The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

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Book Rating (258)

Narrator Rating (35)

Date: July 2008

Duration: 8 hours 7 minutes


#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)


  • E R

    I love this book! Love all the characters, the narrators who bring them to life, and the perspective each one gives to the overall story. Even my husband liked it when we listened to it on a road trip, and he's not a fan of fiction in general. The story also shines a light on the occupation of the Channel Islands during WWII, which isn't something we often read about these days. I rarely listen to or read a book more than once, and I've listened to this twice.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Tracy A.

    I LOVED the narrators of this book, all the different voices really helped you keep track of who's who.

  • Anonymous

    Sweet, funny, entertaining.

  • Miranda S.

    Wonderful narrators! Was a thoroughly enjoyable listen!

  • Derek R.

    Wonderful story. I had a little difficulty keeping things straight towards the middle, it managed to get it all worked out before the end.

  • Rowena G.

    This is a lovely story. The narrator is superb!

  • Lin F.

    The story is exciting and uplifting, and of historical interest. The narrators do a great job, and the fact that there are several different voices makes it easy to follow and keep track of who's who. My only reason to deduct from the audiobook's score is the fact that there are glitches in a few places, where words and sentences are missing.

  • Danielle O.

    Great book, loved this so much more than the movie.

  • Naomi R.

    A story well told through letters, with a tender respect for the habitants of Guernsey Island as they in turn reflect and tell of their stories of times during and after WW2. The humour develops as do the characters with such delight. All leading to a satisfying ending that I was sad to finally realize. The narration, like the story was fabulous.

  • Nancy K.

    I love this book! It is a reread for me and I will probably listen to it again! The characters are delightful! The story ,told through the exchange of letters, adds charm to the story. It tells the history of the occupation of the Channel Islands during WWll. The narration is wonderful and brings each character to life!

  • Cynthia C

    This book had to be done in the format of letters, to prove its point that the printed word has the power alter our existence, even in the worst circumstances. Excellent narration!

  • Patricia D

    Funny and wonderful!

  • Sharon Wagner

    I never knew that Guernsey was occupied by the Germans in WWII. Through the stories shared by the islanders, I felt a connection to the human experience of those war years. The letter format also endeared the characters to me in a heartwarming way. The readers of this book were excellent. One of the most enjoyable listening experiences I've had for a long time.

  • Anonymous

    A different view of WWII from the British outer islands. How the English banded together under the Nazi occupation in a lighthearted way. I loved the story.

  • Janice

    Historical fiction not your thing? This book, one of my all time favorites, could change your mind! I have read the print book more than once and enjoyed the audio version also. The author's characters are alive and well developed. The historical setting during WWII is accurate. My deep regret is that the author died and won't be writing anymore wonderful books. She made the island and its inhabitants so real that I would love to visit there. Today the island is much more developed and modern I will be looking for and hoping to meet people who knew someone who lived there during the war.

  • KP

    Fantastic book!!!! I was worried that I wouldn't like that this book when I realized that it nothing but written letters but I completely fell in love with it. Well done!

  • Anonymous

    Love listening to this book. It's a clever series of letters and through the exchange of notes and longer letters you really get to know the characters so well. It's a lovely story.

  • Anonymous

    I loved it. The personalities came through beautifully in the writings of the characters. The story was wonderful, as was the narration.

  • Anonymous

    This one was a wonderful surprise. I normally stay away from "letter" form stories. But this one was fresh, interesting and very engaging. I recommend it to anyone interested in history, especially the second world war. It also immersed me in another time and culture, a blessed relief from this one.

  • Anonymous

    Well written and interesting view of WW II. Format takes a bit getting used to, but overall a delightful book.

  • John Parker

    I could not finish this book. It felt like, rather than writing a novel with a beginning, middle and end covering a defined story arc, the author had compiled a lot of research and said "How can I use all this stuff... oh, I'll write a bunch of letters back and forth."

  • Barbara Ann

    What a cute book! It took a little getting used to because the entire book is nothing but letters and telegrams back and forth, but what a great story about the stories of the German occupation during WWII.

  • Peggy Stortz

    I'd heard so many positive things about this book that I was stunned at how boring it was. My mind kept wandering and I kept rewinding until I finally ejected it and sent it back.

  • suzski

    Love, love, loved the book! Even though the entire story, told through a collection of letters, seemed a bit disjointed at first, I was rapidly drawn into the plot and was sad when it ended.

  • Seaweed

    I enjoyed the book very much. Good historical fiction, although a bit brief for my taste. A little predictable, but still an entertaining read.

  • Anonymous

    What an endearing tale! I highly recommend, its been so long since I've felt so deeply connected to a story. Guernsey comes to life in this whole-hearted tale of love , life, family, & the resilience of a people. I love love love it. Going to buy a hardcopy for my shelf.

  • Anonymous

    After having visited Jersey a few years ago, I was interested to learn more about the Channel Islands during the German Occupation. This story was very original and I enjoyed the narrators, too. A nice, easy listen.

  • Laura

    When I first began listening to this audio book I didn't expect to like it. The entire book is letters being sent between various people. I was pleasantly surprised at how easily I got caught-up in the story. Very well written and read!

  • Frances

    Great Read! It pulled me in and made look forward to every letter. Lots of chuckles and well read by all of the readers.

  • Anonymous

    When I first started to listen to this book and was first introduced to the style of the writing I did not like it and felt it was hard to follow. My opinion changed a few discs into the book once I got used to it and recognized the characters. In the end I felt it was a very unique listen and I loved the different narrators reading the letters back and forth. If you enjoy audiobooks this is something different which is executed quite well and definitely worth the time.

  • Jean

    This a different type of book. It is written as letters. You have the feeling you are rummaging in a trunk in the attic and found letters of one of your relatives and have sat down to read them. Very interesting story of the German occupation of Guernsey. Felt as if I was on the Island. Only wish more mention of the famous Guernsey cows. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I sure you will too. Now I want to take a trip to Guernsey!

  • Anonymous

    This book is very different from most historical novels about WWII. It takes place on an island in the channel and gives the history of how the occupation occurred there. The entire book is in letter format. The characters are writing back and forth to each other and there is a lot of skipping around which makes it a little difficult to follow as any collection of letters would be. It has a little bit of everything: romance, violence, history, mystery, and a large dose of humor. I think that is why this has been such a bestseller. I only wish it was longer so I could get to know the endearing characters in more depth.

  • Anonymous

    I loved this book, it made me feel happy inside and was so interesting. At first I wasn't sure if I would catch on, but as it kept going it turned into a wonderful story. I just purchased the book itself so I can read the unabridged novel itself.

  • Marianne

    The title of the book caught my attention but I was hesitant to order due to the 1 star review. I am glad I did! I didn't want the story to end and it is now among my favorites. I highly recommend this one.

  • Anonymous

    Boring. No plot to speak of. Letters between characters which had little significance to anything. I couldn't get past the first CD.

  • Anonymous

    As a child of the 50's who knew the history of WWII impact on the US, this book was an eye-opening education about the much more intense impact the war had on Europe and Britain. Far from being somber, the many delightful characters prove that the human spirit prevails through the worst of times. The story is filled with colorful, descriptive adventures and intrigues, and the readers provide a very entertaining listen.

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel

by Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer

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Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel, Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel, Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer
This title is due for release on July 29, 2008.

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Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel, Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer
This title is due for release on July 29, 2008
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Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: A Novel, Annie Barrows, Mary Ann Shaffer
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