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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 2457 )
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(1381)

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(672)

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(233)

2 Star

(88)

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(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 December 24, 2010

    Good Book - different writing style

    I liked the plot and the characters, however I am still undecided on whether or not I liked the writing format. Written in letters between characters it is hard to get more out of some of the main characters.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    Highly Recommended for the Historical Fiction Reader

    If you love historical fiction, then you'll really appreciate this novel. The story transports you back in time to re-live a Nazi Occupation era in island off Britain. I loved the way the character's storylines cross each other througout. Hopefully you'll find the tale both touching and nostalgiac.

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    Predictable story in Original format

    I loved all the historical references and the characters but then could see everything just falling into a groove and being too predictable at the end. I did like the 'letter style' and it made me want to know more about the story of Guernsey/Jersey during the occupation.

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  • Posted February 16, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Leisurely book

    I read the synopsis of this book first, and thought that it sounded like an interesting story. I didn't know that it was written in the form of letters, between the characters, which at first I found jarring. But you do get used to it the more you read. I thought there would be more of a story about the German Occupation during WWII, and while it was there, I felt like there should have been more. I felt the ending was a little predictable. It's a great book to read if you're busy, you can put it down, and pick it back up days or even weeks later, and still know what's going on.

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  • Posted October 4, 2009

    Disappointing -- started out with promise, but lost me with 2-dimensional characters and writing.

    This book was so highly recommended and is such a hot book club book, thought it'd be great. And the format of writing using correspondence is always intriguing and full of promise. But I found the characters flat and the story forgettable. About halfway through, I became less and less engaged. The characters were 2-dimensional, and I was disappointed all around. Not sure what everyone else is raving about on this one. So much promise, but really did not deliver for me.

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  • Posted September 20, 2009

    Sweet as Potato Peel Pie

    I don't know if I have much to offer after so many reviews. However, I believe the 4.5-star average rating is too high, so I'm offering my two cents. This is a sweet, simple story with sweet, simple characters -- a feel-good novel that is great for a rainy day (and will probably become a nice chick flick someday). If you're looking for something to really sink your teeth into, then skip the potato peel pie.

    What I liked about the book: witty writing; epistolary format (I didn't have any problem "following" the book); the main character, Juliet; learning about the Channel Islands, in general, and the German occupation of them, in particular; the first half of the story.

    What I disliked: many of the characters lacked depth (particularly Dawsey -- I really would have liked to get to know him better -- was he supposed to be enigmatic and proud like Austen's Darcy?); the story fizzled and lost credibility in the second half; the voices of characters were nearly indistinguishable (all were similarly eloquent and witty writers); the predictable and abrupt ending; how incredulously quickly the letters traveled (a minor distraction at first -- after awhile I just stopped looking at dates!).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2009

    The premise and the subject matter caught my eye....

    I picked this book up really because it was a bestseller. I had a hard time beginning it but the story line about World War II and it's hardships and impact on the lives of the characters swept me in. I have to say though after a while the way the story is told - via letters - became "boring" to me. This wasn't the best book I've taken time to read, but it was worth a look.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    Light read of historical fiction

    I read this book for my book club. I probably wouldn't have picked it up were it not for the book club - and thus the reason for being in a club. It was a light read even though it was about a tough subject of WWII. I think that was made easier because it was written after the fact. The story is developed through a series of letters which was a very different way to read a story. It wasn't the best book I've ever read but I enjoyed it and I learned a little history along the way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2009

    It took a while to get used to the epistolary style and the fact that the letters jumped around quite a bit, no "chapter" was more than a few pages so you could not get a sense of the characters right away, but then it became more engaging

    Interesting concept for a story, and the history of Guernsey was quite interesting. I found some of the characters hard to believe and I don't know any men that belong to book clubs, so that seemed far fetched, The reading selections for some of the characters seemed a big stretch as well. Overall it was ejoyable but not a blockbuster in my opinion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2009

    has anyone noticed????

    When i started this book i could literally see the scenes and characters on the island
    during the Occupation. Since the book is only a year old i knew i had not previously read it. It dawned on me. i did SEE it- it was called Island at War and it appeared on
    PBS in 2005 as part of the Masterpiece Theater series.
    To be clear- the letters and the character of juliet and her publishing friends were
    not part of the production, but all the island characters and what happened to them
    were in it(not Kit because she wasn't born yet). But the island girl who betrayed the
    half Jewish valet passing as a gentleman,the Polish slave laborer who causes the arrest
    of 2 islanders,the island girl who falls in love with a German soldier. In the production
    the island in question is named St. Gregory's.
    I felt the people during the Occupation were the best part of this book and once
    the plot concerned Juliet's romantic life it became predictable and alot like what
    some of us derisively call chick-lit.
    More to the point,I read what the late author and her niece have said about the
    creation of this book andMasterpiece Theater is never mentioned. Should the
    screenplay writers receive some kind of credit? I've read brou hahas over less
    obvious things.
    Incidentally,for anyone interested, if you belong to Netflix you can order the
    3 installments of Island at War.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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