Book Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Dial Press Trade Paperback

290 pages

Juliet Ashton is a single thirty something who has worked as a journalist throughout WWII.  The war is now over and life is slowly returning to normal, with Juliet unsure of what to write about next.  By chance, she receives a letter from a man named Dawsey Adams who is from the English island of Guernsey.  Dawsey has found a used book with Juliet’s name inscribed in it, and has taken the liberty of writing her.  In turn, the two begin an epistolary friendship. 

Juliet quickly becomes emotionally drawn to the story of Dawsey and his friends, who spent years on Guernsey during the German occupation.  Their life and liberty were seriously hindered by the occupation, and is just the emotionally charged story that Juliet is looking for.  Dawsey has the members of his literary society write to Juliet to tell of their own experiences during the occupation.  Juliet quickly becomes friends with the other members of society, and decides to go and visit them in Guernsey.  She quickly becomes acclimated in their lives and before long, it’s as if Guernsey is her home. 

Many of you know that I wasn’t a huge fan of this book from reading my Sunday Salon a few weeks ago.  My issue was my high expectations of this book–I knew pretty much nothing about the book but for the fact that everyone who has read it seemed to love it.  The one thing I enjoyed about the book was the epistolary format, which is always a nice change.  Otherwise, while it was a charming book, it did not leave a lasting impression on me.  I have a feeling that a few months from now, most of the book will be a faint memory, if I can recall it at all.

Had I gone into this book with different expectations, it is definitely possible that I would have enjoyed the book more.  As it stands though, I can’t really understand what all the fuss is about. 

Other Reviews:

Booking Mama

Rhapsody in Books

Caribous Mom

Bermuda Onion’s Weblog

She is too Fond of Books

A Novel Menagerie

Books and Movies

The Book Lady’s Blog

Devourer of Books

The Literate Housewife Review

I borrowed this book from my mom (who loved it!)


10 Responses

  1. That’s happened to me before, so I know exactly how you feel. Thanks for linking to my review.

  2. You definitely have to watch out for the hype machine. I usually start to ignore reviews at some point when I have decided that I a going to read a book. Guernsey never appealed to me all that much for some reason, but I am glad that you enjoyed it a little.

  3. Yeah, I pretty much felt the same way.

  4. Oh darn. I did love this one but I understand how it is when everyone loves a book and by the time you get to it you wonder why it was so great.

  5. My feelings about this book were very similar to yours. It was a nice enough book, lots of fun at the beginning, way too predictable toward the end. But mostly just nice.

  6. This is why I haven’t yet read THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO — hype raises my expectations so they’re near unattainable.

    Thanks for linking to my review!

  7. This is one of those that I probably will read one day, but perhaps not right away. I’ll make sure not to hype up my expectations…

  8. Our bookclub read this in June. I am with you. I really didn’t love it. It was an okay book, but not worth the hype in my opinion. It was one of those books that I always saw and knew I wouldn’t love and didn’t really want to read. Once it was picked, I figured that I would give it a try and maybe change my initial opinion. I didn’t. Glad to see I am not alone.

  9. I sometimes find that a decent book is ruined for me by all the hype and hoopla. I guess it’s a hazard of reading so many book blogs.

  10. I must say, the hype is what’s kept me from reading it. I know I’ll end up picking it up one day, but I often tend feel rather “meh” about the popular books. I am sorry it was disappointing for you!

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