The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel by MARY ANN SHAFFERThe Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel by MARY ANN SHAFFERsticker-burst

The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (movie Tie-in Edition): A Novel

byMARY ANN SHAFFER, Annie Barrows

Paperback | July 10, 2018

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#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 book, please—I can’t recommend it highly enough.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . .

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.

Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.

Praise for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

“A jewel . . . Poignant and keenly observed, Guernsey is a small masterpiece about love, war, and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends.”People

“A book-lover’s delight, an implicit and sometimes explicit paean to all things literary.”Chicago Sun-Times

“A sparkling epistolary novel radiating wit, lightly worn erudition and written with great assurance and aplomb.”The Sunday Times (London)

“Cooked perfectly à point: subtle and elegant in flavour, yet emotionally satisfying to the finish.”The Times (London)
Mary Ann Shaffer, who passed away in February 2008, worked as an editor, librarian, and in bookshops. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was her first novel. Her niece, Annie Barrows, is the author of the children’s series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half. She lives in northern California.
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Title:The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society (movie Tie-in Edition): A NovelFormat:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.95 × 5.18 × 0.65 inPublished:July 10, 2018Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1984801813

ISBN - 13:9781984801814

Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of my new favourites! I wasn't sure what to expect, especially when I realized the book was comprised entirely of letters exchanged by all the various characters. Normally I am not fond of those kinds of books, but Guernsey absolutely stole my heart! The characters are so vivid and real, and Juliet absolutely springs from the pages. She was absolutely a wonderful character, and I just adored the entire novel. I got my best friend to read it, and she fell in love with it too... I'm trying to get my mom to read it now...
Date published: 2018-12-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love this! Bought this book a week ago and I'm so glad I did! Very well written! Watched the movie but the book was much better! #plumreview
Date published: 2018-08-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A lovely easy read I thoroughly enjoyed this novel especially as I love different writing styles. The author chose to tell the story exclusively through the use of letters and yet you still end up with a beautiful picture of each character. I found the movie and book very different from each other....which was like having two people tell the same story in their own ways.
Date published: 2018-08-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society One of the few books that will make you smile throughout, makes you want to join a book club to develop the relationships described in the book. Amazing read.
Date published: 2018-08-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I’m obsessed I adored this book. I didn’t know if I would, as it was written in letter format, but the writing is so well done that I was kept totally engaged the entire time. I fell in love with the characters, and the story. Juliet Ashton is a writer and is adjusting to “life” after the Second World War when she gets a letter from a man on the island of Guernsey. This correspondence sets off a series of events that changes her life, as she learns more about life on the island of Guernsey during the German occupation. I read this prior to watching the Netflix movie. I very much preferred the book. The Netflix show changed things that I feel were vitally important to the character development. If you have seen the movie, and we’re left wondering why you did that, I highly recommend the book.
Date published: 2018-08-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from ok With all the reviews I thought I would give it a try. Sorry to say just could not get into it at all. I saw the movie as well and it didn't fare any better for me. This is one of my favorite era's yet the author did not grab my interest she just left me hanging.
Date published: 2018-08-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Read Emotional plot and characters. Hopefully the movie will be as good. Excellent
Date published: 2018-08-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Letters to die for... Loved this book. So much better than the movie on Netflix.
Date published: 2018-08-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You will fall in love with every character! I absolutely loved this book! Told entirely through letters, each character is presented in such an intriguing and admirable way, you truly fall in love with (or want to be) each one. Lighthearted, wholesome, and beautifully written, this book is a wonderful read.
Date published: 2018-08-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very Enjoyable This was incredible and kept you hanging onto the story!
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from You'll want to join a book club just as much as people who watched Gilmore Girls wanted to move to Stars Hollow. The story is written in correspondances between the main character, Juliet, and people from the island of Guernsey. Times are tough, food is rare and not tasteful (as you can guess from the title) in this small German-occupied island during the war. A book club emerges as a way to break curfew and one of the members writes to Juliet. She is intrigued by the club's name (aren't we all?) and by the members, especially one of them at first. She will then travel to Guernsey and meet all these new people who seem more like old friends... This is a delightful story with amazing characters. There's love, but not too much (I don't really enjoy romantic novels that much) and even it's an epistolary novel, it's really well-written and so hard to put down! You'll want to join a book club just as much as people who watched Gilmore Girls wanted to move to Stars Hollow. It was a first novel by Mary Ann Shaffer, who died before being able to finish it all, so her niece (Annie Barrows) did, but it really seems like one person wrote it. 4.5/5
Date published: 2018-08-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A delightful tale of German occupation in a small island town Delightful read - couldn't put it down. It is written as a series of letters between the characters. The story line is very rich and beautiful. Much better than the Netflix movie.
Date published: 2018-08-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Fabulous!! I love it when you read a book and it surpasses your expectations. Emotional plot and characters. Hopefully the movie does it justice.
Date published: 2018-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful! One of my favourite books of all time! A must read. I'm really looking forward to the movie!
Date published: 2018-07-31

Read from the Book

Part One 8th January, 1946 Mr. Sidney Stark, Publisher Stephens & Stark Ltd. 21 St. James's Place London S.W.1 England Dear Sidney, Susan Scott is a wonder. We sold over forty copies of the book, which was very pleasant, but much more thrilling from my standpoint was the food. Susan managed to procure ration coupons for icing sugar and real eggs for the meringue. If all her literary luncheons are going to achieve these heights, I won't mind touring about the country. Do you suppose that a lavish bonus could spur her on to butter? Let's try it—you may deduct the money from my royalties. Now for my grim news. You asked me how work on my new book is progressing. Sidney, it isn't. English Foibles seemed so promising at first. After all, one should be able to write reams about the Society to Protest the Glorification of the English Bunny. I unearthed a photograph of the Vermin Exterminators' Trade Union, marching down an Oxford street with placards screaming "Down with Beatrix Potter!" But what is there to write about after a caption? Nothing, that's what. I no longer want to write this book—my head and my heart just aren't in it. Dear as Izzy Bickerstaff is—and was—to me, I don't want to write anything else under that name. I don't want to be considered a light-hearted journalist anymore. I do acknowledge that making readers laugh—or at least chuckle—during the war was no mean feat, but I don't want to do it anymore. I can't seem to dredge up any sense of proportion or balance these days, and God knows one cannot write humor without them. In the meantime, I am very happy Stephens & Stark is making money on Izzy Bickerstaff Goes to War. It relieves my conscience over the debacle of my Anne Bront biography. My thanks for everything and love, Juliet P.S. I am reading the collected correspondence of Mrs. Montagu. Do you know what that dismal woman wrote to Jane Carlyle? "My dear little Jane, everybody is born with a vocation, and yours is to write charming little notes." I hope Jane spat on her. From Sidney to Juliet 10th January, 1946 Miss Juliet Ashton 23 Glebe Place Chelsea London S.W. 3 Dear Juliet: Congratulations! Susan Scott said you took to the audience at the luncheon like a drunkard to rum—and they to you—so please stop worrying about your tour next week. I haven't a doubt of your success. Having witnessed your electrifying performance of "The Shepherd Boy Sings in the Valley of Humiliation" eighteen years ago, I know you will have every listener coiled around your little finger within moments. A hint: perhaps in this case, you should refrain from throwing the book at the audience when you finish. Susan is looking forward to ushering you through bookshops from Bath to Yorkshire. And of course, Sophie is agitating for an extension of the tour into Scotland. I've told her in my most infuriating older-brother manner that It Remains To Be Seen. She misses you terribly, I know, but Stephens & Stark must be impervious to such considerations. I've just received Izzy's sales figures from London and the Home Counties—they are excellent. Again, congratulations! Don't fret about English Foibles; better that your enthusiasm died now than after six months spent writing about bunnies. The crass commercial possibilities of the idea were attractive, but I agree that the topic would soon grow horribly fey. Another subject—one you'll like—will occur to you. Dinner one evening before you go? Say when. Love, Sidney P.S. You write charming little notes. From Juliet to Sidney 11th January, 1946 Dear Sidney, Yes, lovely—can it be somewhere on the river? I want oysters and champagne and roast beef, if obtainable; if not, a chicken will do. I am very happy that Izzy's sales are good. Are they good enough that I don't have to pack a bag and leave London? Since you and S&S have turned me into a moderately successful author, dinner must be my treat. Love, Juliet P.S. I did not throw "The Shepherd Boy Sings in the Valley of Humiliation" at the audience. I threw it at the elocution mistress. I meant to cast it at her feet, but I missed. From Juliet to Sophie Strachan 12th January, 1946 Mrs. Alexander Strachan Feochan Farm by Oban Argyll Dear Sophie, Of course I'd adore to see you, but I am a soul-less, will-less automaton. I have been ordered by Sidney to Bath, Colchester, Leeds, and several other garden spots I can't recall at the moment, and I can't just slither off to Scotland instead. Sidney's brow would lower—his eyes would narrow—he would stalk. You know how nerve-racking it is when Sidney stalks. I wish I could sneak away to your farm and have you coddle me. You'd let me put my feet on the sofa, wouldn't you? And then you'd tuck blankets around me and bring me tea? Would Alexander mind a permanent resident on his sofa? You've told me he is a patient man, but perhaps he would find it annoying. Why am I so melancholy? I should be delighted at the prospect of reading Izzy to an entranced audience. You know how I love talking about books, and you know how I adore receiving compliments. I should be thrilled. But the truth is that I'm gloomy—gloomier than I ever was during the war. Everything is so broken, Sophie: the roads, the buildings, the people. Especially the people. This is probably the aftereffect of a horrid dinner party I went to last night. The food was ghastly, but that was to be expected. It was the guests who unnerved me—they were the most demoralizing collection of individuals I've ever encountered. The talk was of bombs and starvation. Do you remember Sarah Morecroft? She was there, all bones and gooseflesh and bloody lipstick. Didn't she use to be pretty? Wasn't she mad for that horse-riding fellow who went up to Cambridge? He was nowhere in evidence; she's married to a doctor with grey skin who clicks his tongue before he speaks. And he was a figure of wild romance compared to my dinner partner, who just happened to be a single man, presumably the last one on earth—oh Lord, how miserably mean-spirited I sound! I swear, Sophie, I think there's something wrong with me. Every man I meet is intolerable. Perhaps I should set my sights lower—not so low as the grey doctor who clicks, but a bit lower. I can't even blame it on the war—I was never very good at men, was I? Do you suppose the St. Swithin's furnace-man was my one true love? Since I never spoke to him, it seems unlikely, but at least it was a passion unscathed by disappointment. And he had that beautiful black hair. After that, you remember, came the Year of Poets. Sidney's quite snarky about those poets, though I don't see why, since he introduced me to them. Then poor Adrian. Oh, there's no need to recite the dread rolls to you, but Sophie—what is the matter with me? Am I too particular? I don't want to be married just to be married. I can't think of anything lonelier than spending the rest of my life with someone I can't talk to, or worse, someone I can't be silent with. What a dreadful, complaining letter. You see? I've succeeded in making you feel relieved that I won't be stopping in Scotland. But then again, I may—my fate rests with Sidney. Kiss Dominic for me and tell him I saw a rat the size of a terrier the other day. Love to Alexander and even more to you, Juliet From Dawsey Adams, Guernsey, Channel Islands, to Juliet 12th January, 1946 Miss Juliet Ashton 81 Oakley Street Chelsea London S.W. 3 Dear Miss Ashton, My name is Dawsey Adams, and I live on my farm in St. Martin's Parish on Guernsey. I know of you because I have an old book that once belonged to you—the Selected Essays of Elia, by an author whose name in real life was Charles Lamb. Your name and address were written inside the front cover. I will speak plain—I love Charles Lamb. My own book says Selected, so I wondered if that meant he had written other things to choose from? These are the pieces I want to read, and though the Germans are gone now, there aren't any bookshops left on Guernsey. I want to ask a kindness of you. Could you send me the name and address of a bookshop in London? I would like to order more of Charles Lamb's writings by post. I would also like to ask if anyone has ever written his life story, and if they have, could a copy be found for me? For all his bright and turning mind, I think Mr. Lamb must have had a great sadness in his life. Charles Lamb made me laugh during the German Occupation, especially when he wrote about the roast pig. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society came into being because of a roast pig we had to keep secret from the German soldiers, so I feel a kinship to Mr. Lamb. I am sorry to bother you, but I would be sorrier still not to know about him, as his writings have made me his friend. Hoping not to trouble you, Dawsey Adams P.S. My friend Mrs. Maugery bought a pamphlet that once belonged to you, too. It is called Was There a Burning Bush? A Defense of Moses and the Ten Commandments. She liked your margin note, "Word of God or crowd control???" Did you ever decide which? From Juliet to Dawsey 15th January, 1946 Mr. Dawsey Adams Les Vauxlarens La Bouree St. Martin's, Guernsey Dear Mr. Adams, I no longer live on Oakley Street, but I'm so glad that your letter found me and that my book found you. It was a sad wrench to part with the Selected Essays of Elia. I had two copies and a dire need of shelf-room, but I felt like a traitor selling it. You have soothed my conscience. I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. How delightful if that were true. Because there is nothing I would rather do than rummage through bookshops, I went at once to Hastings & Sons upon receiving your letter. I have gone to them for years, always finding the one book I wanted—and then three more I hadn't known I wanted. I told Mr. Hastings you would like a good, clean copy (and not a rare edition) of More Essays of Elia. He will send it to you by separate post (invoice enclosed) and was delighted to know you are also a lover of Charles Lamb. He said the best biography of Lamb was by E. V. Lucas, and he would hunt out a copy for you, though it may take a while. In the meantime, will you accept this small gift from me? It is his Selected Letters. I think it will tell you more about him than any biography ever could. E. V. Lucas sounds too stately to include my favorite passage from Lamb: "Buz, buz, buz, bum, bum, bum, wheeze, wheeze, wheeze, fen, fen, fen, tinky, tinky, tinky, cr'annch! I shall certainly come to be condemned at last. I have been drinking too much for two days running. I find my moral sense in the last stage of a consumption and my religion getting faint." You'll find that in the Letters (it's on page 244). They were the first Lamb I ever read, and I'm ashamed to say I only bought the book because I'd read elsewhere that a man named Lamb had visited his friend Leigh Hunt, in prison for libeling the Prince of Wales. While there, Lamb helped Hunt paint the ceiling of his cell sky blue with white clouds. Next they painted a rose trellis up one wall. Then, I further discovered, Lamb offered money to help Hunt's family outside the prison—though he himself was as poor as a man could be. Lamb also taught Hunt's youngest daughter to say the Lord's Prayer backward. You naturally want to learn everything you can about a man like that. That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive—all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment. The red stain on the cover that looks like blood—is blood. I got careless with my paper knife. The enclosed postcard is a reproduction of a painting of Lamb by his friend William Hazlitt. If you have time to correspond with me, could you answer several questions? Three, in fact. Why did a roast pig dinner have to be kept a secret? How could a pig cause you to begin a literary society? And, most pressing of all, what is a potato peel pie—and why is it included in your society's name? I have sub-let a flat at 23 Glebe Place, Chelsea, London S.W.3. My Oakley Street flat was bombed in 1945 and I still miss it. Oakley Street was wonderful—I could see the Thames out of three of my windows. I know that I am fortunate to have any place at all to live in London, but I much prefer whining to counting my blessings. I am glad you thought of me to do your Elia hunting. Yours sincerely, Juliet Ashton P.S. I never could make up my mind about Moses—it still bothers me. From Juliet to Sidney 18th January, 1946 Dear Sidney, This isn't a letter: it's an apology. Please forgive my moaning about the teas and luncheons you set up for Izzy. Did I call you a tyrant? I take it all back—I love Stephens & Stark for sending me out of London. Bath is a glorious town: lovely crescents of white, upstanding houses instead of London's black, gloomy buildings or—worse still—piles of rubble that were once buildings. It is bliss to breathe in clean, fresh air with no coal smoke and no dust. The weather is cold, but it isn't London's dank chill. Even the people on the street look different—upstanding, like their houses, not grey and hunched like Londoners. Susan said the guests at Abbot's book tea enjoyed themselves immensely—and I know I did. I was able to un-stick my tongue from the roof of my mouth after the first two minutes and began to have quite a good time. Susan and I are off tomorrow for bookshops in Colchester, Norwich, King's Lynn, Bradford, and Leeds. Love and thanks, Juliet From Juliet to Sidney 21st January, 1946 Dear Sidney, Night-time train travel is wonderful again! No standing in the corridors for hours, no being shunted off for a troop train to pass, and above all, no black-out curtains. All the windows we passed were lighted, and I could snoop once more. I missed it so terribly during the war. I felt as if we had all turned into moles scuttling along in our separate tunnels. I don't consider myself a real peeper—they go in for bedrooms, but it's families in sitting rooms or kitchens that thrill me. I can imagine their entire lives from a glimpse of bookshelves, or desks, or lit candles, or bright sofa cushions.

Editorial Reviews

“I can’t remember the last time I discovered a novel as smart and delightful as this one, a world so vivid that I kept forgetting this was a work of fiction populated with characters so utterly wonderful that I kept forgetting they weren’t my actual friends and neighbors. Treat yourself to this book please—I can’t recommend it highly enough.”—Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love“Traditional without seeming stale, and romantic without being naive . . . It’s tempting to throw around terms like ‘gem’ when reading a book like this. But Guernsey is not precious. . . . This is a book for firesides or long train rides. It’s as charming and timeless as the novels for which its characters profess their love.”—San Francisco Chronicle Book Review“[The] characters step from the past radiant with eccentricity and kindly humour. [The] writing, with its delicately offbeat, self-deprecating stylishness, is exquisitely turned.”—The Guardian (U.K.)“I’ve never wanted to join a club so desperately as I did while reading Guernsey. . . . [The novel] is a labor of love and it shows on almost every page.”—The Christian Science Monitor“I could not put the book down. I have recommended it to all my friends.”—Newsday“A jewel . . . Poignant and keenly observed, Guernsey is a small masterpiece about love, war, and the immeasurable sustenance to be found in good books and good friends.”—People“A book-lover's delight, an implicit and sometimes explicit paean to all things literary.”—Chicago Sun-Times“A sparkling epistolary novel radiating wit, lightly worn erudition and written with great assurance and aplomb.”—The Sunday Times (London)“Cooked perfectly à point: subtle and elegant in flavour, yet emotionally satisfying to the finish.”—The Times (London)“A sweet, sentimental paean to books and those who love them. . . . It affirms the power of books to nourish people enduring hard times.”—The Washington Post Book World“[A] marvelous debut . . . This is a warm, funny, tender, and thoroughly entertaining celebration of the power of the written word.”—Library Journal“A poignant, funny novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit. . . . A treat.”—The Boston Globe“A sure winner.”—Kirkus Reviews“Delightful . . . One of those joyful books that celebrates how reading brings people together.”—New Orleans Times-Picayune“Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows have written a wondrous, delightful, poignant book— part Jane Austen, part history lesson. The letters aren't addressed to you, but they are meant for you. It's a book everyone should read. An absolute treasure.”—Sarah Addison Allen, author of Garden Spells