Book Club: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

December 9, 2009

PotatoWhen this book was first suggested as our book club read, I had never heard of it before and my first thought was, “What kind of name is that?” Little did I know that this book is actually extremely popular and highly rated. I’m glad I knew nothing of it, because I had no expectations going in.

The story is set in immediate post-WWII Britain. It revolves around Juliet, a woman in her early 30’s who has recently published a successful novel. She receives a letter from a man named Dawsey who lives on the British island of Guernsey, which is the only part of England that was occupied by the Nazis during the war. Dawsey bought a used book that had Juliet’s name and address inside, and he writes her to ask questions about the author. Juliet begins a correspondence with him, and subsequently with Dawsey’s neighbors and friends as well. Through this we learn all about the lives of the inhabitants of Guernsey during the occupation, and how literature helped them through it.

The book is made up entirely of letters between the characters, all who are extremely witty. I’m kind of in love with some of them. Though it may be a tad unrealistic, it is charming and adorable to read. And, thank goodness, there is a happy ending–my favorite kind. The whole thing made me want to sit down and write long, handwritten letters to strangers. (I won’t do that, though. My husband wouldn’t approve.)

I give it 4 out of 5 stars, and definitely recommend it as a quick and enjoyable read. (For the record, some of my real-life book club members loved this book even more than I did.)


Posted in: books & reading, book reviews, books & reading

Comments on Book Club: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

  1. 1

    From Scott:

    Sounds far more interesting than I first thought when I read the title.

    I pretend to like happy endings, but secretly I love books that end in heartbreaking tragedy. Oddly, I hate when movies end sadly, but I’m all about sad books.

  2. 2

    From Just Fine Just Dandy:

    I really enjoying your book reviews! I will add this one to my list of books to read…

  3. 3

    From MagsMac:

    I keep seeing this in book stores and mean to pick it up. I definitely will now!!

  4. 4

    From Walking on Sunshine:

    That’s funny – I just blogged about this book! I LOVED it! :)

  5. 5

    From Tanya:

    Thanks for the review. I have seen this book at the store and now I will read it!

  6. 6

    From DeMo:

    I’m late to the party, but finally I can comment on this post. I absolutely loved it, and you can probably tell by my recent Facebook statuses. :) One of the things that kept me reading was the fact that it was made entirely of letters (minus a week’s observations). I really enjoy reading other people’s mail. :) I’m passing my copy along to a friend, but only thought it fitting that I wrap it in brown paper and snail mail it with lots of stamps instead of hand-delivering it to her.

Leave a Reply