenobia who eat cuckoo clocks
-women who do the asking

I'm not in favor of:

-strong silent types as romantic leads
-adorable children
-parrots getting more page time than goats
Amalia Gavea
‘’Real dyed-in-the-wool readers can’t lie. Our faces always give us away. A raised brow or a curled lip means that it’s a poor excuse for a book, and the clever customers ask for recommendation instead, whereupon we frog-march them over to a particular volume and command them to read it.’’


Following an exciting April, I chose to start May with a focus on more contemporary, approachable reads that are simple but rich in themes focusing on the relationships within a family, within the members of
...more
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
I loved this book - it's on my favorites shelf. So obviously I recommend it!

In my March 2018 buddy read with Trish (which kind of disintegrated because she raced ahead and finished the whole book in like one day :p) I was impressed with how well the authors melded actual historical facts about the island of Guernsey during WWII, and people's wartime experiences, with the novel's storyline. I could see the seams a little - interesting true stories and anecdotes tend to show up in the book as rand
...more
Cayenne
Jul 30, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of the lovliest books I have ever read. I have read many books and seen many movies about World War II, but this one was the best. It was so real. I felt like I knew the characters and I wanted to run over to Guernsey to meet them in person. The stories about their experiences were so touching, not just because they were hard, but because the people were so brave. Horrible things happened to them, but I didn't feel traumatized reading about them. I felt uplifted at their endurance a ...more
Ruth
Aug 19, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won an ARC of this book either from the NYer or from the publisher. I forget which, as it's been sitting around for a while.

This epistolary novel is something I should have loved. I generally like novels in letters, it’s almost like peering into lighted windows at night as you pass, sewing the bits of life seen there into a coherent whole.

It’s fun, this book, in its witty comments, sort of the way I wish I could talk all the time. Yet, about halfway through it began to pale. Everybody in the b
...more
l a i n e y
How can you write a review for a book that put perpetual smile on your face for 277 pages??

Definition of “supremely-enjoyable-while-reading” kind of book for me: so delightful, real funny and warm.


Five long years since I first put this on my tbr shelf, should have read it a lot sooner...


rating: ★★★★

...more
Tatiana
Aug 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
The words that immediately come to mind when I think of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society are nice, cute and, unfortunately, hokey(ish).

I certainly understand its popularity (#4 most popular book of 2007 on Goodreads!). There is a distinct air of wholesomeness, inoffensiveness about it, plus it is occasionally funny (in a cute, inoffensive way), with a bit of tragic war business thrown in.

But it got tiring for me very quickly. From the moment the main character, Juliet, a young
...more
Cyndi
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful book! The whole thing is told in letters. After WWII the world is trying to recover. A young woman, Juliet, wrote funny stories using a pseudonym for the paper to bring up morale. They have been published in a book. Now she is looking for her next project when she receives a letter from Guernsey.
Dawsey came across a book she owned by Charles Lamb. Since her name and address were in the flyleaf he decided to write her and let her know he had the book and loved it.
So began a corres
...more
La Petite Américaine
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Bored Housewives
Shelves: sucked, rants
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Will Byrnes
May 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The GL&PPPS tells of Nazi occupation of this Channel Island during WW II. The story is told via a series of letters exchanged between residents of the island and a writer attempting to learn about their experiences. We are offered a wide range of characters, some warm and charming, some extremist buffoons, some heroic, some not so heroic. The core of the story is Elizabeth, a particularly brave and wonderful individual. She is the emotional heart of the tale, as the many characters all have ...more
Sherif Metwaly

المصادفات السعيدة تترك أعظم الأثر، وهذه الرواية كانت مصادفة من أجمل ما يكون. في ليلةٍ ما، وبعد يوم عصيب في الجامعة، أبحث في مكتبتي عن عنوان يجذبني للقراءة فلا أجد، أمسك بالهاتف ولا أجد، أفتح الجودريدز لأشاهد ما يقرأه الأصدقاء لعل اسم كتاب أو مراجعة تنتشلني من حالة الضيق، ولا أجد أيضا؛ يظهر اسم الرواية أمامي بالصدفة في قائمة الترشيحات التي تظهر أعلى يمين الموقع، جمعية ماذا؟، فطيرة قشر البطاطا؟، ابتسمت فبدأت أخرج من حالة الضيق، وانجذبت أكثر للرواية بعدما وجدت تقييمها المرتفع وقد قرأها ما يقارب الن
...more
Laura
Sep 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Laura by: Jeslyn Rumbold
A friend gave this to me with the recommendation, “You’ll LOVE this – it sounds like you!” I assume she meant because the main character is a witty book lover, not because she’s a critical spinster. I don’t dare ask.

At any rate, this is easily one of the most charming books I’ve read in a while. Our heroine, Juliet, spent the war writing light pieces for a women’s magazine, and now she yearns for more substantial material. When she receives a letter from a Guernsey man who has in his possession
...more
Kelly
Dec 22, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't do this often, but I am commanding my fellow Good Read Sisters to stop what they are doing, order a pizza for the family and hide yourselves away with this book! You all deserve a treat and if I could I would come run your homes while you read - this book is that good. It's unique - all letters - but please don't be put off by that. On the contrary, Shaffer is able to add an edge of humor with this device...and is she also paying homage to Anne Bronte and the Tenant...? [if you read it y ...more
Jean
Apr 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-authors-q-t
Don't let the title put you off. Or the fact that it has two authors (the second recruited apparently when the first, her aunt, sadly became too ill to complete it.) Or the fact that it is a series of letters, or what literary types call an "epistolary novel". Or the whispering on the grapevine that it's a cosy piece, mostly read by women. All these tended to make me hesitate. But I'm so glad I persevered.

The book has a post-war setting, but much of the action refers to the Nazi Occupation of Gu
...more
Maxwell
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, kindle
Ok I really enjoyed this book up until the end! It wasn't a bad ending, per se, but it felt really rushed. I was honestly taken aback by it's abrupt ending. That was a bit of a bummer. Nevertheless, this was a really endearing story about the power that books have to bring people together—so how can it not be great?

It's told in a series of letters and telegrams between characters, but mostly from the perspective of Juliet Ashton, a journalist and book lover from England, just after the end of WW
...more
PattyMacDotComma
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of 84, Charing Cross Road
5★
I absolutely loved this. I think I’ve avoided it because of the cutesy title, but I’m glad I finally caved.

It’s a delightful story written in an exchange of letters between newspaper columnist Juliet and some residents of the Bailiwick of Guernsey, an island in the English Channel that is closer to France than Great Britain. They are an eccentric lot, to say the least.

During WW2, Juliet wrote a light-hearted newspaper column to keep up British spirits. Meanwhile, during WW2, the islanders wer
...more
Dem
May 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have to admit when this book was recommended to me I was a little worried as for one I found the title strange and two I did not find the blurb very enticing. I am not going to try and sumarize the story as I feel I could not do it justice. I found this novel wounderful and I was lucky to be able to curl up on my couch while the wind and rain howled outside(end of May!!) and finish the last 150 pages of this book and enjoy it I did. The story of the occupation of Guernsey is facinating and reall ...more
Ij
This book is a fictional collection of letters, telegrams, and notes centered on an author, Juliet Ashton, who connects with the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (Society). The letters are primarily about residences of Guernsey during the occupation by the Germany Army, during WWII.

The Society came about due to friends being caught out, by the Army, after curfew. These friends had just enjoyed a meal of roasted pig, which was a novelty after the occupation. Not wanting to give the r
...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
May 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shannon (Giraffe Days) by: lots of friends on GR
The Second World War has ended and people across the world are picking up the pieces. It's 1946, January, and Juliet Ashton is on a book tour around England for her recently published collection of humorous columns that had been so popular during the war, Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War. She's not used to being a success and she does tend to throw things at people, but on the upside a very wealthy and attractive man keeps sending her flowers.

A surprise letter from a complete stranger from one of th
...more
Magrat Ajostiernos
Aug 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Historia ligera, entrañable, divertida... Me enganchó desde el primer momento (Super fan del formato epistolar) aunque hubiera agradecido más diferencia entre las cartas de un personaje a otro.
Me lo he pasado muy bien leyéndola, hay momentos duros pero realmente toda la lectura desprende un optimismo y un amor por los libros genial.
Tan solo hubiera suprimido tantos líos amorosos.... Ya se sabe que yo muy de romance no soy.
Srividya
To,
The Art of Letter Writing,
Current Status: Lost
Address: Unknown

Dearest Friend,
I am sure you must be really surprised to receive this message from me after such a long time. Can you find it in your heart to forgive me for this long absence and absolute neglect or will any reason I give you for this absence be taken as naught but excuses? I have failed and I accept that but you should know that you were never forgotten. In fact, many a times, I thought of writing to you, just like in the old day
...more
Lesley
Aug 16, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I wasn't too sure what to expect from this book but I found it enchanting. I found myself really loving the letter format of the book and all of the glorious characters you get to know throughout the story.
I have to admit that I found a few parts to do with the war a little too confronting but over all, the characters lust for life and the pure humanity that simply oozes from the pages of this lovely story had me enthralled from the get go. For anyone who hasn't read this story and would like t
...more
Cathrine ☯️
4.25★

A group of connected stories told via letters about "how [people] held on hard to [their] kindness and [their] courage."

Thirty-five of my GR friends have read this book, thirty-two of their ratings were 4 or 5 stars. I read all of their reviews but will not Like them for fear of causing a crash on the GR Home notification feed. Obviously a crowd favorite! It won several awards. So what can I add. It was delightful and charming, just wonderful. What a treat. A big thanks to those of you who
...more
Carmo
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ainda ia a meio da leitura e já me apetecia fazer as malas, rumar a Guernsey e ficar lá de papo pró ar a devorar tartes de framboesa. No final do livro, no epílogo escrito por uma das autoras, esta refere a quantidade de cartas que receberam de leitores que exprimiam o mesmo desejo. Senti-me logo melhor por fazer parte deste delírio coletivo.

E é isso que esta leitura nos provoca; uma sensação de proximidade e de envolvência com a história e as personagens.
O sentido de humor está sempre presente
...more
Chrissie
Wonderful book! Both light and amusing and serious, gripping and informative. This is a must-read for everyone; one of those books that is just so much fun to read.
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808 followers
Mary Ann Shaffer worked as an editor, a librarian, and in bookshops. Her life-long dream was to someday write her own book and publish it. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was her first novel. Unfortunately, she became very ill with cancer and so she asked her niece, Annie Barrows, the author of the children’s series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half, to help her finish the ...more
More about Mary Ann Shaffer

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“I don't want to be married just to be married. I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with.” 1901 likes
“That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to 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.” 1318 likes
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