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


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Group Members:
Annika Blake-Howland
Catherine Morton
Lindsey Robinson
Lindsay Wheaton
Ben Soule
Hope Saulter

Discussion Location: YPAC

Discussion Questions:


Clarifying Questions:
  • Why does Isola Pribby go snooping around in Dawsey's house, and what is she looking for?
  • Who tries to steal the letters written by Oscar Wilde?
  • Who founded the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel society, and what was its original purpose?
  • How did Elizabeth die?
  • What piece of writing was Juliet well-known for? What was her pseudonym for the Spectator?
  • How does Dawsey compare to the other men in Juliet’s life?
  • In what ways does Elizabeth exhibit bravery throughout the book?
  • What are Juliet's initial feelings towards Remy? How do they change?


General Discussion:
  • Did you like the book?
  • What is it like to read a book written entirely of letters? What do the letters add to the story?
  • Are letters relevant to us today? Do they say anything about our tech-driven society?
  • What did you think of the ending? Is it appropriate in relation to the rest of the novel?
  • How does Juliet, an independent woman, fit in with her time-period (the 1940s)?
  • How has the war afflicted the lives of the people of Guernsey? Of London?
  • Was the Guernsey people's criticism of Elizabeth's affair with the German man justified?

Narration:
  • Written in letters, First Person

Characters:



Character Discussions:
  • Juliet Ashton-
  • Elizabeth McKenna (and how Juliet sees her)
  • Dawsey Adams
  • Amelia Maugery
  • Will Thisbee
  • Isola Pribby- Which unique qualities did the author give Isola which made her character in the novel stand out?
  • Eben Ramsey
  • Adelaide Addison- How does Adelaide view Juliet and the Society?
  • Sidney Stark- What is Juliet's relationship with Sidney like?
  • Sophie Strachan
  • Markham Reynolds
    • Compare and contrast Mark with Dawsey Adams.
  • Christina "Kit" McKenna
    • How does her relationship with Juliet complete both of them?


Setting:
  • 1946, London, Guernsey

Historical Events:
  • World War II
  • German Occupation of Channel Islands

Conflict:
  • The impact of the Occupation on the people of Guernsey.
  • Juliet trying to find happiness in her life.
  • Scare of Oscar Wilde's letters being stolen by Billy Bee.
  • Trying to rebuild Remy's trust after her traumatic wartime experience.

Themes:
  • Rebuilding physically, emotionally, and socially after the War
  • Nationalism/Social expectations

Significant Passages:
  • "Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books." (53)

Links: