Sunday, 31 July 2011

book review: the Guernsey literary & potato peel pie society

By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, this book is a novel composed entirely of a collection of letters.  Fiction based on fact, the story is set in 1946 in England.  It’s about Juliet – an author – in post war England who is looking for the topic of her next book.

She begins writing to Dawsey, who lives on Guernsey and mentions the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society which intrigues Juliet.  Soon more and more letters are exchanged between different members of the society.  Bit by bit, their story of the war and life during their German occupation is pieced together.

It turns out that one night a few friends on Guernsey got caught by the Germans when they were out after curfew.  Elizabeth, one of the group, boldly stepped up.

A bit from the book
"Then Elizabeth drew in her breath and stepped forward. Elizabeth isn't tall, so those pistols were lined up at her eyes, but she didn't blink. She acted like she didn't see any pistols at all. She walked up to the officer in charge and started talking. You never heard such lies. How sorry she was that we had broken curfew. How we had been attending a meeting of the Guernsey Literary Society, and the evening's discussion of Elizabeth and her German Garden had been so delightful that we had lost all track of time. Such a wonderful book — had he read it?" 

My response
I was so intrigued by the story that I looked up on the internet to find out where Guernsey was and I found it truly was occupied by Germany during WWII.   I was impacted by the beautiful theme of community from the book and how an unusual collection of varied characters formed a society that formed friendships bonded through the troubles of war, as they shared their highs and lows together.

This is a beautiful book with a historically factual basis.  I would recommend this book highly.  It sort of gripped me.  I absolutely loved it.  Ten out of ten.  Read it!


  1. It looks like a very good book! I might have to check that out.

    Here from LBS.

  2. I will trade you places for a week. You come to Florida, and I'll go to Australia. I've wanted to visit there all my life (and intend to before I die). I'm Cinn too. They call me Cinful. I just found you from the LBS tea party. And I'm a new GFC follower. Have a great Sunday.