AtoZ, Blog Challenge, Books

[G] Guernsey Literary & Potato peel Pie Society #AtoZchallenge

I had heard much ado about this book in one of my book clubs. The name Guernsey Literary & Potato peel pie did throw me off initially.  I checked some more reviews and it became one of the first book that I downloaded to read on my I-pad (No I didn’t take much to e-reading) and carried it to my 41st bday holiday in a resort. I spent my birthday, reading this book in its entirety and must say the reviews do it justice.

Title: Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society

Author:  Mary Ann Shaffer

Genre: Fiction

Publication: The Dial Press

Mary Ann Shaffer was a dedicated librarian by profession who began working at Harper & Rows publication as a receptionist and worked her way up to the editor’s chair there. She co-wrote this book with her niece Annie Barrows and it was published post her death.



The novel opens onto the scene of a world waking up to the end of World War II and our heroine is Juliet Ashton – an author who is searching for a topic to write her new book on. She happens to chance upon a letter written by a man unknown to her and who becomes her enthusiastic correspondent as she begins to exchange a series of letters with him.

She learns of the inventive book club The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie society which was conceived on a spur of moment when Elizabeth Mckenna (a native of Guernsey) is caught breaking the curfew by a German patrol along with her cronies. She uses this society as an excuse to be out and about whereas in truth the group had been to a secret dinner to enjoy a forbidden roast pig at a friend’s house.

Juliet begins to search for more information about this society and ends up corresponding with more than one native of Guernsey, each happy to relate to her their life and its events. Slowly she forms a unique bond with the lives  of people of Guernsey through their tragic and comic tales. She soon sets out to join them and thus begins her association with many new connections.

Lasting Impression on me:

What I loved most about this book is that is renewed the romance of letter writing for me. I remember as a child I used to love writing letters and would wait for a reply eagerly. The bitter-sweet tale of the lives of people suffering under the German occupation is brought out in a warm and bright light vis-a-vis the letters from the citizens of this small town, These are simple people who through the cruel and hard times, retained their innocence and faith in humanity. There are many comic moments highlighting the eccentricities of the characters and overall the book is humourous and full of wit. Best of all the magic of reading is an ingrained essence of this novel.

My rating:

No surprises there, its 5 ***** rating for this book. Read it for getting lost in the memories captured via letters and the excitement of opening it for a read. The comic yet warm souls of the Guernsey town will surely gladden the cockles of your hearts.


I am on a no-book-buying pact as I am pretty much broke; not to mention that I am running out of space as well!! But incase anyone wants to trade their books or send me gifts, please do check out my Wishlist on Amazon & Want to read on Goodreads.

Coming up tomorrow is an old classic which has been my favourite since the first time I read it – Any guesses?

For the uninitiated, AtoZ challenge is a blogging challenge wherein one has to write on every alphabet from A to Z and post on all days of April, except Sundays. Usually its better to devise a theme as it makes it easy to write the posts. Plus readers have a reason to stay hooked too.

The A to Z Challenge is created by  Arlee Bird of Tossing it Out
and co-hosted by

Alex J. Cavanaugh of Alex J. Cavanaugh

Jeremy Hawkins of Hollywood Nuts

Heather M. Gardner of  The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Zalka Csenge Virág of The Multicolored Diary

John Holton of The Sound of One Hand Typing

J Lenni Dorner of  Blog of J. Lenni Dorner

Some of my previous  posts you might be interested in catching up on

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27 thoughts on “[G] Guernsey Literary & Potato peel Pie Society #AtoZchallenge

  1. Hari OM
    Well, that’s interesting… this is the second time this book has come to my attention this week in two entirely different ways, having never heard of it before. Time to go find! (You’ve got me starting a wishlist now!) YAM xx

    1. Oh Please do read it – you will love it for sure and its a very short book too. The way people in this book treasure their relationships above all and will do anything to cock a snook at the Germans is hilarious. Its comic and sweet and at times emotional too.

  2. Oh, I recently bought this book. It has got fabulous reviews plus after reading Love Virtually, a unique and interesting novel in letters format, I was so intrigued.

    And, I am also on a no-I am on a no-book-buying pact buying pact (but you never know) 🙂

    1. Oooh the book you mentioned sounds intriguing and I have added that to my Goodreads research for now. Tell me about the will power to not break this pact 😉 I just have splurged on tonnes of them courtesy some bday vouchers!!!!

  3. When I first read the title of the book, I thought it was a recipe book – potato peel, huh? But your neat review does make it sound interesting. Usually, books on the second world war are heavy and heart rending with episodes of concentration camps, bombings and mass killings, and so I avoid them (their images stay with me for days and make me feel depressed) but this one as you said has comic moments which I think I would love it. Thanks again!

    1. I know even I found the title so ludicruous at first but it forms the crux of the story too; which I understood once I started to read it. Boy It was funny like anything. This one is set in a period just after the war ends and the German troops are moving away – so there is not atrocity other than he residents of this town taking the mickey out of the Germans. Its to fool the germans they cook up this name for a secret society /bookclub 😉

  4. Rave reviews and intriguing title compelled me to pick this book and what a charming book this is. It’s all about the love of reading, written in the form of letters and is a fun and witty read. Truly enjoyed reading this one!

    1. I know what you mean Shilpa; this book was most unexpected read for me and I was sorry that it finished so soon! 🙂

    1. Wow – lucky you! I wish I still had letter writing pals – I would love to write again! The joy of waiting and receiving physical mail is an old romance for me 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Kalpanaa feels so good to hear that about one’s writing. I know this is a book which I too didnt want to end! 🙂

  5. After reading title of the book, I was not much interested in knowing more about it. But I advanced further to your review, this seems really interesting. I would definitely like to read it.
    P.S like you I used to love the concept of writing letters. They started from sending letters to one of my friend who moved to another Indian state due to her father’s transfer. That time internet was not so common like today, atleast we had no internet access at home. Also calls to another state were costly too. Letter writing and waiting for reply had its own charm.

    1. Thanks Shesha. I too am enamoured greatly by letter writing and once had put my name into a pen pal list of a magazine with disastrous results – maybe I should write about that incidence some day!!

  6. I recently bought a kindle version of this book thanks to Shailaja’s recommendation. I loved the gist of it and I’m so happy to know you have loved the book and recommend it too.

    I’m going to read this one, next.

    1. Oooh yay!!! Soumya! This one is a brilliant one according to me and I look forward to your review of it too!

    1. I am glad to see my favourites being picked up as reccos – I am always looking for fresh ones of my own. This thrills me to the core to be able to influence others to read my choice. I hope you so enjoy this one Shalini!!

    1. Ooops sorry about that; I have broken it thrice already by now and we are only into halfway through to the year 😉

  7. This was one of the rare unanimously acclaimed books by our bookclub. It may partly be our demographic, but we often disapgree entirely, so it shows something good about the book. I see there’s a film coming out – I hope it does it justice.

    1. Wow thats high praise for the book then Jemima; I am looking forward to the movie and hope they do justice to it! 🙂

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