The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

  • by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows
  • Narrated by Paul Baymer, Susan Duerden, Roselyn Landor, John Lee, Juliet Mills
  • 8 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

MUCH better than I ever expected! Give it a try!

Based on many of the reviews here, and from others on Amazon, I almost didn't read this book. Sure, it received really good ratings, but those were predominantly from women. And it's NOT that I don't respect the female perspective - but as a book club member, I end up being a bit swamped by what are pejoratively called "chick books". Admittedly, I'm rarely disappointed, but come on - a guy needs a good thriller or a murder or a marauding hero in a book every once in a while! So, I feared that "Guernsey/Potato Peel Pie" would be such a book - and the title didn't help any! But, I was pleasantly surprised! Okay, sure, there is no real nail-biting action (and certainly no explosions or car chases), but it was a really delightful look at human personalities, and the indomitable will to survive - each characater in his/her own way - in the face of harsh adversity. And, via the literary devise of being told exclusively through transmitted letters/cables/notes, it was a subtle and well-developed study in human nature. Additional to the wonderful characterizations, this story has the side benefit of relating a bit of the history of the German occupation of the Channel Islands, as well as the bombing of London in the 1940's. As to the quality of the audiobook - it was superb! At our recent book club meeting, I found that my having listened to the audio version of the book may have been the best selection of media. With this audiobook, I was regaled and enthralled by the reading skills of multiple voices, and this proved to be an added layer of enjoyment for me, over the printed book version. Hearing the various accents really helped differentiate between characters. In addition, the excellent readers in this audiobook version provided subtle tonal inflections that conveyed passion and intent. It was truly an impeccable production...well worth the price!
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- Kent

I felt like a bit of a voyeur

What an enchanting book. This is definitely a book that is better listened to than read. The cast of voices was superb, with the dialects and different voices helping to identify each character.

It did take me a while to get into this type of audiobook, as the entire story is told through letter writing which were usually written back and forth from the members of TGL&PPS to the protagonist Juliet, a young, single, newspaper columnist in London who is looking for a topic for a new book she wants to write. Her search takes her, through letter writing to Guernsey. This all takes place in 1946. Geurnsey was occupied by the Germans and the horrors of the war are still very fresh. There is a love story involved in there as well. Lots of emotion, tears, laughter, everything that makes a book complete. What a wonderful way to develop characters! A real gem of a book.
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- Ella "Knowledge is knowing the way. Wisdom is looking for an alternative, more interesting road to get there. Audiobooks are that road."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-02-2008
  • Publisher: Random House Audio