2022 book club

september book

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

historical · epistolary | 200-300 pages

A real location in the Channel Islands, the descriptions of Guernsey's beautiful coast will have you sipping a warm cup of tea and feeling as though you're there yourself. The year is 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton is embarking across England to promote her latest book. Along the way, she stumbles upon the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Juliet becomes obsessed with the society — and its enigmatic leader — and quickly finds herself intertwined with the complicated lives of its members.


next club meeting date: Tuesday, October 4

discussion questions (spoilers):
  1. What was it like to read a novel composed entirely of letters? What do letters offer that no other form of writing (not even emails) can convey?
  2. What makes Sidney and Sophie ideal friends for Juliet? What common ground do they share? Who has been a similar advocate in your life?
  3. What were your first impressions of Dawsey? How was he different from the other men Juliet had known?
  4. Discuss the poets, novelists, biographers and other writers who capture the hearts of the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. What does a reader’s taste in books say about his or her personality? Whose lives were changed the most by membership in the society?
  5. In what ways were Juliet and Elizabeth kindred spirits? What did Elizabeth’s spontaneous invention of the society, as well as her brave final act, say about her approach to life?
  6. Numerous Guernsey residents give Juliet access to their private memories of the occupation. Which voices were most memorable for you? What was the effect of reading a variety of responses to a shared tragedy?
  7. Kit and Juliet complete each other in many ways. What did they need from each other? What qualities make Juliet an unconventional, excellent mother?
  8. How did Remy’s presence enhance the lives of those on Guernsey? Through her survival, what recollections, hopes and lessons also survived?
  9. Which of the members of the Society is your favorite? Whose literary opinions are most like your own?
  10. Do you agree with Isola that “reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones”?

Questions from readinggroupguides.com