Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I am late to the party with this one. I bought this book when it first came out and it literally sat on my shelf for years. Many times I almost gave it away because I figured I would probably never read it.

It was once of those books that looked good at the time and had a great cover but the title was long and just sounded weird. Yet I bought it anyway.

Then the Netflix movie came out and everyone was raving about this book all over my social medial platforms. It was once again everywhere and everyone wanted to read it so I decided to jump on the bandwagon and read it before watching the movie.

January 1946: Writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name (summary from Goodreads). 

This is now a new favorite book of mine. This is a book for readers and book lovers alike. As soon as I started reading this book, I knew I was reading something special. I loved that it was written all in letters…..I am a total sucker for books like that because it’s such a unique perspective and so intimate.

Juliet, our heroine, is funny and yet sassy. I admire her strength and her candor thought out the book. She is quirky but yet knows her mind and isn’t afraid to go after what she wants. What an extraordinary character. I loved her. I loved seeing the little budding romance play out between her and Dawsey as well. It was charming and tender. While it wasn’t the focus of the book, it was an added bonus for readers.

Reading this book was absolutely captivating. I read it in a single day and relished every moment of this book. I knew nothing about the German occupation of the Chanel Islands, and reading about it was fascinating. While some of this book is fictionalized, many of the facts are not. There were so many outstanding elements to this book…..the history, the quirky character, romance, books. This one had it all!

One of the things that I liked most about this book was the unique approach to the Germans. Obviously the Nazi regime was a horrible time in history but what I thought was interesting about this book was that the author dared to challenge the reader to wonder what it would have been like living in such close proximity to the enemy and were they all really that bad or were they just following orders? It was an interesting approach for me as a reader and I thought daring for this book. I liked how carefully the author approached this issue and kind of let the reader make their own call. Very interesting.

As soon as I was halfway through the book, I knew that I needed to watch the Netflix film so I stayed up late and watched it. While some things were changed to fit the film, I think it did the book justice. The casting was also perfect and I rather enjoyed watching the film and will probably watch it a few more times.

I honestly can’t write enough good things about this book. I would rave and rave about it if I could but I am going to keep this review short and to the point. This book is outstanding on every level. It hits every single mark and leaves the reader feeling satisfied and longing for a simpler time. I loved it so so much. Stop what you are doing and go read this one.

Challenge/Book Summary:

Book: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

  • Mass Market Paperback, 290 pages
    Published May 5th 2009 by Dial Press Trade Paperback
    ISBN 0385341008 (ISBN13: 9780385341004)
    • Review copy provided by: Personal collection, all opinions are my own.
  • Recommendation: 5 out of 5 (can I give it more?!)
  • Genre: Historic fiction, romance, war romance
  • Memorable lines/quotes: 
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