The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

{ 2008 | The Dial Press | 288 pgs }

I’m secretly a little disappointed that this book was good. I didn’t expect it to live up to its hype. Or maybe I just wished I had more unique taste than “the masses.” Honestly, that’s the same reason I held off on reading the Harry Potter series…what’s my deal?

Alright, so The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is written entirely in letters (with the odd telegram thrown in) and takes place during WWII. It’s amusing, touching, interesting, and educating (insofar as it’s historically accurate, of course). For a moment I was going to say that the only two epistolary (!) books I’ve read were both British, but I remembered that Dear Mr. Henshaw is another – and definitely American. (The other British book was Sorcery and Cecilia. But – silly me – I also read its sequel, The Grand Tour, which I guess makes four epistolary novels I can think of at the moment.) Back to where I was, though: TGLAPPPS was every bit as good as I had heard. My only complaint is that despite its solemn topic and sometimes tragic storyline, at the end I almost felt as if it lacked substance. The plot finished a little too neatly and happily.

Have you read it? Am I way off here? Maybe I just wanted some tiny aspect to criticize so I felt superior to the masses…

Buy The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society on Amazon



June has her own idea of style, and it doesn’t involve the “proper” use of sleeves.


Evan came down with something today – best guess, it’s Hand Foot and Mouth disease; it’s been going around Provo. Sadly, June was already down with a cold and teething, and woke up at 4:45 this morning needing medicine. While I tried to get her calmed down enough to go back to bed, Evan woke up. And stayed up. Jarom was super nice to help Evan out (I was super grouchy and childish) until he (Jarom) had to go to work. I managed to get June to sleep again, and I tried dozing a little bit more, hoping that Evan would realize how tired he was (IT WAS TOO EARLY) and fall asleep on his own. No, he stayed strong until after 11, at which point he started complaining that his mouth hurt. The good thing: he’s old enough to let me look in his mouth with a light and doesn’t panic or throw a fit about it. Anyway, tons of red spots on the roof and back of his mouth. Poor kid. He finally went to sleep about 11:30 and was completely out until 4:30. Then, of course, he was bouncing off the walls.

It’s certainly a cycle with him. Woefully miserable or painfully (for me) energetic. I hope he sleeps ok tonight. We had planned to go to a playgroup tomorrow afternoon, but I suppose that’s out of the question now. When I was helping Evan get into pajamas I noticed spots on his legs. Since he’s my oldest, I’ll probably go to the doctor tomorrow, since I can’t decide between “The doctor will tell me to give him lots of fluids and alternate painkillers, which I’m doing already” and “What if it’s chicken pox? Or he’s dying?”

In the meantime, Evan is getting some much-needed rest.