Monday, February 17, 2014

Guernsey Literary Club and Potato Peel Pie Society by Shaffer and Barrows

Once again, I'm a little late for the party.  In this instance, six years late, but who's counting?  When this book was published in 2008, there was a lot of buzz about it, but I never got around to reading it.  I even had the book from the library at one point but returned it unread because I didn't think I would like the format (it's written as a series of letters and telegrams) or subject matter (WWII).  Wrong, wrong, wrong!

January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and 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 the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is.  Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. - from book jacket

This book turned out to be one of those books that managed to provide a history lesson - about the German occupation - without sacrificing any of the magic of fiction. I listened to the audio version, which I think added to my enjoyment.  It was read by five different narrators so the voices and accents made the characters easily recognizable.  And I love listening to British and Scottish accents!  

If you've missed out on this book for the last six years also, don't wait any longer.   I promise it's worth the read.


  1. Tami, this was one of my favorite reads! After reading it I came across a series made for PBS called Island at War. It is not from this book but it is set on the Channel Island during occupation and it was wonderful, especially after reading this book. If you have netflix or amazon prime I highly recommend you watch it.

  2. Hah! I'm even later to the party. My mom gave me her copy years ago telling me I must read it. Well, we all know how well we listen to our mothers ;) I will get to it, eventually.

  3. You're so right about this one being one that gives reader the history without losing the fiction story or having the story get weighed down by the history.