It's January, 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton sits at her desk, vainly seeking a subject for her next book. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance, he's acquired a secondhand book that once belonged to Juliet - and, spurred on by their mutual love of Charles Lamb, they begin a correspondence. When ...
It's January, 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton sits at her desk, vainly seeking a subject for her next book. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance, he's acquired a secondhand book that once belonged to Juliet - and, spurred on by their mutual love of Charles Lamb, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Juliet's curiosity is piqued, and it's not long before she begins to hear from the other members. As the letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German Occupation, Juliet soon realizes that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name. There's gawky Isola, who makes love potions to sell along with her vegetables; Eben, a fisherman with a passion for Shakespeare; Will, erstwhile ironmonger and the creator of the famous potato peel pie; and Dawsey himself, a farmer with a shy manner and a tender heart. Most poignant of all are the memories of Elizabeth, the founding member of the society, who fell in love with a German officer, saved a starving prisoner, and was sent away to a concentration camp, leaving her child behind. Sustained by books and one another, the islanders have battled the bitter hardships of World War II. Juliet, entranced by their stories and their spirit, decides to visit Guernsey to meet her new friends properly. A moving tale of the power of friendship, books, and love, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will beguile the heart and mind.
I was out of my normal thriller, mystery, autobiographical element with this read and couldn't have been more pleased!! So much so, I'm now in the habit of gifting this gem on a regular basis. It's written as a series of letters (which would typically make me cringe!) but after reading the first few pages I was hooked! These beautifully developed characters would be welcomed friends of mine (if only they actually existed!) and their ongoing correspondence in such trying times is truly inspiring. The story and their antics are incredibly funny and heartwarming. M.A. Shaffer gets it right over and over again and it saddens me to think she's no longer with us since I'm now a lifelong fan. This book is so very well done, please do give it a chance!
Apr 24, 2014
This book did not interest me at all. My book club selected this book, but I just could not read it. It consists of letters written back and forth between 2, or maybe more, people during WWII.
Jun 27, 2013
Engrossing story, multiple actors - one of the best Books on CD I've ever listened to.
Apr 11, 2013
The story and narration are excellent. I would recommend this for an easy listen. Second time listening to it.
Sep 27, 2012
I really enjoyed this book. It was light and happy.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-09-29 Shaffer's debut novel, written with her niece Barrow, is an original account of one writer's relationship with a member of a unique book club formed as an alibi to protect its members from arrest at the hands of the Nazis during WWII. With a small cast of gifted narrators including Paul Boehmer, Susan Duerdan, John Lee, Rosalyn Landor and the enjoyable Juliet Mills, this production is first-class from top to bottom. The narrators' British dialects, each quite regional and equally as different as they are ear-pleasing, serve the story well and allow Shaffer's words to leap from the page into the hearts and minds of her listeners. The final result is an almost theatrical experience with a plethora of enthusiastic performances. A Dial Press hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 21). (July) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-04-21 The letters comprising this small charming novel begin in 1946, when single, 30-something author Juliet Ashton (nom de plume "Izzy Bickerstaff") writes to her publisher to say she is tired of covering the sunny side of war and its aftermath. When Guernsey farmer Dawsey Adams finds Juliet's name in a used book and invites articulate--and not-so-articulate--neighbors to write Juliet with their stories, the book's epistolary circle widens, putting Juliet back in the path of war stories. The occasionally contrived letters jump from incident to incident--including the formation of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society while Guernsey was under German occupation--and person to person in a manner that feels disjointed. But Juliet's quips are so clever, the Guernsey inhabitants so enchanting and the small acts of heroism so vivid and moving that one forgives the authors (Shaffer died earlier this year) for not being able to settle on a single person or plot. Juliet finds in the letters not just inspiration for her next work, but also for her life--as will readers. (Aug.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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