The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
Published by Dial Press on May 5, 2009
Genres: Adult, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 290 Format: Paperback Source: Owned
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.
Over the past week I’ve read and watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and while yes the title is a mouthful I absolutely enjoyed both mediums. Told through letters written back and forth between many characters, this novel and movie takes on the tale of an author looking for her next project and discovering the delightful island of Guernsey and it’s many interesting inhabitants.
In Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows book, Juliet Ashton is a charming woman fresh off a book tour and searching for a new story. With a joyful personality and a love of reading and research, she brought a smile to my face. So did the people of Guernsey. Each of them added their own mark and made the story more dynamic. The post WWII discussion and exploration of occupied island life was definitely interesting and I thought the historical fiction and romance aspects were balanced well.
Of course film adaptations can never fully encompass all that a book holds within it’s pages but this one certainly captures the essence of the novel. There’s definitely more of a mystery element in the storytelling and I missed some of the character interaction from the book especially with Sidney. The actors were absolute perfection and I adore Lily James and Michiel Huisman. Plus it was tremendously shot with some gorgeous scenery.
Overall both book and film were wonderfully compelling stories of literary love, common bonds, and finding hope/courage in the darkest of times. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society captured my heart with it’s endearing characters and lush settings but also portrayed the complexity of being occupied island during wartime. I totally recommend picking up the book or even just watching the film. Both are breathtaking!
Have you read or watched The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!