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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie…
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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,490930193 (4.16)1 / 994
Member:ulmannc
Title:The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Authors:Mary Ann Shaffer
Other authors:Annie Barrows
Info:New York, N.Y. : Dial Press Trade Paperbacks, 2009.
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:Historical Fiction

Work details

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (2008)

Recently added byJohn_H, mingum, golsonwill, private library, ashcval, AdrienneJS, CMiller600, syncione, suzyblack
  1. 440
    84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (khuggard, DetailMuse, Cecilturtle, helgagrace, Sodapop, BasilBlue, kraaivrouw)
    khuggard: Another tale about book lovers who come together through letters, with the same post-war England setting.
    Sodapop: A Non-fiction story about book lovers told via their letters.
    BasilBlue: A book about books and booklovers for booklovers that incidentally has a real flavor of the late 40s and early 50s.
    kraaivrouw: Another book about people who connect via their love of books and reading.
  2. 291
    The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (writemeg)
    writemeg: Another deeply affecting, beautiful and heartbreaking story of books, love, small kindness and resilience during World War II.
  3. 130
    Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both stories are bittersweet - tales of hardship, prejudice and hope although they are set in very different places and very different times. Fried Green Tomatoes jumps around but describes life, race relations and murder in a small Southern town during the Great Depression. Shaffer's novel deals with the occupation (and its aftermath) of the small Channel Island of Guernsey during WWII.… (more)
  4. 101
    The Postmistress by Sarah Blake (Anonymous user, mysterymax)
    Anonymous user: Both novels reflect on World War II from small, seaside towns, one an island in Europe, the other a small town in Cape Cod. The female leads are unique and interesting and are surrounded by great small town people.
  5. 124
    Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson (cransell)
  6. 103
    The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Voracious_Reader)
    Voracious_Reader: The writing styles and the authors' love for the written word connect both period pieces in my mind even though their plots are extremely different.
  7. 70
    The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Going in to the bookmobile to apologize for the disturbance created by one of her corgis, Queen Elizabeth II feels it would only be polite to check out a book. When she returns it, she checks out another . . . and then another. One of her pages becomes her abettor in the matter of securing books and reading them. Thus begins an amusing but also thought-provoking saga of how reading can change a person's habits and even outlook.… (more)
  8. 50
    The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G. B. Edwards (jill123, BasilBlue)
    jill123: Though they are different in style and tone, both books are set in the Channel Islands during the Nazi Occupation. I enjoyed the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, but I found Ebenezer Le Page to be an absolutely wonderful book. More complex and interesting than the Potato Peel Society.… (more)
    BasilBlue: Although written in a more elegantly sparse style, this book covers much the same territory, geographically and emotionally.
  9. 51
    Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole (rosylibrarian)
  10. 62
    The Color Purple by Alice Walker (Limelite)
    Limelite: Also an epistolary novel. Also about how community can triumph over debilitating circumstance.
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    The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher (MyriadBooks)
  12. 30
    Miss Buncle by D.E. Stevenson (wandering_star)
  13. 41
    Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay (vulgarboatman)
    vulgarboatman: Similar themes of a journalist discovering the layers of secrets around a mystery from WWII, along with an exploration of the effect of these events on the survivors, their families, and ultimately on the journalist herself.
  14. 30
    Excellent Women by Barbara Pym (nancyewhite)
  15. 30
    The Dig by John Preston (CatyM)
  16. 42
    A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both books deal with the occupation of Guernsey by the Nazis.
  17. 31
    A Brief History of Montmaray by Michelle Cooper (betsytacy)
    betsytacy: This YA novel, set in 1936, features 16-year-old Sophie, a royal orphan growing up with her siblings and cousin in a shabby castle on island kingdom of Montmaray, somewhere off the coast of England. The island's strategic location draws the interest of the Nazis.… (more)
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    The German Occupation of Jersey, 1940 - 1945 - Notes on the General Conditions. How the Population Fared by Ralph Mollet (KayCliff)
  19. 10
    My Dear Bessie: A Love Story in Letters by Chris Barker (carriehh)
  20. 10
    Plenty by David Hare (kraaivrouw)
    kraaivrouw: Both capture the desperation of post-war England in their own unique ways.

(see all 39 recommendations)

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English (901)  French (14)  Spanish (6)  Catalan (5)  Dutch (3)  Finnish (3)  German (3)  Norwegian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (939)
Showing 1-5 of 901 (next | show all)
I know this is almost universally loved, but I didn't care for it. Far too sentimental, and the main character is a veritable saint apparently. ( )
  Hobbitlass | May 6, 2015 |
Very different than any other fictional novel I've read, in a good way. Also unique in that it is a book comprised only of letters... continual correspondence between various people. I was much more interested in the relationships than in the war stuff. To tell the truth, I sometimes felt that the book tried too hard to force my sympathies as it related to the war, even though some of the entries were poignant. I was just glad there was the other stuff. Very witty. I especially loved the main character. I was a little disappointed on how certain things turned out, but it wasn't enough to ruin it for me, not by any stretch. In fact, I think everyone should read it. Don't be discouraged that it's hard to get into until you've read a few letters. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
Plot:
Shortly after WW2. Juliet Ashton is a successful columnist who recently published a book with collected essays and is now struggling to find a topic for a new book. That’s when she receives a letter from Guernsey from Dawsey Adams. Dawsey has bought a book with essays by Charles Lamb that used to belong to Juliet (and has her address in the front) and is now looking for more information about him. Juliet becomes interested in the history of Guernsey during the war, and in particular the history of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Dawsey writes about, and decides that she wants to go there to find the stuff for her new book.

I really enjoyed The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. It’s funny, smart and light-hearted, despite giving a very real impression of what life after the war was like.

Read more on my blog: http://kalafudra.com/2015/04/22/the-guernsey-literary-and-potato-peel-pie-societ... ( )
  kalafudra | Apr 23, 2015 |
Bewitching. Implausible at times. I really didn't hear the characters voices as 'different' from one another. Everybody was implausibly graceful & witty in their letters. Most letters were roughly the same length & construction, etc. I also think Juliet was a bit too slow to recognize Mark's true nature & intentions. However the book worked well as an 'overcame the ogres and lived happily ever after' fairy tale. I definitely wish I knew people like Sophie & Susan & the members of the Society. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
I want to visit Guernsey!!! ( )
  Swissmama | Apr 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 901 (next | show all)
"The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society," written by the late Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece, children's author Annie Barrows, stays within modest bounds, but is successful in ways many novels are not. This book won't change your life, but it will probably enchant you. And sometimes that's precisely what makes fiction worthwhile.
 
he Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society commemorates beautiful spirits who pass through our midst and hunker undercover through brutal times. Shaffer's Guernsey characters step from the past radiant with eccentricity and kindly humour, a comic version of the state of grace. They are innocents who have seen and suffered, without allowing evil to penetrate the rind of decency that guards their humanity.
 
You could be skeptical about the novel's improbabilities and its sanitized portrait of book clubs (doesn't anyone read trashy thrillers?), but you'd be missing the point. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a sweet, sentimental paean to books and those who love them.
 

» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mary Ann Shafferprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Barrows, Anniemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Boehmer, PaulNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Duerden, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kapari-Jatta, JaanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landor, RosalynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lee, JohnNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mills, JulietNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Norey, VirginiaBook Designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ridelberg, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ward, GeorgeMapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
Lovingly dedicated to my mother, Edna Fiery Morgan, and to my dear friend Julia Poppy Barrows, Fiery Cynthia mother
First words
8th January, 1946

Mr. Sidney, Stark, Publisher
Stephens & Stark Ltd.
21 St. James's Place
London S.W.1
England

Dear Sidney,

Susan Scott is a wonder. We sold over forty copies of the book, which was very pleasant, but much more thrilling from my standpoint was the food. Susan managed to procure ration coupons for icing sugar and real eggs for the meringue. If all her literary luncheons are going to achieve these heights, I won't mind touring about the country. Do you suppose that a lavish bonus could spur her on to butter? Let's try it—you may deduct the money from my royalties.
Quotations
Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books. -Isola Pribby
Men are more interesting in books than they are in real life. -Isola Pribby
Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true. -Juliet
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. -Juliet
I think you learn more if you're laughing at the same time. -John Booker
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Beginning at the end of WW2, this book is told through the form of letter between writer Juliet Ashton and her friends. Juliet initially receives a letter from a man on the island of Guernsey asking for more books. She becomes so in love with stories and descriptions of life in Guernsey that she decides to go herself. Through the letters she sends home and the letters from her new friends the stories of people's lives are revealed. This book points out that the lives of people were more important than the formality of the writing.

This book may not have the most literary value bu there were so many allusions to books that I couldn't keep track. It made me realize that I had really not read that many books. It also was a book that made me want to learn more about people and not just be content with what's on the surface. The people in Guernsey were just so interesting.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385341008, Paperback)

January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:18:58 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton discovers her next subject in a book club on Guernsey--a club born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 12 descriptions

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