126. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (Canada) - (USA)

Pages: 288 pages
Ages: 18+
Finished: Jul. 5, 2010
First Published: Jul. 29, 2008
Publisher: Dial Press
Genre: epistolary, historical fiction, WWII
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

Dear Sidney, Susan Scott is a wonder.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Random House Canada.

Reason for Reading: I've wanted to read this since the minute it came out! The title is the first thing that grabbed my interest then of course all the positive reviews. Somehow the book just kept getting pushed further down my tbr pile until finally it rose to the top when it was randomly selected as my final book for the Random Reading Challenge.

I'll keep this review short since there are hundreds, make that thousands of reviews already online. I feel like I may be the last book blogger to read this book! As anyone who reads my reviews regularly might have guessed: how could I not have absolutely loved it! Everything I enjoy in this type of book is present here, historical fiction written as a collection of letters with a cast of eccentric characters. Perfection! I just love epistolary novels and they read so fast it is almost impossible to put the book down. Each and every single character was a dear and getting to know them through someone's letters somehow seems so personal and insightful. I loved everyone though I must say Dawsey and Isola were my favourites.

As to the historical content, while the book takes place one year after the war it often feels to be in the here and now as the letters are full of reminiscences of wartime experiences. I must say that even with all my reading of World War II, I had not known that the Channel Islands had been occupied. It didn't surprise me, tactically I can understand how the situation happened, but I'm surprised it has never been mentioned in my previous reading. It was an eye-opener for me and I'm now quite interested in finding out more about the occupation and the experiences of people from different points of view.

A delightful little book, that is a quick read with dramatic, tragic, romantic and comedic moments to be found throughout. A truly beautiful book not to be missed!


  1. Nicola, you decribed by feelings about this book so very well. It is such a gem. I was telling someone about it the other night at our mystery book group meeting and I think I used almost the same words to describe parts of it. Glad you got around to reading it.

  2. I still haven't read this one even though it's been in my possesion for almost a year so I guess you're not "the last book blogger to read this book." Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!

  3. Kay, "gem" yes that's another perfect word to describe it!

    Wanda, there are probably a handful of us out there. But at least I'm out of the club now! Come join me! You regret the read!

  4. Nice review. I've been eyeing this book for some time, but I still haven't picked up a copy. I've heard such good things about it. I'll have to rectify that soon.

  5. I'm glad you finally made time for it. Sounds like you loved it as much as I did.

    I'll link to your review on War Through the Generations.


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