The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
Location: Ms. King's Room
1. Introductions (name & grade) - 1 minute

2. Ten Words or Less - 10 minutes
~ Summarize the book in ten words or less (three mins)
~ Share the summaries (make comments for each person's summary - why'd you write that, what does it mean, etc.)
~ Move forward with the discussion (maybe combine all the summaries into one major one which could include themes)

3. Run through the Characters (as there were a lot and describe the connections and relationships they had with Juliet and Elizabeth)
~ Could make a web of characters, details and how they are connected
~ Maybe pick one important character and do a whip. Every person says one significant thing about the character, using evidence from the text or
personal interpretation of that character - (try 30 seconds total as a challenge)
~ Pick a less important character and list everything the reader knows about him or her by the end of the book (even if he or she is not pivotal).
~ Who was your favorite character? Why? What qualities did he/she possess that attracted you to him/her?
~ Compare/contrast characters - Dawsey and Mark? What qualities did Dawsey possess that led to Juliet's ultimate decision?
~ What did you think of the relationships between certain characters? (i.e. Juliet and Mark, Juliet and Dawsey, Remy and Elizabeth, Juliet and Sophie, etc)

4. Questions:
~ How did you like the book? Why?
~ Did you understand the book? If not, what didn't make sense?
~ Did you like the format of the book?
~ What was your favorite part in the book?
~ How did you feel about the lack of a driving plot? Did that or did that not appeal to you?

5. Passages: Here it might be fun to have everyone pick her favorite passage and share it to the group (after reading, a little discussion could take place as to why it was the favorite passage, what the passage is depicting and what the passage means to the reader and characters involved)
~ Discuss what you think was the turning point in the novel
~ Chose a passage/letter from one of the characters and discuss the tone it is written in and what that suggests.

6. Themes:
~ Brief discussion on what you think the themes of the novel were (evidence with passage references if desired)
~ WWII and Holocaust - were you affected by the stories that were told? Did you learn anything new that you didn't know already about the Holocaust?

7. Conclusion
~ Did you think the book has a satisfying ending?
~ Whip: Come up with an alternate ending (30 seconds each).
~ Looking at the opening and closing sentence. Any connection?
~ What do you think happened next?
~ Do you know Elizabeth? (even though she wasn't a physical character)
~ If you could ask the authors anything, what would it be?
~ Why do you think Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows wrote this book? What did they want to communicate?
~ What does this book teach you about WWII and the Holocaust?
~ Discuss if this would be an acceptable novel for sophomore year research paper.
~ After reading the novel, what did you take away from the story that was told? (i.e. What you were most affected by)
~ Any questions still linger?
~ Final comments? - Did you like the novel?

8. Extra time website exploration
These are some websites I found about the island of Guernsey as well as about the book. If there's extra time, everyone could look around and discuss what they find or what they think about connections with the real island and events that happened in the book.


Caelainn Costello
I chose option E and decided to write a letter between Sidney and Juliet after Juliet's wedding.
17th November, 1946
Dear Juliet,
Congratulations! The wedding was absolutely beautiful. Be sure to tell Amelia that she did a fantastic job arranging flowers and decorating her garden. I’m sure she enjoyed it very much, seeing as the entire place turned out to be just as classy as she is. You must also tell Isola how beautiful the gown she made was. It was stunning and complimented you in every way. Lastly, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for choosing me to give you away. I must say I was a little nervous at first, but seeing you up there across from Dawsey relaxed me, for I knew he was the right one for you and not that Markham Reynolds. I still can not believe that you ever involved yourself with him in the first place! Just imagine your life right now married to him instead of Dawsey. Of course he would woo you and buy you endless amounts of gifts, but Dawsey is a man of good heart and I am so happy to see that you broke through his timid shell.
So now what, Juliet? You have finally fulfilled your dream, and may I point out that Dawsey Adams fits the description of a perfect man that you’ve always wanted. I must say that I am quite proud of myself for picking out your love for Dawsey. It would be such a shame to see you do nothing about it, but thanks to Isola for making you finally come to your senses. Your speech about the proposal and the experience almost brought me to tears. I don't think I could congratulate you enough! Although, there is a reason to this letter other than to congratulate you. I have decided to send you, Dawsey, and Kit back to London for a bit. Consider it a mini-honeymoon that I owe you. I know that living in London is the last thing you want to do, but I can’t bear not to see you. I don’t ask that you stay long, but just to come long enough so that I can take you all out to dinner a couple of times as a new family. Trust me, it will be fun!
While writing this note I came to the realization that you are no longer Ms. Juliet Ashton, but rather Mrs. Juliet Adams. How brilliant that sounds! I do hope that you two enjoy the rest of your lives together—for this is only the beginning. I am also ecstatic in your decision to adopt Kit. She is a marvelous little girl, and I know you will serve her justice by raising her as your own. Send my best to Dawsey, and I do hope to be seeing you three soon.

Love to you and your new family,

Carrie Adams:

Setting- YMCA
Jean and Karen are friends. They carpool their eight-year-olds to soccer practice, attend book group together, and were sorority sisters. Today, Karen is exercising on the treadmill. Jean walks in with her gym bag.
Karen? I thought that was you! You look great!
(catching her breath)
Oh Jean! It’s been so long! And thanks! My trainer at Weight Watchers has put me on a new workout regime! Oops! Did I just say that out loud?
(laughs) Don’t worry, your secret’s safe with me!
(Jean starts the treadmill next to Karen’s. She notices that Karen is set at a slow jogging pace, so she sets her machine whirring to a speed much faster)
(continuing to struggle to catch her breath) So, Jeannie, have you read the new book yet? What was it called?
Oh, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Wasn’t it just dreadful? What a bore!
(noticing Jean’s increased speed and feeling slightly competitive) Are you mad? I absolutely adored it!
Karen cranks up the speed of her treadmill to match Jean’s gait. Jean, noticing this, begins a full-on sprint.
Really? But nothing happened! Where was the excitement, the violence, the horror?
Exactly! The storyline was so tender.
But where was the plot?
There is no driving plot - it’s just the ordinary story of an ordinary person who meets extraordinary people along her way.
You call Isola part of an ordinary life? She practices witchcraft!
But she’s so sweet, tottery, and charming. She and Amelia were my favorite characters.
I think every character was much too weird and outrageous.
Okay, some were weird. But think about it. You have such a dislike toward them because you got to know them so well! The authors gave the reader the opportunity (gasps for breath) to know each character and then make decisions about him or her. Their quirks were a way for you to walk away from the book feeling like you really knew each character.
(after taking a long swig from her SmartWater) It’s interesting that you should say that, because that was something I planned on bringing up Monday evening with the girls. With the letter format I felt like I really didn’t know the characters at all. The specific words that come out of the mouths of characters are so important to me, and I felt like I didn’t get that with this format.
I get what you mean, but I think that the format was an insightful way to get different perspectives on the same situation. Although the main character in the story is clearly Juliet, she has interactions with so many people that it is important to get their perspectives too. Most books are written with dialogue and scenes, but I found it particularly interesting that we could still get exactly what was going on just by picturing the scene as it is retold by Dawsey, Isola, Amelia, and Juliet.
(After this long spiel, Karen drops her speed down, admitting defeat in the running competition)
(smiling complacently at her athletic prowess) Even so, I think that the book dealt with World War II too lightly. This was a serious event, and they really just skirt around it.
I guess you’re right, but I think that it’s just another example of how this book is different and interesting. Lots of books talk about the war and its battles, but few talk about the later repercussions.
Maybe, but I also don’t like the idea of a “good” Nazi. Elizabeth’s beau, What’s-His-Name, is a Nazi yet portrayed as good. That seems so wrong to me.
Everyone has two sides, Jeannie. Remember that boy you met our senior year in the Kappa house? You thought he was a total dog, but he ended up being so sweet to you!
Yeah. And then you stole him!
(uncomfortable) So, back to the book we were talking about. Oh yes.
Well that Nazi was a dog (because all Nazis are dogs) and that boy from Kappa was a dog too! And anyway, I think the mystery of Elizabeth’s fate was overly done.
That was my favorite part, Jeannie. I loved that you got to know a character so vividly but never even met her. You learned about her from what Dawsey (or Isola or Amelia) tell Juliet who tells Sidney. When she died I mourned, too.
Well, I’ve got five minutes, then I’ve got to go pick up the kids at Daycare. But first can we please talk about the ending? You’ve got to admit it was sappy.
Okay, I’ll concede to that. Although it was very sweet!
But it built up to the romance between Juliet and Dawsey and then wrapped it up much too quickly! It was as though the author had to make it to printing and only had ten minutes. You know what I heard? Now you know Sally is a gossip, but I heard that Mary Ann Shaffer died before the book was finalized. Maybe her niece Annie Barrows had something to do with the ending.
I doubt that. I think that I was disappointed with the ending just because I didn’t want the story to end! People’s lives don’t just end, they go on. I want to know what happened to Dawsey and Juliet and Kit. I miss them!
I guess we’ll have to continue this on Monday. Got to run! (She steps off treadmill gingerly)
See you soon! But just so you know, I still think that Kappa was a dog.


Laura Pietropaoli:
I chose option F, so I wrote a dialogue between two people. One person liked the book, and one didn't.
Liz stepped off the treadmill and immediately spotted her old friend Jane. The two women had bonded over the years by discussing books and news stories. Liz had just finished a new book and was eager to talk about it.

“Jane!” Liz called out as she approached her friend. “How are you?” The two shared a quick hug despite the sweat on both of their bodies.

“I’m doing well. How about you?” Jane replied cheerfully.

“Fine, great. How’s your dad doing?”

“Oh, well,” Jane sighed. “He’s all right. Actually, he’s getting better. Even though he won’t admit it, the fall made him worried. He knows he’s getting old, you know?”

“Yeah... He’s not really that old. All the best to him, though.”

“Thanks. Anyway, have you read anything good lately?”

“I have, actually. I stayed up until nearly 2:30 last night finishing The Guernsey - something Potato Pie...well, the title’s annoyingly long, but I loved the book so much! Have you read it?” Liz answered excitedly.

“Oh right. It’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I think that’s right,” Jane said.

“Yeah, yeah, that’s it!”

“Um, yep. I’ve read it. I finished it last week while on vacation at my brother’s lake house,” Jane said. “I didn’t actually like it all that much.”

“Really, why?”

“Well, I found it pretty boring, to be honest. You know I like to read books with more adventure or suspense. I sort of liked the part about finding out what happened to Elizabeth, but it seemed like a little bit of an afterthought. She was a very interesting character, but there was too much stuff going on around her plot.

“Also, I didn’t really like how it was told in letters. I wasn’t able to get to know the characters as well, you know? I hardly remember anyone’s name now!” Jane explained.

“Hmm. Well, I thought it was a cool way to get to know the characters. They all wrote their letters in such different ways. You could tell when certain people were talking by the language used in their letters,” Liz commented.

“But some of them were so similar. I just thought it all got jumbled up. There were too many plots and too many characters sharing different or the same information with each other. I thought it was both confusing and boring,” Jane finished with a shrug.

“Well,” Liz started. She paused to gather her thoughts. “ I thought the book was fascinating. Elizabeth’s story was definitely my favorite though. When Remy wrote to the Society, I got really excited to finally hear about Elizabeth. I liked how Juliet and would find out new things about the island people all the time. It made Guernsey seem secretly mysterious, if that makes sense. You only know it holds secrets if you know about its past.”

“That makes sense. I already said that I liked Remy’s story, but it was a little bit exciting when Juliet would hear stories about what went on during the war,” Jane admitted. She still knew that this wasn’t her favorite book.

“I loved all of that! I also liked how the authors used the Holocaust as a background. I don’t like reading about all of the horrible things that happened during that time. I feel like crying and usually never finish the book. But this had a good amount to make it seem real, but not so real that you feel like you’re going to throw up.”

“Yeah. I’ve done a lot of research on the Holocaust, and it was pretty accurate even though it wasn’t really gruesome. I understand where you’re coming from.”

“The way the authors portrayed the time period was pretty spot on as well.” Liz added next. “Everyone writes in a way that suggests something a little formal, but they also joke around as well. I thought it was interesting, because nowadays, when I write emails and messages to my friends, they’re usually pretty silly and informal. It’s hard to realize that they probably didn’t have too many slang words back then.

“Also, I liked how the relationship between Mark and Juliet turned out. Mark isn’t the type of guy for Juliet, and she knows it. Actually, I wanted to punch Mark square in the face from the moment he was introduced. I thought it was funny when she said she likes men in books better than she does in real life. I giggled a little bit when I read that part. She sounds just like me!” Liz laughed.

“She does! When I read that part, I thought, wow, this sounds so much like Liz!” Jen said somewhat sarcastically. Jen didn't think anything of the sort while reading, but recognized the connection now. Liz actually hated men in books. She always complained about them to Jen. However, she also complained about men in the real world as well. The two friends both made fun of her for it.

“Wow!” Liz glanced at the clock on the wall. “I’d better get going, I have to go to brunch with Kathy.” Liz rolled her eyes.

“Oh!” Jane laughed. “Have fun with that. I’ll see you later, then. We should definitely do dinner soon.”

“Definitely! I’ll invite Kathy!” Liz and Jane laughed together, said their goodbyes, and went about their business.

Nina Prescott:
For my creative piece, I chose assignment B: I rewrote the scene of Juliet proposing to Dawsey from the viewpoint of Juliet herself.
Dear Sidney,
You left at exactly the wrong time. You must be very proud of yourself for figuring out my love for Dawsey, but I was completely wrong about him. He’s not in love with Remy! I thought I was such a fool, but then Isola told me something astounding. I couldn’t believe it. She too believed that Dawsey fancied Remy, and so she stealthily searched his house looking for clues (you know, keepsakes and things). Well, she found nothing that could trace back to Remy- not even past letters exchanged between them. What she didn’t mention to me until later was that she found pictures and letters from, if you can believe it, me. You can imagine my surprise and absolute joy at these words, although I don’t think Isola knew how happy she had made me. Do you remember that crystal paperweight on my desk? The one with carpe diem inscribed on it? I could tell it was practically screaming out to me, and I didn’t wait a second longer. I marched up to the Big House and found Dawsey; he was helping someone out as always. I wasn’t going to take any more guessing, so I asked the other men to leave and simply asked him to marry me. I don’t think I’d ever seen him look so stunned before. Finally he clattered down his ladder (did I mention that? Yes, I proposed while he was on top of a huge stepladder in the middle of work). He said yes, of course, and I could not have been more overjoyed. I had seized the day, and I was quite victorious, don’t you think?

Sydney Pellerin: I chose option A: write an alternate ending.

17 September 1946

Dear Sidney,

My predictions were right, and I’m afraid I have no other option but to pack my bags and cross the Channel yet again. This will simply spare me any embarrassment that I’m sure will come my way, for it is just not possible for me to contain myself any longer. Maybe it is just destiny that we end up together. Simply writing and consulting each other for the simple struggles of life. This is the relationship the people of Guernsey always thought we had, right?

I suppose you’re wondering where all of this melodramatic writing is coming from. I’m sure you’re saying to yourself right now “Juliet is such a reasonable person, something must really be wrong.” Well, Sidney, let me tell you, I think I have made a horrible mistake.

It all stared the day of Dawsey’s beach party. As I had told you previously there had been some rumors circulating around the residents of Guernsey that Dawsey had an announcement to share. In fear that it was regarding Remy and Dawsey’s togetherness, (for I had seen them canoodling together down on the very romantic western beach) I consulted Isola. I suppose you could say in short I confessed my, mhmm, love for Dawsey.

Once the word love escaped my lips I knew there was no turning back. Isola’s face had turned the most curious shade of green I had ever seen before. I knew something was up and I had to figure it out. It is only my nature as you know.

She explained that recently Dawsey had appeared to be the happiest she had been in some time. Isola exclaimed that it was because of Remy, and insisted on taking matters into her own hands to ensure a happy life for Dawsey. Isola slowly explained that she had persuaded Dawsey to allow her to clean his house. Surprised by such a courteous gesture, Dawsey willingly gave his house up for the day. Little did Dawsey know Isola had an alternate motive. Disgusted with the idea of old mister Dawsey living alone for the rest of his life she decided to put on her detective shoes. If only she had known at the time how I was feeling about him. I suppose that is the curious thing about life, isn’t it? If only this, if only that. It only seems that recently I am saying that, I am not longer living in the present, I seem to have forgotten how.

Without a break in her speech, Isola confessed that she had snooped, meddled, intruded, and every other verb one can think of for spying. She backed it all up by saying that by exploring Dawsey’s house she would be able to uncover the mystery between Remy and Dawsey’s relationship. Unfortunately for myself, what she found was not promising for a further relationship with Dawsey.

I’m sure that you are just sitting on the edge of your seat right now waiting to hear what it is Isola found; but by this point, believe me, it was taking everything I had from keeping myself from running to the top of the lighthouse, just a mere half mile up the road, and confessing my love for Dawsey to the whole island. Thank God I didn’t, we would not want a repeat of the drama that was brought to us after the Gilly Gilbert incident would we? As Isola paused, I told her I didn’t want to know what it is she found. I couldn’t bare it.

As the night drew near, I knew that if I had attended Dawsey’s party I would not be able to keep myself together. Remy instead took Kit with her as I explained that I had come down with a fever. I wished them both the best of luck and proceeded back to my bed to cry.

Funny thing about this whole situation, I never imagined it would be me. I always pictured some theatrical princess in my place. Only instead of losing the love of their life, somehow everything would work out, and they would live happily ever after. I am afraid Sidney. I don’t think there will be any happily ever after for me. Kit came back giddy as ever and screamed that Remy and Dawsey were to marry this Christmas.

I nearly died.

Yours forever,


P.S. I had second thoughts about sending this letter off to you, but I figured it would be better to tell you in letter form than a face to face confrontation.

P.P.S. Please do not try to convince me out of returning home. I must. I have no other choice.

19 September 1946

Dear Juliet,

I am terribly sorry to hear of the marriage. Despite your pleads to not convince you to stay in Guernsey, I must try. Juliet, you have been your happiest in Guernsey. You looked so healthy and glowing last time I visited you. I wouldn’t be telling you to stay away from me unless I thought it was the best thing for you. I know you hate to listen to me, but at such a vulnerable stage as you are at, you must.

What would Kit do? You mean so much to that wonderful girl, you couldn’t imagine leaving her, could you? What about your piece for the Times. Everything that you have now is in Guernsey. I will even be there.

Juliet, I have already packed my bags and have arranged with Isola a place to live when I arrive on the twenty fifth of September. Remember Juliet, together we can do this.

Much love to you and Kit,


Caitlin Crawford:

I choose to add another ending to the one that was written.

Condolences to Elizabeth
8th September, 1946
From Juliet to Elizabeth
Dear Elizabeth,

I know you are long gone, as I have recently discovered, but I just wanted to thank you for the impact your life has made on my own. Even though I never met you in person, you were ever present since I first became affiliated with Guernsey Isle. It was this past January, the 12th to be exact, when I received a letter that would dramatically change my life. It was addressed from a man named Dawsey, who had recently obtained one of the novels that I had donated as my shelves are constantly bursting at the seams. Dawsey and I thus started a correspondence in which we would ponder and analyze novels that we felt were necessary readings of all those who inhabit Europe. It was through one of our discussions that Dawsey first mentioned the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. I was immediately intrigued with such a concept as I had never heard of Guernsey Isle, let along of a potato peel pie. Imagine my bewilderment when I discovered it was a literary club! Being so involved with books, as a writer and an avid reader myself, I became so enchanted with Guernsey and this literary club. As I gathered more knowledge about the founding and the events that took place on this Isle during World War II, I decided that my next novel would be about this Isle and the people who inhibited it during the German occupation. It was then that I first started to receive letters from townsfolk of the Isle, telling me their own personal stories. The letters created people, each with their own succinct personality, who I was able to develop a unique bond and relationship with. The common thread throughout these letters though was your name. As I became more involved with these people, I decided that letters weren’t enough, and I had to physically be on the Isle write such a paper. On May 22nd I set foot on Guernsey Isle and my life changed forever.

I soon became well acquainted with the people on the Isle, and it was a wonder to see their eyes light up as they were telling a story. You were a major character, as I said before, in most of them. The town still talks about how you slapped Adelaide Addison when you both were preparing the children to be shipped to an unknown destination to remain safe from the Germans. You were a remarkable women, whose passion to help those other than yourself was boundless. You kept your wits about you, and many times saved your friends from German interrogation. I mean, isn’t that how the society was founded? You were able to remain level-headed when the Germans started questioning as to why you were out late at night and poof the literary club was created. I can only hope that I will be able to make such decisions, even though they are not life and death, with the same remarkable ability that you did so as to have no doubt in my mind that it was right. I lastly must add, that no one is upset with you getting involved with a German soldier as they know it was out of love, and not lust. If World War II had not be occurring your relationship would be deemed picturesque. I hope that someday my relationship with Dawsey will turn out as such - love extending to all aspects of life making the soul feel complete.

While your daughter, Kit, never got to know you, the town’s love for you will help us in making sure Kit realizes what a selfless women and amazing mother you were. Kit is now four years old with stunning blonde hair and very loose curls. Her eyes are a shade of grey that when one looks at to long they get lost in the abyss of the sea. I have been told by Dawsey, “that she doesn’t resemble you very much, except for your eyes and is like her mother inside - fierce in her feelings” (128). One can only imagine the beauty that you were and the spirit you possessed that could change the wind to blow the way it wanted to. Kit too has that restless spirit that needs constant attention or soon you’ll find her in nooks and crannies where a little child should never be found. She recently has been “hoping to find a boa constrictor under a rock” (115), but luckily she hasn’t. But with her restlessness comes kindness and a huge heart. She always is most content when she is strolling on Dawsey’s shoulders through the field over to the jagged and rough cliff’s edge. She loves staring out into the huge expanse of dark ocean, squinting as if trying to see some far off ship carrying passengers to a new world.

Elizabeth, she’ll go places, you just wait. While I’ll never amount to the woman or mother you were, I hope to have as much love and passion for Kit, as you did and still do. I’ll never replace you or let Kit forget about the woman who shaped and created not only herself, but the people of Guernsey and the island itself. I will do everything in my power to make sure that Kit is able to sail the sea to her heart’s content, like you had so longed to do with your German man, so as she can fulfill her restless spirit and find happiness. Thus, when she does return, as I know she will, she’ll be ready to settle down and relay her adventurous tales to us all with a full soul.

Elizabeth, I must admit something to you. It’s not a very good story, but it’s something I must get off of my conscience. We tried to bring Remy to Guernsey. You remember her, right? You saved her life. We tried to bring her to Guernsey under the idea that the fresh salt water air would clear her head of all the horrors of her previous life. I was mistaken and foolish. One can’t merely forget about one’s past. Memories, the good and the bad, are what shape who were are as people and how we live out our lives. Remy told me her story with such detail, that at times I found myself on the verge of getting sick. Just picturing you and others as prisoners of war, ill and sickly thin from hunger losing faith of ever returning home, gave me nightmares. But even in such a heinous and vile place, you managed to keep your head. You stuck up for people even though you didn’t know them. It shows your true spirit, in which you believed that all people should have the opportunity to live and be free of prejudice. “Your strength did not fail you, nor did your mind, not ever - you just saw one cruelty too many” (182). That is what lead to your death. You were a fighter from the very start, fighting for your believes even if they went against the normal societal tendencies as it was morally right to do so. While Remy was unable to stay, due to her mental instability (as proven by the incident with the dog), she, like myself and everyone else, will all feel your presence at our side.

The memories and things I have experienced since reaching Guernsey have helped my soul be fulfilled. I am now the person I want to be, my true self. One who strives to follow her beliefs and help others gain the ability to become themselves. Thank you for allowing me to become apart of your life. They are the fond memories of you that drive this town and the people. While this is my final farewell to you, it is not the end. Merely, it’s the beginning to a life full of happiness, surprises and love. New memories will be created, but the old will never be forgotten! It is as Mr. Dilwyn told me recently, “‘Let us leave well enough alone at the moment’” (185). Amen and hears to the Guernsey Isle and a potato peel pie.

Juliet Ashton

Lorrie King: