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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

It’s 1946, and as Juliet Ashton sits at her desk in her Chelsea flat, she is stumped. A writer of witty newspaper columns during the war, she can’t think of what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance he’s acquired a book Juliet once owned – and, emboldened by their mutual love of books, they begin a correspondence.

Dawsey is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and it’s not long before the rest of the members write to Juliet – including the gawky Isola, who makes home-made potions, Eben, the fisherman who loves Shakespeare, and Will Thisbee, rag-and-bone man and chef of the famous potato peel pie. As letters fly back and forth, Juliet comes to know the extraordinary personalities of the Society and their lives under the German occupation of the island. Entranced by their stories, Juliet decides to visit the island to meet them properly – and unwittingly turns her life upside down.

Gloriously honest, enchanting and funny, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is sure to win your heart.

#60 Australia’s Top 100 2016

”I can’t remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one. Treat yourself to this book, please – I can’t recommend it highly enough.”  Elizabeth Gilbert

“A jewel…Poignant and keenly observed…A small masterpiece about love, war and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends.”  People

“It’s tempting to throw around terms like ‘gem’ when reading a book like this. But The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is not precious…This is a book for firesides or long train rides. It’s a charming and timeless as the novels for which its characters profess their love.”  San Francisco Chronicle Book Review

“A book-lover’s delight, an implicit and sometimes explicit paean to all things literary.”  Chicago Sun-Times

“As the letters unfold, Juliet—and we readers—learn the little-known history of German occupation of Guernsey. We come to know the brave and endearing people who survived the hardships—and a few who did not….In addition to a fine story, this delightful book offers affirming messages about some of the most enduring forces in life—the power of the written word, the strength of the human spirit and the value of relationships, even unexpected ones.”  Winston Salem Journal

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a sweet, sentimental paean to books and those who love them…. It affirms the power of books to nourish people enduring hard times.”  Washington Post Book World

“[A] marvelous debut…. Reminiscent of Helene Hanff’s 84 Charing Cross Road , this is a warm, funny, tender, and thoroughly entertaining celebration of the power of the written word.”  Library Journal

“Charming…. [Heroine] Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life—as readers will.”  Publishers Weekly

“I could not put the book down. I have recommended it to all my friends.”  Erica Marcus, Newsday

” A poignant, funny novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit…. This one is a treat.”  Boston Globe

“A sure winner…. Elizabeth and Juliet are appealingly reminiscent of game but gutsy ’40s movie heroines.”  Kirkus Reviews

“Warm, life-affirming prose … an ideal choice for book groups, and also for individual readers.”  St. Petersburg Times

“Delightful … One of those joyful books that celebrates how reading brings people together.”  New Orleans Times-Picayune

 


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Book Club Notes
Released
29 July, 2008

About Mary Ann Shaffer

Mary Ann Shaffer wrote The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society when she was a retired bookseller and librarian, in her seventies. She died in 2008, just before her book was published.


About Annie Barrows

Annie Barrows is an American editor and author. She is best known for the Ivy and Bean series of children's books, but she has written several other books for adult readers as well.



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