BOOK REVIEW: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Title: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
Author: Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Publication: July 29, 2008
Publisher: The Dial Press
Genre: Historical Fiction, World War II
Pages: 322

SYNOPSIS: (From Goodreads)

As London emerges from the Second World War, writer Juliet Ashton attempts to find new material for a book. Little does she know that a mysterious letter from a stranger in the Channel Islands will turn her world upside down.


This year for Christmas my friend/co-editor decided that we would exchange books and chocolate as Christmas gifts.  We decided to pick books from each other’s “books we want” lists.  This is one that I had on my radar.  I couldn’t wait to start reading it.

The book mainly revolves around Juliet.  She is an author who lives in London.  She is just starting out on her book tour.  The book is a collection of essays that she wrote under a pseudonym for the Times during World War 2.  She receives a letter one day from a man on Guernsey Island who purchased a book she had owned by Charles Lamb.  The book had her name and address in it.  He is a lover of Charles Lamb and is wondering if he wrote any other books and if there is a story of his life.   He goes on to tell her that they started a literary society on the island during the German occupation as reading was the one thing that the German’s liked and were lenient about with the curfew.  He told her it all started by accident when they were having a get-together with a black market pig roast.  The get together ran late, so to escape punishment they said they were at a literary meeting.   Juliet begins to start writing letters to him and a relationship forms. Soon every member of the literary society is writing letters to her. Will she find her next story in the letters they write?  

First off, I had a hard time getting my head around the way this book is written.  It’s in letter form.  A letter from Juliet to Sidney, a letter from Juliet to Sophie, etc.  It took me about half the book to get used to that format.  Once I did, I enjoyed the book.  The way these authors wove multiple storylines through the book is amazing.  Each character has its own backstory.  How they created them and maintained them through the book is fantastic.   I could see each of the characters in my mind’s eye.  After I read the book I found out it has been made into a move…..excuse me while I go and watch it!!  Hopefully, it is just as good as the book. 


You can get your very own copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore. Make sure to add it to your To Reads list on Goodreads and leave feedback for the author when you are finished. Author Mary Ann Shaffer passed away a few months before this book was released, her debut novel, her niece Annie Barrows helped finish it and is a great children’s author. Check out more of Barrows books HERE!

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