Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Socitey by Mary Ann Schaffer

Challenge criteria: A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title.


A moving tale of post-war friendship, love and books, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is a captivating and completely irresistible novel of enormous depth and heart.

It’s 1946, and as Juliet Ashton sits at her desk in her Chelsea flat, she is stumped. A writer of witty newspaper columns during the war, she can’t think of what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance he’s acquired a book Juliet once owned – and, emboldened by their mutual love of books, they begin a correspondence.

Dawsey is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and it’s not long before the rest of the members write to Juliet – including the gawky Isola, who makes home-made potions, Eben, the fisherman who loves Shakespeare, and Will Thisbee, rag-and-bone man and chef of the famous potato peel pie. As letters fly back and forth, Juliet comes to know the extraordinary personalities of the Society and their lives under the German occupation of the island. Entranced by their stories, Juliet decides to visit the island to meet them properly – and unwittingly turns her life upside down.

Gloriously honest, enchanting and funny, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is sure to win your heart.

Image via Goodreads

What I liked:

I love love LOVE historical fiction, it’s one of my favourite genres. This book is one of my favourites from it. The story really is so gripping, and you will find yourself hooked on the fortunes and lives of this tiny community on the Channel Islands.

For me, stories told in the form of letters, emails, or communication can be a bit hit or miss. This, though, hit the mark completely. I never found myself wanting a regular prose format. Plus, it feels a little bit like sneaking in on their lives in a much more intimate way. It gives more of a connection to the story and the characters.

What I didn’t like:

I would have liked a little more insight to the way the book club was run. For a book about a book club, I don’t feel like there was a lot about the society in there.

I also enjoyed the first two thirds of this book a lot more than the last. I felt it dragged a little and the action, with Remy’s arrival, didn’t grip as much as that previously in the book.

Out of five:

Four. A really lovely story with so much comfort in its pages.

4 thoughts on “Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Socitey by Mary Ann Schaffer

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