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The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel

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Book Overview

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NOW A NETFLIX FILM - A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name. "Treat yourself to this... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

29 ratings

Loved this book!

A big of history I knew nothing about. Unusual format, but it worked for me. I knew this would make a great movie, and it did. So sad that the main author only wrote this one book before she died.

One of my favorite books

This is one of those books that when I am in a slump or need a good read I grab for it every time.


The book came very fast and looks in good condition.

I wanted to love it but couldn’t

If I had read the book before watching the movie I wouldn’t have bothered with the movie, fortunately this is one where the movie is better than the book! This book was difficult for me to read because it was one letter after another and most of the time there was no response back. It was a very one sided conversation and very frustrating to read. I did learn quite a bit from the letters and I’m glad I read it but it will definitely not be a reread ever

Fabulous read!

Fortunately I read this wonderful book BEFORE the movie, so my images were beautiful and unadulterated by someone else's vision of what it looked like. Wasn't certain the format would be compatible with my reading style, but it didn't matter. I just loved it. Each character was a clear, rich description that lent itself to the wonderful story the author put forth.

Loved it

This is historical fiction with an interesting plot and characters you care about

I Want To Visit Guernsey!

Yes, I know that this story will not be everyone's cup of tea. It is a modern novel written about a historical event, so the language and characters may not be perfectly reminiscent of 40s society. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Juliet never failed to make me smile and I found myself adoring all of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Although I don't think I will be trying potato peel pie anytime soon, the book gave me an insight into the Second World War I have never learned from my history classes. Overall, this book was an incredibly enjoyable, fast read that I will definitely recommend to anyone who wants a different perspective on WWII.

My favorite book

This is truly my all time favorite book. I’ve recommended it multiple time to fellow readers. It was just a wonderful storyline filled with such eccentric characters that I truly missed when I finished it. I also learned so much about the Guernsey Islands and have read further about their place in WWII history.


I think reading a book like this is very refreshing. It’s so nice to see how people corresponded during the war and it’s great to see the emotion in the letters. Great read.

Loved it!!

I will say it was hard for me to get into. The whole book is letter correspondence. I was a little confused with characters but seen the movie first really helped and once that was sorted I couldn’t put the book down. I loved the movie… But then I read the book and I loved it even more! While fictional at its core, Guernsey and the events that happened there in WWII are absolutely true. It was such a well told story that I read the entire book in a day. I’ve since bought 3 more copies for friends. It’s an incredible story and I couldn’t recommend it more

A book about books

A book about an author who writes and loves books - what's not to like? Add in the 1940/50s, two men in pursuit of our heroine, and past and present storylines, and you have a simple but enjoyable read. If you have seen the Netflix movie and think, "I've seen it, don't need to read it," then take this review as your encouragement to read it! (Books are always better than their movies anyway.)

A must read!!

A wonderful book that you will not want to put down! Highly recommend!

Amazing book, poor quality.

Love the book. But the quality I received was marked “very good” and it had no book jacket and really damaged boards.

How books save lives

I really enjoyed this book, I loved the premise, all the characters, and the setting this book took place in. It was wonderful and light-hearted, funny at times too. And, it saved me from going completely off my rocker when this pandemic took over the world.


This is one of my favorite books.

Even Better Than The Movie

I was inspired to read this book because of the movie, and of course the book is always better. Guernsey is written as a series of letters between friends and strangers, which usually wouldn't appeal to me but I absolutely loved the way this was done. A little bit of romance, history, and witty humor. I could have read a hundred more pages of this story.

For historical fiction fans

A WWII story inspired by true events. The story unfolds through letters written between various memorable characters. Really enjoyable.

Netflix made this a movie

So I really loved this book but the ending wasn't good. The movie fixed the ending so it was a great read but also watch the movie.

Not my cup of tea

I heard a lot about this book but just could NOT get into it. 🙁

Guernsey is a real place

This book was even better than the Netflix adaptation of it, and Netflix had Lily James so I didn't think it would be possible to get better than that. I was surprised to learn that Guernsey was a real place. In my experience, most books that have a location either in the title or in the setting(s) within the chapters, the locations aren't real or they are fictitious places based off of real places; but not Guernsey, this place is real and the history of this book, in regards to the Nazi Regime landing on the island, is accurate as well. GREAT READ! Get it while you can, and be sure to watch the Netflix movie as well.


I saw the movie before i read the book. I loved the movie! I was so excited to get the book and to relive every moment of the book with the anticipation of new information that would make me love the characters even more. I am not a reader that loves letters in a book or texting or other forms of that. But i found that the author did an amazing job at it! I read it so fast because it is hard to put it down. The book does give you more background on Elizabeth which i wish that they had included in the movie. This book is something i would read over and over again never growing old. The ending was my favorite.. Little bit on the author she became ill during the editing process and she called her niece and her niece completed the novel for her! I can hardly notice the change in writing!! i wish that there was a follow up novel on Dawsey and Juliet but the book is amazing and i recommend it to everyone!!


I so very much hated this book. Found it so difficult to get into.. nothing but letters to this one and that.. just so boring... the movie is so much better... I couldnt even get to page 100... reselling it.. HATED IT.

Worth the read!

I very much enjoyed this book and could not put it down. I feel in love with the main characters.

Definitely a case for judging a book by its title.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: the very title fascinates and draws the reader into the story, an amazing tale of the German occupation of the Channel Islands. Written as a series of letters, as was another favourite, 84, Charing Cross Road, this delightful novel is at once a celebration of people who survived the war and its extremes, our language, and good writing. I enjoyed the first time and the most recent time, and cannot recommend it highly enough.

Just Delightful

My wife read the book and insisted I listen to it during our Christmas travels in the car. All I can say is that it was a treat. The several readers made the letter format of the book come alive. The different voices enhanced the experience. There is more to say but the best praise I can give it was that I was anxious to get back to the car on our seven hour drive so I could hear more of the recording. Great job to all.

Very good book and very, very good reading

This is a very fine book. I think because it reminds me there are other people who loves books as themselves. The reading is very, very good and I would recommend it more than just the book.

A book to cherish

I have, in the past, had occasion to say that reading was one of the most important things in life, right up there with family, food and sleep. This book not only reminded me why I believe that, but it gave me the warm, satisfying sense that I was among like-minded people. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (From now on, referred to as GLP3S) is an epistolary novel set at the close of WWII. It chronicles the correspondence of a London author who is suffering not so much from writer's block, but from idea block. Her letters to and from friends, her editor, and eventually the members of the aforementioned society, begin in a humorous tone -- if you're the sort who puts a great store in statistics, I'd estimate that I had a good, loud laugh about every three to five pages to start. I didn't think to tally the grins. But as the book goes on, the witty exchanges take on a deeper and more touching edge. We learn the background of the GLP3S, and then of its members. We learn what they suffered during the war, and their five-year-long occupation by the Germans, and we learn how they endured it. They don't fight the Germans so much as observe them, trick them when they can, endure them when they must. They are people of strength, compassion (most of them) and deep feeling. Their reading, and the exchange of ideas it inspires literally keeps some of them alive. I don't want to say too much and spoil the novel. I want everyone to read it for themselves and come to know these people and how lovely and dear they are. And I hope, I hope every reader will be reminded of his/her love of the written word, and the understanding of how deeply it matters. Five stars just aren't enough. ETA: This book will not leave me alone. No sooner did I finish it and write the review than I began it again. I love every character, even the awful ones. I love the place. I love the way it's written. It's not just a book to cherish, but one to escape into when your day has sucked the soul from you. Juliet and the people of Guernsey will put you right. The only quibble I have is that we never do find out what Juliet thought of the Potato Peel Pie with the festive topping. An oversight to be sure, but a minor one.


During World War II, the Germans occupied Guernsey in the Channel Islands, so close to France that, apparently, you could see cars on the highway on a clear day. The Germans built heavy fortifications against the islanders, built a concentration camp on Guernsey, and Guernsey's children were evacuated to England. Juliet Ashton is an author looking for her next great idea, when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams, who lives on Guernsey, about Charles Lamb, to whose works we was introduced through the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. The Society came to be in an unusual fashion: one evening after curfew, on their way home, some of its members were stopped by German soldiers, and Elizabeth McKenna had to make something up on the spot. Over time, the members got together whenever they could to talk about what they'd read. That's how Isola, for example, became addicted to Wuthering Heights. Juliet lives in a London that was decimated by war; her apartment by the Thames has been lost, as well as all of her books (as you can imagine, horrifying). But her career as a writer is going well, and she has a potential love interest: the handsome and rich Mark. But Juliet's life changes as she receives more and more letters from the Guernsey Islanders, and she decides that she just might have to pay them a visit The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is an utterly charming novel, written in an epistolary fashion, between not only Julia and her new friends, but her best friend from childhood and her brother (who also happens to be Juliet's publisher). It's a sweet, funny novel, and it reminds me a lot of 84, Charing Cross Road--mixed with a little bit of Excellent Women (Penguin Classics). The characters are all wonderful--you can't help but wishing you'd known them yourself--even Adelaide Addison. Each member of the cast of this book has his or her own unique voice. Some of the stories told in this book are tragic; some are funny; but I guarantee that all of them will be touching.

A True Delight!

What a wonderful book! Having just finished this one, I am still smiling and thinking of the characters. Had I the time and money, I'd be booking a trip for Guernsey right this minute. As it is, I feel as though I've already visited and been made to feel at home. Set in both London and Guernsey Island, this novel follows author Juliet as she becomes friends with the inhabitants of the island shortly after the end of World War 2. Told in epistolary style, Juliet learns of the occupied island and its deprivations, as well as the resounding spirit of the people who live there. As she writes, she becomes more and more intrigued with the stories of the people who survived the hard times, and she decides to create a book based on their experiences. In order to gather more information, Juliet moves temporarily to the island and soon finds herself immsersed in the culture and relationships. This is absolutely one of the most delightful books I've read all year. The characters are real, the relationships are unique, and Juliet is hysterically funny, as well as warm hearted and genuine. I did have a bit of trouble keeping all the characters straight in the beginning, but once I caught on, I was enthralled. The pages just fly by and while you will learn a little of what happened to Guernsey during World War 2, you will learn much more about love and friendship. Highly recommended!

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Mentions in Our Blog

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in Happy Bachelor's Day: Literary Heroines who Pop the Question
Happy Bachelor's Day: Literary Heroines who Pop the Question
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • February 28, 2020

Tomorrow is Leap Day, also known as Bachelor's Day. This is the day (once every four years) on which women are encouraged to propose marriage to their fellow of choice. To celebrate, we've pulled together a roundup of literary heroines who take the bull by the horns.

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