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  • Writer's pictureKara Chatham

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Updated: Jul 25, 2019

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is set in the aftermath of World War II. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows create a beautiful experience with the entire story being told through the correspondence of the novel’s characters.

With the story being told through letters, telegrams, cables, night letters (not sure what the last two are but they were some of the types identified), it does leave an opportunity for details to be lost. For example when Juliet, our lovely leading lady, goes out on a date we don’t get to experience it with her as one typically gets to in a narrative. Instead we get to experience her experience through how she writes to her friend Sophie about it.


The experience as a whole was different than anything I normally read and I loved it! I don’t typically pick up historical fiction, simply because most of what I have read focuses way more on the event the story is set during instead of the story itself. But this novel has a clever way of sharing with you what World War II was like for one of the Channel Islands without boring you to death with details.


I listened to this novel via audible, and I think that was the best way to experience the novel. Simply because of the number of characters who corresponded with another character. While the authors identified the type of correspondence, whom it was from and whom it was to, the performance provided by the voice actors helped enhance the already wonderful experience.


There is a movie adaptation, which is how I learned that the novel existed. I think some parts of the world have gotten the opportunity to experience the adaptation in theaters, but where I am has to be patient until it arrives on Netflix in August. But seeing the trailer and then reading the novel, I didn’t see a difference in what parts of the story were teased by the adaptation. I have a hunch that there will be some changes, because that’s normal when you’re adapting something. But I do hope that those who adapted it will fill in some of the gaps we are left with because of the novel’s format.


I do recommend the novel! It’s a sweet story, even if it touches on some unkind topics.

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