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Customer Reviews for

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Average Rating 4.5
( 2457 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1381)

4 Star

(672)

3 Star

(233)

2 Star

(88)

1 Star

(83)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

58 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

A treasure and a gift...a rare gem.

I am an avid reader and this is one of the best and most touching books I've ever read. The story's set at the end of WWII in England and Guernsey and it's written as a series of letters and telegrams between characters (well done). You must read this book. You will ...
I am an avid reader and this is one of the best and most touching books I've ever read. The story's set at the end of WWII in England and Guernsey and it's written as a series of letters and telegrams between characters (well done). You must read this book. You will laugh, you will cry, you will grow to love these people and once finished, you will feel enriched for having come to know them while simultaneously mourning the end of your relationship with them. This is a book to keep, to treasure, to give to friends and loved ones and to read again and again. Is is too soon to ask for more?

posted by Lynn_R on October 19, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

24 out of 65 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

My book group read this book. I found it too light going and, frankly, trite. It is hard for me to read fiction of any sort, but I thought with the historical connection to the German occupation of Guernsey, there would be a compelling story line that I could find gri...
My book group read this book. I found it too light going and, frankly, trite. It is hard for me to read fiction of any sort, but I thought with the historical connection to the German occupation of Guernsey, there would be a compelling story line that I could find gripping. I kept waiting for it to improve and when I reached the end and it had not, I felt somewhat cheated by the glowing reviews I had read before starting the book. It is an easy read, but too easy. Now only three days after finishing it, I am having trouble remembering all of the characters -- NOT a good sign. I would not recommend it. Sorry.

posted by 1337193 on May 12, 2009

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  • Posted October 19, 2008

    A treasure and a gift...a rare gem.

    I am an avid reader and this is one of the best and most touching books I've ever read. The story's set at the end of WWII in England and Guernsey and it's written as a series of letters and telegrams between characters (well done). You must read this book. You will laugh, you will cry, you will grow to love these people and once finished, you will feel enriched for having come to know them while simultaneously mourning the end of your relationship with them. This is a book to keep, to treasure, to give to friends and loved ones and to read again and again. Is is too soon to ask for more?

    58 out of 61 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 27, 2008

    I loved this book!

    This was such a charming group of charectors that by the end of the book, I felt like I knew each one of them so well and I wished they were real. The style of the book being in letters was, initially, a little awkward. It gave me a greater appreciation for the lost art of letter writing. A really good story.

    37 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2009

    Disappointing

    My book group read this book. I found it too light going and, frankly, trite. It is hard for me to read fiction of any sort, but I thought with the historical connection to the German occupation of Guernsey, there would be a compelling story line that I could find gripping. I kept waiting for it to improve and when I reached the end and it had not, I felt somewhat cheated by the glowing reviews I had read before starting the book. It is an easy read, but too easy. Now only three days after finishing it, I am having trouble remembering all of the characters -- NOT a good sign. I would not recommend it. Sorry.

    24 out of 65 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 31, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    INTERESTING READ!

    Having read the overwhelming number of 5 star reviews, I had to buy this book! I'm so glad I did! The unique and original presentation through nothing more than letters was a perfect and unique method to get every character's point of view effectively. This is such a charming novel full of drama, sadness, humor, serious trauma,perserverence,tolerance, and all facets of love and relationships. Juliet, a writer, is immersed in each diverse character's inspiring story, some in dire circumstances with the horrific occupation of their island by the Germans. This was a pleasure and a joy to read! just beautifully done! Well worth your time! Some other FAVORITES OF MINE...BELOW

    20 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 13, 2010

    Absolutely brilliant!

    My friend lent me this book to read, literally screaming its praises to the moon. Admittedly, I only took it to please her; I was wary, from the looks of the cover, title, and setting, that I would find it too "cutesy". The fact that the book is written in letters threw me off a bit, as well. Alas, I was wrong; very, very wrong. Once I started The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I could not put it down. It's wholesome and traditional, but never childlike; never naive. This book carries a riveting edge with it. The main character, Juliet Ashton, has a biting, witty sense of humor that you can't help but fall in love with. And the characters -- oh!, the characters! My God, are they brilliant. Buy this book! It will become a well-worn companion.

    15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    THE LOST ART OF LETTER WRITING...

    Though I had heard, of course, of the Channel Islands and Jersey and Guernsey, I never knew much about them, nor had I been curious to learn more. That has changed for me. And I had had no idea that Guernsey had been occupied by the Nazis during World War II, or that its inhabitants had been treated as harshly as those in any small town in France, Belgium and Holland that had fallen in the path of the Germany army.<BR/>The story is told in the form of a series of letters. I can recall this format being used successfully only twice in the past: In A WOMAN OF INDEPENDENT MEANS as well as in 84, CHARING CROSS ROAD. (In fact, there are a number of similarities between the latter and THE GUERNSEY... SOCIETY. Each book deals, in part, with World War II London and all this implies in terms of rationing and the Blitz, and also with the overlapping worlds of book-publishing and book selling.) The book also contains overtones of that much-loved BBC comedy, THE VICAR OF DIBLEY.<BR/>The plot begins innocently enough, describing town life on a small British island. Yet with as many layers as a large onion, the obvious surface keeps being peeled back to reveal ever more complicated and disturbing information.<BR/>To mention all of the many themes addressed, then, would read like a list. Suffice it to say that love and romance are included, but also the worst human depravity in history, the way in which the Nazis treated their victims. Even in this bestiality, however, the authors -- like poor Anne Frank -- were able to see some good and some beauty inherent in the human race. <BR/>A good read, highly recommended.

    15 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful story told through letters that make the characters come alive

    This is one of the best books I've read this year. It's a rich story with interesting and well-developed characters, all told through letters mostly written to and from the main character of the book, Juliet. I did not realize it was a book of letters when I bought the book, so when I started reading the first few pages, I thought I would be disappointed. But the letters make the story come alive, as you discover things about the people in the book. Juliet is an author in post WWII England, who was assigned to write an article about the benefits of reading. She had a column during WWII in which she wrote under a pen name and ridiculed the war. As she was researching her article, she discovered that people on the island of Guernsey had created The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society during the German occupation of the island during WWII. She corresponds by mail with the members of the society, and travels to the island from London. Through her letters with the society members, and letters back and forth with Sidney, her publisher, and other friends, you learn about the joys and tragedies of the people on Guernsey during the German occupation. And you also get to know Juliet's hopes and dreams. I highly recommend this beautifully written book!

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fabulous Story

    This is a great story. I have recommended it to all my reading buddies and family. The story is so well done. Having enjoyed it so much I went searching for additional novels by the author and discovered this was her one and only and she didn't completely finish it by herself. It did explain why there was a small change in writing style towards the end of the book. The author was too ill to make the changes requested by the editor so her niece made the changes for her.

    I loved the main chacater and found myself wishing that I could have known her and been friends with her. This is such a wonderful story and is so well done, you will not regret spending one second on it.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2009

    Love this Book!

    This is an excellent read. I loved the characters and their stories. A must read for a vacation or on a cold rainy day!!

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    What A Beautiful Book!

    As a 7th grade girl, I sometimes find it hard to locate books that AREN'T about vampires, vampires, zombies, etc. However, I was in luck when I found this book! It really was beautifully written, and I adored the format of letters. Books written entirely in correspondence tend to have a more friendly feel to them, which was exactly what I was looking for.

    If you enjoyed this book, also check out "Sarah's Key" by Tatiana deRosnay.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2010

    Book in letters

    I found it hard to get into this book at first. Reading letters seemed tedious and I almost put it down for good. But for some reason I kept picking it up and then I eventually got hooked.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 5, 2010

    I fell in love in Guernsey

    I originally picked up this book because the title caught my eye. I thought it was such an original and odd title that I just had to purchase it. Then I went to read it and realized it was written competely in letters between the characters and thought I wasn't sure I was going to like this. Well, I ended up being pleasantly surprised. It took maybe a few pages to get into reading in a letter format, but once you get to know who is writing the letters, you can't put this book down! I, like Juliet, found that I felt that I knew the inhabitants of Guernsey through their letters. And being a lover of books myself, appreciated how such a friendship between Juliet and Dawsey could form without having set eyes on each other or heard one another's voice. But, once Juliet sets foot on the island, the characters come to life and the story just gets more and more wonderful. The most fascinating character by far is one that doesn't even write a letter. Elizabeth lives through the letters of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potatoe Peel Pie Society which she created on the spot to explain away the predicament they are found in when caught by the Nazis after curfew. This book truly helped me to understand what these characters may have felt while living under the Nazi occupation during WWII. And what I felt was hope, determination and a formidable spirit to go on. I can understand how Juliet fell in love with the characters on Guernsey, because I did as well. The only problem I had with this book, was that it had to end.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Audio Book made an 8 hr car ride very enjoyable! fantastico!

    The characters of this car ride:

    Myself: a young woman in late 20's who reads mostly social political non-fiction or high-brow or quirky/satirical literature.

    My mum: a woman in her early 60's who reads time magazine, the news, and enjoys memoirs.

    My stepfather: an evil lobbyist with a good soul, who reads books about religion, law, and history. I seriously doubt that he's ever read a novel.

    And somehow, we were all brought together giggling at the same parts of the book,

    The scene: a long 8 hour road trip after the holidays. We got into the car, and my stepfather gave 6 choices for creating an audioscape. an audiobook on the early church; an audiobook on a boring aspect of the civil war; motown hits. I would have chosen motown, but i had my ipod ready for action- and probably would have put on hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy for a bit. However, my mum had just received the Potato Peel Pie audiobook... and despite uniting my stepfather's and my groans, i never once put my ipod on.

    If anything, i asked for the volume to be turned up and sank into the story and the characters.

    the audiotape was truly marvelous: it had the three of us giggling at parts, discussing the german occupation of Guernsey, and all three of us discussing the love life of our narrator and rooting for a certain fella.

    Truly a marvelous experience.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 6, 2009

    An absolute delight!

    Until this book was chosen as one of our book club selections, I intentionally avoided it as one of the plethora of books in the food+ some sort of literary group in the title books. Once chosen, I had no choice. I had just finished reading Team of Rivals which was also wonderful...but what a tome!
    Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society is written in a format I like very much; the entire book is composed of letters back and forth between and among the main characters. The author uses this technique to keep up the pace and the interest in her novel.
    The story is framed with a light-hearted, whimsical narrator but sandwiches an intriguing bit of WWII history in between. Each newly introduced character's personality, beliefs, values, and character is revealed by their own hand in the style and content of their letters.
    This was just a delightful, quick read that I wanted to immediately read again once I'd finished. Upon finishing I went at once to my email and recommended that all my friends (reader friends) drop everything and go get a copy and lock themselves away with it. I've also given it as a gift and plan to give it again.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2010

    A Heartwarming Read

    If I had to use one word to describe this book, it would be delightful. I found myself wishing I could be a part of this group of friends.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    GREAT READ!

    Historical fiction that pulls you in and keeps you guessing the whole time. Loved it!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very Different

    It's like nothing I have ever read before - comprised entirely of letters from among the various characters. It is a very different, but very moving story. I would highly recommend it. It would also be a wonderful choice for bookclubs. The paperback had a built in readers guide in the back with thought provoking questions included.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 17, 2011

    My new favorite book!

    I loved this book and was sad when it ended. I listened to the audio version; the readers did a wonderful job. I don't usually like books written in a letter setting but this works! It is a good history lesson without being too heavy, and the authors have a delightful sense of humor.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2009

    GREAT BOOK

    Best read I've come across in about 5 years. Loved this book!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 3, 2009

    I loved reading this book and have enjoying sharing it with Friends

    This is a book I wasn't sure I would enjoy, until I read a few pages and then had a difficult time putting it down to live my own life. Those friends who I have shared the book with have also enjoyed reading it with the same exprience. It is a book that opens hearts and teaches life lessons.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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