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The Guernsey Literary and
Potato Peel Pie Society

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


A humorous and moving celebration of book lovers and friendship

Juliet Ashton, an author famous for humorous stories during the World War II, searches within herself for a more meaningful subject for her next book. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from Guernsey from a man who discovered her address on the inside of a used book of selected essays by Charles Lamb. Dawsey Adams asks her for more titles and tells her of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club invented to evade Nazi punishment for breaking Nazi curfews. As Juliet and the members from the Society begin to write letters to one another, Juliet feels drawn to their stories of surviving the German occupation as well as their thoughts on books and the war and each other. The more they correspond, the more Juliet feels drawn each and everyone. When she decides to visit Guernsey, she makes meaningful connections with members who forever change her vision of World War II and her future direction.

Told through a series of letters from Juliet, her publisher, friends in London and new penpals, THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY is filled with a gentle humor, diverse lovable characters, and heart-warming stories. Stories of courage and friendship emerge as the reader hears the varied voices of the correspondence. Having lived through the war, Juliet searches for something of substance, something beyond her London life. The stories revealed through letters create a portrait of a place with all the foibles but most of all the love, strength and inventiveness of human beings in the face of an increasingly difficult existence under the occupation of Germans and left to defend themselves. THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY centers around the heart and soul the society, Elizabeth McKenna, the force that held Guernsey together. The reader captures a glimpse of her and of all the residents through the eyes of others. THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY deceptively appears to be a fast-paced book but each letter draws the reader more and more into the heart of the characters and their unique voices. Like Juliet, I began to cherish each letter for its own world. THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY had me smiling, laughing and close to tears all the way to the delightful, uplifting end.

THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY will appeal to all book lovers, to those who  not only read but cherish books. The authors together celebrate books and the power of books to change lives and hearts. All sorts of titles from classics to romance and all sorts of readers from literary fans to those using poetry to woo to the most no nonsense practical reader grace the pages of this book. THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY is a book to treasure and reread as well as a great gift idea for anyone who shares a love of books and moving stories of courage and humor in the face of adversity.

Publisher: The Dial Press (July 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Review Courtesy of Amazon Vine
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