Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

There are so many things I like about this book. It’s been months since finishing and I’m still thinking about it.

The story takes place in 1946. The main character, Juliet, receives a letter from a man from the island of Guernsey, part of the Channel Islands, which endured German occupation. They become quick friends. I knew nothing of Germany’s occupation of Guernsey, but I’m sure my history channel watching husband does. I just asked him. He knew.

Juliet is a writer in search of her next project. After a few letters pass between her new friends from the island, she discovers they formed a book club. She has to know more and decides this will be the subject of her next novel.

I will leave the summary there. I don’t want to spoil anything. Hopefully it’s enough to get you curious about reading it.

The book is comprised solely of letters. This worried me at first. But after reading a couple of Juliet’s letters to her publisher/friend Sidney, I was hooked. The main character, Juliet, is charming and funny and I kind of wanna be her pen pal too (if she were real, of course).

Here’s an excerpt from one of her letters to her friend Sidney:

“The sea and the clouds don’t stay the same for five minutes running together and I’m scared I’ll miss something if I stay inside. When I got up this morning, the sea was full of sun pennies—and now it all seems to be covered in lemon scrim.” p.165

“Sun pennies”—brilliant.

I appreciated the history lesson. War is horrid and after reading this book I felt like I came to know people personally affected by it. And many of the letters left me wanting to know more.

Do you want to know more?

Check it out and let me know what you think!


  1. I LOVED this book! I picked it for our book club and everyone was leery of the letter format. But then they all loved it, too. It's just one of those books that makes you love people. :)

  2. I just saw your new blog and it's funny that I just started reading this last night! So far so good.

    I have a group of friends and we get together and instead of acting as a book club, we instead give book reports. I look forward to your recommendations! My husband always says that smart people read, and it's great to read when I get a spare moment.

  3. Heather--I'm jealous! I wanna come to your book report club :) Pass on the good reads to me as well!