The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - a book review

With a horrible title like this, it's a wonder that anyone would ever read this book. When my English teacher friends told me that this was their summer reading selection, I almost didn't read it. Call me narrow-minded, but the title just sounded absurd. Not absurd funny, but just absurd in an annoying sort of way.

I caved into peer pressure and I decided to get the book through the library; I mean I wasn't going to spend money on something that might be a complete waste of time. The back of the book didn't do much for it either. From it, I deduced that the book took place during WW II (yawn) and it was a collection of letters (whatever).

But… then I started reading the thing and I got hooked. The protagonist, Juliet Ashton, is a single journalist looking for a story and maybe someone to share her life with, but don't assume she's typical - she's not. When she receives a letter from the island of Guernsey, an island that was occupied by the Germans during the War, she begins to take an interest in the people and their book club.

The islanders are a collection of characters that are often hilarious and each one is embarked on their own literary journey. In fact, this story illustrates a love of reading through each of the characters and reminds us of how our souls can be reflected on the pages of a good book.

It's a book that weaves history, love of literature, friends, romance, and tragedy in a way that seems to mirror life itself. It made me laugh over and over again and it also made me cry. Don't let the title deter you; it truly is one of the best books that I have ever read and eventually, the story explains the title.

By: Mary Ann Shaffer and her niece Annie Barrows

Learn more about it or buy it at Barnes and Noble.

*Cover Image from