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.
©2008 Marry Ann Shaffrer and Annie Barrows; (P)2008 Random House, Inc.
This book took a while for me to get into it, although sometimes I get distracted while listening and that impedes my enjoyment. I had no idea what the book was about so had no expectations. It was a pleasant story with no real action or high drama but the format provided a creative way to develop characters. The characters were slowly carved into persons you could come to know, with quirks and dilemnas that fleshed them out nicely. It was a pleasantly creative perspective of an oft-written historical setting (WWII). The readers were perfect for their parts.
Everything I want it a book, doubly enhanced by having it read so convincingly. Usually I treat myself to books as I do physical work; this one kept me awake at nights concentrating on listening with laughter and tears.
The light tone that this book begins with gradually descends into darker material as we get deeper into the atrocities of WWII. However, the engaging heroine and other characters keep you wanting more, even as you know you are heading into a plot line with a sad ending. The author's epistolary style effectively conveys the warm comraderie of the island, contrasting it with a chilling portrait of the Ravensbruck concentration camp that I found haunting. I would also liked to have seen more of some of the peripheral characters. There is a lighter, if bittersweet, ending to the whole book that gives us hope.
I have read many WWII books, but not many "after the war" books. I had never heard of the Guernsey Islands but now feel compelled to go. This is a precious story with multiple narrators who bring it to life. It bring into focus how people coped during the war and provides insight into the resolve of a community.
Wonderful narration coupled with a good story. I have listened to hundreds of audio books over the years and this ranks as one of the best. Well done authors and cast!
Witty, funny, poignant. A modern-day epistolary novel, after the style of 84 Charing Cross Road. The conclusion was a bit wet, but otherwise a very sweet book, very well read.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
This is such a delightful book. The readers are perfect. I listened to it once and then started all over again -- a rarity. Just terrific.
I tried reading this book, and found it too fey and formulaic to continue beyond a few pages. Also, the epistolary form made it rather flat and repetitive. The voices and accents of the fine actors solve both problems. Plus a few of the male voices are a joy to listen to; resonant, mellow and beautiful. I really enjoyed it.
Of all the audiobooks I've heard, i think this is the one that most lends itself to the audio format. I loved listening to the different voices in the novel. It was moving - uplifting and heartbreaking, a true pleasure to hear.
Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy
Heatwarming, informative, engrossing, lovable characters . . . I really enjoyed this audiobook. The narration was perfect and it was an all-around delight to listen to. Strongly recommended.
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