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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel Hardcover – Unabridged, July 29, 2008
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A girl with loyalty to both sides in a war—and the dangerous opportunity to save lives. Learn More
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From Bookmarks Magazine
Copyright 2008 Bookmarks Publishing LLC
Top Customer Reviews
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!
The book takes place in England during the mid 1940's when the country was recovering from the effects of the long war years. The central character of the novel is Juliet, a thirty something single Londoner who has had some success writing a humorous newspaper column and is now looking for a book subject. Through chance and a mutual love of the power of literature Juliet begins corresponding with a group of diverse people on the British island of Guernsey who used books and the fellowship they found discussing them to help them get through the hideous occupation of their island by the Germans. The authors do a wonderful job giving unique voice and style to each of the letter writers (maybe having two authors really helped in this case) long before Juliet meets her new friends face to face. In the second half of the book, also written in letter form, Juliet is on Guernsey herself and this part of the book is not quite as strong as the beginning as the plot settles in to more of a traditional love story form and the literature themes are somewhat lessened. Still,through its final page, this is an original and entertaining book.
Juliet Ashton is an author looking for her next great idea, when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams, who lives on Guernsey, about Charles Lamb, to whose works we was introduced through the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. The Society came to be in an unusual fashion: one evening after curfew, on their way home, some of its members were stopped by German soldiers, and Elizabeth McKenna had to make something up on the spot. Over time, the members got together whenever they could to talk about what they'd read. That's how Isola, for example, became addicted to Wuthering Heights.
Juliet lives in a London that was decimated by war; her apartment by the Thames has been lost, as well as all of her books (as you can imagine, horrifying). But her career as a writer is going well, and she has a potential love interest: the handsome and rich Mark. But Juliet's life changes as she receives more and more letters from the Guernsey Islanders, and she decides that she just might have to pay them a visit
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an utterly charming novel, written in an epistolary fashion, between not only Julia and her new friends, but her best friend from childhood and her brother (who also happens to be Juliet's publisher). It's a sweet, funny novel, and it reminds me a lot of ...Read more ›
Told completely in descriptive letters, amusing telegrams, and exclusive marginal notes, this modern British classic details the lives and events of post-World War II civilians, particularly in bomb-raided London and the recently liberated Channel Islands. The backdrop is extraordinarily well set, with eye-opening and little-known flashes of war terror mingled with depressing, but rich details of Guernsey's isolation under the prolonged German occupation during the war (which lasted until 1945). Both the tempestuous German reign and the brief evocations of the Belsen concentration camps are horrific, but they contrast magnificently with the gorgeous portraits of post-war Guernsey.
Dawsey Adams finds the name and address of budding war commentator and novelist, Juliet Ashton, in a book he's acquired secondhand, and seeing that the particular title--a Charles Lamb classic--is well worn, he decides to write her expressing his admiration for the author and complimenting her taste. He doesn't expect Juliet to respond--she doesn't know who he is, after all--but with her spirit and partiality towards literature, she does--enthusiastically. And thus they embark on an exciting, sparkling correspondence.
Shaffer has breathed life into her delightful, vivid cast of characters. Dawsey, Sidney, Isola, Susan, the late Elizabeth, and young Kit--I fell in love with all of them! They're simply enchanting... such a diverse, memorable group.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read the book before my trip to the island. Very entertaining story. Unusual writing format makes for an interesting read.Published 5 hours ago by Lam
This is a fabulous read, rich in both history and character. I recommend it to all my friends.
Sometimes when a book gets hyped by everybody and her brother you end up... Read more
I found it hard to get into this book. The entire story is told through a series of letters, which is a style I don't prefer. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kristin
One of the best books I've ever read. I didn't want it to end. It's funny, inspiring, lighthearted with serious history woven in.Published 4 days ago by christina
It is such a nice book! I would recommend it to everyone. I truly fell in love with itPublished 6 days ago by Adela Ruiz
This book is a delight. Told entirely through the characters' letters to one another, this story reveals a slice of history few know, and does so in a very charming, human way.Published 7 days ago by Charley Cross
This is the second time I've read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie and it was even better this time. I will probably read it again in five years and enjoy it even more. Read morePublished 7 days ago by JeannieD