The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society|Mary Ann Shaffer
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NOW A NETFLIX FILM - A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

"Treat yourself to this book, please--I can't recommend it highly enough."--Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

"I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers." 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. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society--born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island--boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

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.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Praise for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

"A jewel . . . Poignant and keenly observed, Guernsey is a small masterpiece about love, war, and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends."--People

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

"A sparkling epistolary novel radiating wit, lightly worn erudition and written with great assurance and aplomb."--The Sunday Times (London)

"Cooked perfectly point: subtle and elegant in flavour, yet emotionally satisfying to the finish."--The Times (London)


  • ISBN-13: 9780385341004
  • ISBN-10: 0385341008
  • Publisher: Dial Press
  • Publish Date: May 2009
  • Dimensions: 7.82 x 5.42 x 0.71 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.49 pounds
  • Page Count: 304

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Starting in 1946, the letters that make up this cleverly constructed novel provide a vivid snapshot of England after World War II. The book's first entry comes from a young author named Juliet Ashton, who sends a note to her publisher saying that she's tired of writing about the war. But when Dawsey Adams, a farmer in Guernsey, comes across Juliet's name in a book and urges his neighbors to contact her with stories about the German occupation, her attachment to the conflict seems destined to continue. The letters written to Juliet from the warm-hearted, eccentric inhabitants of Guernsey recount various wartime events—some horrific, some humorous—that occurred while the Nazis occupied the English Channel island, including the birth of the unlikely book club known as the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Tackling works by William Shakespeare, the Brontë sisters and Jane Austen, the society provided fellowship in a time of incredible adversity. Each letter in the novel is the work of an individual, fully formed character, and each contributes a layer of complexity to the narrative. Mary Ann Shaffer was a bookseller, editor and librarian who died in 2008; her niece, children's book author Annie Barrows, helped her finish the book. Together, they crafted a novel that pays tribute to the healing power of art and the endurance of the human heart. Already a book club favorite in hardcover, it's sure to win many more readers with this new paperback edition.

A reading group guide is included in the book.