Here’s a video of co-author Annie Barrows talking about The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society book.
1. The book is an epistolary genre, consisting of a series letters corresponded between the characters to form the story line. Did you enjoy this kind of storytelling? How effective was it in telling the story? What are the pros and cons of writing in this manner?
2. The members of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society were not experienced with literary societies and made their rules as they went along. They took turns in discussing the book that they read, and then it evolved into more of a discussion when another member read the same book. Discuss literary societies in the past and compare them to today’s book clubs. What similarities can be drawn? How are they different?
3. Will Thisbee was responsible for adding the Potato Peel Pie in the society’s name by creating the pie for their meeting. Do you think that food and drink should be included in a literary society/book club?
4. There were many interesting characters in this book. Which character did you like the most? Who did you least like? Whose literary reading opinions were similar to yours?
5. What impact did the literary society have on its members and how did it change the lives of its members during the German Occupation? Discuss the social and individual benefits for each of the society’s members.
6. Juliet was engaged but broke of the marriage to Rob her fiancé because he had packed up 8 boxes of her books to be put in the basement. Juliet also turned down a marriage proposal from Markham V. Reynolds, Junior who is deemed as a ‘great catch’.
What makes Reynolds a ‘great catch’? Discuss Juliet’s relationship with him. How does Markham’s relationship with Juliet differ to Juliet’s relationship with Dawsey?
7. The novel is comical and light- hearted. Here are some quotes that are subtle but funny.
“Yes, dinner with pleasure. I’ll wear my new dress and eat like a pig.”
“P.S. That man has sent me another bale of orchids. I’m getting a nervous twitch, waiting for him to come out of hiding and make himself known. Do you suppose this is his strategy?”
What did you find funny in the book? Discuss British humor. How does British humor differ to American humor?
8. Books play an important role in each of the literary society members lives. Authors and poets ranged from Bronte sisters, Dickens, Charles Lamb to Robert Frost. Have you read any of the works mentioned? Were you surprised that Isola Pribby liked Wuthering Heights, and Amelia Maugery liked The Pickwick Papers?
9. There were many themes in the novel- war, love, books, and friendship to name a few. Which theme impacted you the most?
10. Do you think Sophie and Juliet were kindred spirits? Discuss how being an orphan changed Juliet. How did meeting Sophie at the boarding school impact Juliet?
11. What does the crystal paperweight with ‘Carpe Diem’ carved on its top mean to Juliet? How does it come to play in the book? Do you have something similar that you cling to?
12. Kit and Juliet’s relationship was close. Why did Kit take to Juliet? What qualities does Juliet have that make her a good mother?
13. Through researching material for her book, Juliet got firsthand accounts of many Guernsey’s residence memories of the Occupation. Which memories or stories made an impact on you? Which one was the most memorable?
14. The book was only 274 pages long. Did you find that the length was too short? Was it adequate to tell the story?
15. Were you surprised with the ending? Did you find Juliet’s action out of character?
16. After finishing the book, did it make you want to go to Guernsey?
17. Did you enjoy this book and who would you recommend it to?
To enhance your book club, check out book analysis and summary of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Check out our book review of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.