The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
A Novel

76%

53 Critic Reviews

The epistolatory form and Juliet's numerous correspondents make for a jolting narrative at times. This, though, is easily forgiven...when you discover that former librarian Mary Ann Shaffer struggled for 30 years to turn her fascination for Guernsey into fiction and died before the final edit, leaving her niece to complete the book.
-Guardian

Synopsis

This new deluxe eBook edition of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society features more than eighty additional pages of exclusive, author-approved annotations throughout the text to enrich your reading experience. You can access the eBook annotations with a simple click or tap on your eReader via the convenient links. Access them as you read the novel or as supplemental material after finishing the entire story. There is also Random House Reader’s Circle bonus content, sure to inspire discussion at book clubs everywhere.
 
A runaway New York Times bestseller that was named one of the ten best books of the year by Time and USA Today, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society has captivated readers around the world. Told with warmth and humor in a series of letters, this is a tale of finding connection in the most unexpected places.
 
January 1946: As London emerges from the Second World War, 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 Guernsey, the British island once occupied by the Nazis? As Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence, she is drawn into the world of this man and his friends, all members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club formed to protect its members from arrest by the Germans. Through their letters, she learns about their island, their taste in books, and the powerful, transformative impact the Occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey. What she finds there will change her forever.
 

About Mary Ann Shaffer

See more books from this Author
When she was a kid, Annie Barrows never once went to camp. She never took any classes. She never played a sport. She wasn't a Girl Scout. What a weirdo. She lives in Berkeley, California. Sophie Blackall is an Australian illustrator whose work has appeared in many newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
Published July 29, 2008 by The Dial Press. 322 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Romance. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 02 2014
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
All: 53 | Positive: 44 | Negative: 9

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Isobel Montgomery on Jun 19 2009

The epistolatory form and Juliet's numerous correspondents make for a jolting narrative at times. This, though, is easily forgiven...when you discover that former librarian Mary Ann Shaffer struggled for 30 years to turn her fascination for Guernsey into fiction and died before the final edit, leaving her niece to complete the book.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Stevie Davies on Aug 08 2008

Shaffer's writing, with its delicately offbeat, self-deprecating stylishness, is exquisitely turned, bearing a clear debt to Jane Austen.

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Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Lesa Holstine on Aug 01 2008

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is a gem of a novel, one to treasure right along 84, Charing Cross Road.

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Examiner

Good
on Jul 20 2012

The letters in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society show all different sides to life after WWII. Everybody on the island was affected by the war and forming the society was a way for them to escape reality for a little bit.

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Examiner

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa Westerfield on May 28 2009

It isn’t so heavy that anyone will find themselves weeping on a lounge chair by the pool, nor is it so light that it comes across as an absurd romance. Overall, one should share this book with friends, perhaps over pie...

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Book Reporter

Good
Reviewed by Norah Piehl on Jan 22 2011

...THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY will certainly spark lively discussion and moments of self-recognition at book clubs and literary societies everywhere.

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All About Romance

Excellent
Reviewed by Ellen Micheletti on Feb 12 2014

I was happily engrossed in this book and read it straight through. I know that I will read it over and over again – this is a comfort read like no other.

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The Telegraph

Below average
Reviewed by Laura Thompson on Aug 30 2008

The second half of the book...does not have quite the appeal of the first. The epistolary form no longer seems so fitting, the letters have to convey too much plot, and the eccentricities of at least one character start to seem forced.

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Christian Science Monitor

Good
Reviewed by Yvonne Zipp on Dec 12 2010

...“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” is a labor of love, and it shows on almost every page...Shaffer died earlier this year, and it’s sad to think that someone who apparently treasured books so much will never see her own on a bookstore shelf. But readers will be grateful it found its way there, nonetheless.

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The Bookbag

Good
Reviewed by Paul Curd on Jan 09 2011

I found this book a joy to read. An old-fashioned epistolary novel, it is told entirely through the letters written between the characters, which in itself makes it light reading without being lightweight.

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Pajiba

Good
Reviewed by rahael on Apr 11 2012

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a warm, funny and charming novel about hope and love in post World War II England.

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The Seattle Times

Good
Reviewed by Roger K. Miller on Aug 22 2008

This is a Happily Ever After novel — After, that is, Several Sorrows Are Endured. It is also a book-lover's delight, an implicit and sometimes explicit paean to all things literary...

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About.com Bestsellers

Excellent
Reviewed by Erin Collazo Miller on Jan 18 2013

...The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a delightful piece of historical fiction that will make you laugh, cry and remember the transformational power of literature.

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BlogHer

Good
Reviewed by Karen Ballum on Aug 16 2008

It's a delightful novel, rich with historical details and wonderful characters that you come to love. Along the way it;s littered with rich descriptions about reading that leave you nodding to yourself.

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Chamber Four

Below average
Reviewed by Sean Clark on Jul 27 2010

This is a sound little love story. I took some gripe with it mainly because I didn’t really like Juliet that much. She is relatively clueless, and for an author, she’s terrible at reading and evaluating the people around her.

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California Literary Review

Below average
Reviewed by Julia Braun Kessler on Sep 02 2008

In a work whose tone is so clever, whose voice is one tongue-glued in cheek—too often their tale teetered at the brink. At such instances, one felt in danger of its plunging into treacle, drowning in saccharine—so goody-goody and pat seemed their characterizations.

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ABC Perth

Good
Reviewed by Melanie Telford on Jan 15 2009

I enjoyed this read from beginning to end. This novel has the timeless appeal of a classic. I want everyone I know to read this book.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
on Jul 30 2011

The book is a page turner. The novel is about a writer who needs to write her next novel. She ends up writing it. However, she also learns more about herself. She also finds friends and love.

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Yahoo! Voices

Excellent
Reviewed by Traveler 2010 on Apr 29 2010

I picked this up on a whim and can say that there are not enough words to describe how wonderful this book really is. This is by far the best book I've read all year...

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Yahoo! Voices

Below average
Reviewed by Stacey Laatsch on Apr 24 2009

The finale ties everything up neatly, like a good piece of popular fiction, but might leave the more literary-inclined feeling flat.

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Yahoo! Voices

Good
Reviewed by Bruno Somerset on Apr 24 2009

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is captivating because of its story of perseverance in wartime and the discovery of love in unexpected places; the hardships the islanders endure actually help keep the story from being mere lighthearted fluff.

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Booking Mama

Good
on Nov 11 2008

Not only did I find the book a pleasure to read, but I also found the history and background of Guernsey during World War II fascinating.

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Novelicious

Good
Reviewed by Cesca Martin on Jul 28 2011

This book had me laughing out loud and shedding real tears. It was, quite simply, beautifully written. I’ve been waiting to review it for weeks, simply to spread the word. More people should read this heart-warming tale. It is just so damn charming!

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The Book Smugglers

Good
Reviewed by Stacy Millican on Jan 22 2012

A book for book lovers, a book for friends and a book to inspire community and feelings of good will.

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Literate Housewife

Good
Reviewed by Literate Housewife on Feb 07 2009

I enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society for its love of letter writing and for providing a feel for what it would have been like to live under Nazi occupation during World War II.

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Rebecca Reads

Below average
Reviewed by Rebecca Reid on Jul 16 2009

It wasn’t my favorite book by a long shot, but it was a comfortable and fun read. I felt I learned something all while I was being entertained.

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Book Chatter

Below average
Reviewed by Ti on Apr 28 2009

I felt that it was well written overall, I just didn’t like Juliet. She seemed one dimensional to me and although my feelings were not as harsh towards the end of the book, I just wasn’t in love with it like I thought I would be and I really, really wanted to love it.

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Vulpus Libris

Good
on Feb 12 2014

It is a book that almost drove this dyed-in-the-wool, written-through-me-like-a-stick-of-rock Londoner onto the next available mail boat to Guernsey. And that ridiculous title? Oh that’s all part of its charm.

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She Reads Novels

Good
Reviewed by Helen on Apr 04 2011

This is a lovely, inspiring story of how in times of hardship and tragedy, people can make the best of a bad situation and work together to help each other survive – and even to have fun.

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Write Meg

Excellent
on Oct 30 2009

The love story. I won’t elaborate — I would never dream of ruining it for you! But it was romantic, sweeping, realistic – gorgeous. My heart swelled to bursting.

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Alpha Reader

Good
Reviewed by Danielle on Jun 11 2012

...this is one of those books that, no matter when or how you come to read it, you finish with the satisfactory and transcended feeling that you are better for having known these characters and their story.

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Confessions of a Book Addict

Good
Reviewed by Christina on Feb 16 2012

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is really something special and readers that recognize the power of books and reading will find every page delightful.

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Reading on a Rainy Day

Above average
Reviewed by Athira on Mar 08 2012

Eventually, I enjoyed the book more than I expected to, and its vivid atmosphere has spawned a desire in me to visit Guernsey.

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Book Rap

Good
on Feb 12 2013

This novel stands on it’s own as a most enjoyable work of fiction which shows how the best in people can come out in the worst of times.

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The Novel World

Good
on Jan 03 2011

This book is a darling of book clubs around the nation...Its is a quick and fun read, great for a rainy day.

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ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

Below average
Reviewed by Lisa Hill on Jul 30 2009

In this novel people are either good or bad and there is no showdown between this woman and the other characters. Well, maybe there was. I skipped a fair bit of the last few chapters. I had lost interest.

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Reading Matters

Below average
Reviewed by kimbofo on Sep 07 2008

...I personally didn't care for any of the remaining cast of often poorly drawn, cliched characters, many of whom seemed overtly American as if they were picked up from the rural mid-west and dumped in the English Channel without anyone bothering to change their cultural makeup.

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Darlene's Book Nook

Excellent
Reviewed by Darlene on Nov 09 2010

The author weaves historical content into the fiction, and I found myself fascinated with the time period. This book has become my favourite book of all time!

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A Good Stopping Point

Good
on Jan 02 2010

Juliet and Elizabeth are just two of a wonderful jumble of characters, and the writers did a good job of making the characters’ voices fairly distinct from one another.

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Swamp of Boredom

Good
on Jan 06 2012

It hit all of my reading hot spots; it illuminated a little known aspect of a larger historical event (the German occupation of the Channel Islands), it was witty, populated with wonderfully quirky characters and had just the right amount of romance.

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Austenprose

Excellent
Reviewed by Laurel Ann on Dec 13 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a delightful exploration of strength, compassion, enduring friendships, and the irrepressible spirit of the British people during WWII. I enjoyed it greatly.

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The Australian Bookshelf

Good
on Mar 08 2012

The characters are solid, the writing is engaging and the story made me want to visit Guernsey and join the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society!

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My Favourite Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Liz on Jun 21 2011

The Guernsey Potato Peel Pie and Literary Society is a book like no other I have ever read. I think it really has changed the way I think about WWII but it has also delighted me and given me real pleasure, making me want to press it into everyone I know's hand to read.

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Ripple Effects

Good
Reviewed by Arti on Jul 10 2009

Despite the subject matter, readers will find the book witty and delightful. Authors Shaffer and Barrows have depicted a myriad of lively characters, charmingly joined in their humanity by their strengths and weaknesses.

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Senceless Pie

Good
on Jan 25 2014

...I half-wish I hadn’t read it already so I could read it again right now like it was brand new. Damn you, space-time continuum!

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https://fyreflybooks.wordpress.com

Good
on Feb 20 2012

Highly recommended for anyone looking for a new take on WWII historical fiction, people who like epistolary novels, or anyone interested in a witty and charming read.

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A Book A Week Blog

Below average
on Feb 08 2010

...I kept feeling like I just wanted someone to tell me what happened rather than forcing me to fool around with all these letters.

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Novel Review

Good
Reviewed by Nora St. Laurent on Nov 10 2008

There are so many things I want to know more about because I read this book, and you will too. It's a keeper!!

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Historical Tapestry

Good
Reviewed by Kailana on Sep 23 2008

It is totally one of my favourite reads of the year! I suggest that everyone take a chance on it, you will not be disappointed! I didn't even mind that I had the ending figured out pages before it actually happened. I still enjoyed every word!

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Book Harbinger

Excellent
on Mar 14 2012

...this book can be perfectly summed up in one word: delightful. From Juliet’s opening letter to her editor and longtime friend Sidney to the myriad of Guernsey letters, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is teeming with both charming characters and profound thoughts on the written word.

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Following the Reader

Above average
Reviewed by Amy on Apr 12 2013

I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed GLAPPPS and since then have been trying to venture even further out of my reading comfort zone!

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Books Distilled

Good
on Apr 17 2011

This book is beautiful because it highlights one of the truest, deepest joys of reading: our ability to relate intimately with characters inherently different from us, characters in whom we can nevertheless sense our own humanity.

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Amber Stults

Good
Reviewed by Amber on Oct 15 2013

It reminds us books can be a comfort in difficult times or serve as a means of escape. It’s a sweet story about people finding their way back from a horrible thing.

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Reader Rating for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
86%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 122 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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