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Book of the Week: “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” – A Story of Resilience and Love

By Margaret Manning August 25, 2018 Lifestyle

A few months ago, I found myself without my computer. It had been rushed to the “Apple ER” for repairs and I was told it would be five working days before I’d see it again.

So, I handed over “Phoebe” as she is affectionately known and sat clutching my iPhone for the first few hours wondering how on earth I was going to survive.

We all know that unexpected situations often create wonderful and unforeseen benefits. As they say, “necessity is the mother of invention.” I quickly worked out a rhythm for my Sixty and Me tasks, delegated as much as I could and waited patiently.

Quite by surprise, the experience turned out be the most incredible rediscovery of reading for me personally. On the recommendation of one of my friends, I downloaded a small book called “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” It totally seduced me.

For two days, I was glued to my Kindle, turning pages with a genuine passion and curiosity for the words that popped off the screen. Beyond the magic of the book itself, it was so wonderful to rediscover reading, something that had become a luxury for me over the past 5 years.

What is “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society?”

The book is a historical novel written by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. It tells the story of a small island called Guernsey during the German occupation in World War 2.

The book was published in 2008 but gained popularity recently because of its viral success and a lovely film released in 2018. The fact that the movie deviates a little from the real story doesn’t matter. The book stands on its own as a fabulous work of art.


The book is written as a series of letters, which is such a fabulous way to communicate. It was so personal and intimate. You felt as though you were peeking over the shoulder of the characters.

What Is the Book About?

The book tells the story of an English writer, Julie Ashton, who learns about the unusual “book club” that formed in Guernsey during the war.

She goes to the island to investigate and interview members of the group still living there. In the most poetic and emotional way, she unravels a love story and tale about friendship and honour and pride.

The story is a shocking revelation about the cruelty and hardship that islanders experienced during the war. But, because it was so human and warm, you felt that the resilience of the characters offered a light in the darkness. Their humour and humanity shone through.

The authors went so deep into the complexity of the relationships that I felt like I truly knew them as friends. I respected their strength and integrity that shone through chapter after chapter.

I would highly recommend this book to our Sixty and Me community. I am sure many women have already read it and I would love your feedback and comments.

This was a book that gave me goose bumps. It left me with such a deep respect for those individuals who were hurt so much by the war. All I could do at the end was pray that such an event never happens again!

Have you read “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society?” Would you recommend it to other women in our community? Did you see the movie? What did you think of its interpretation of the story?

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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