5 books set in Guernsey

5th May 2023
5 books set in Guernsey

With its stunning coastline, unique culture, and fascinating history, Guernsey has inspired many a great novel. As a small island, it lends itself well as the backdrop to a murder mystery, though writers are equally drawn to the human experiences here during World War II and the German Occupation.

To mark Liberation Day, here are five of our favourite books set in Guernsey. Click on the titles to borrow them.


Exactly What You Mean by Ben Hinshaw 

On the island of Guernsey, a teenager discovers a secret that has the power to ruin lives. In London, a marriage shot through with infidelity leads to a quest for revenge. And in California, as wildfires burn, a veteran struggles with the trauma of war. In this extraordinary debut, a cast of characters with intersecting fates must grapple with unexpected deception, the loss of innocence and the lies we tell. With all eleven stories connecting back to the island of Guernsey…

Ben used to work at the Library and we had the pleasure of hearing him speak about his debut novel at the Guernsey Literary Festival in 2022.


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

“The harbour, with the town traipsing up steeply to the sky, must be one of the most beautiful in the world.”

It's 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer's block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - a total stranger living halfway across the Channel, who has come across her name written in a second hand book - she enters into a correspondence with him, and in time with all the members of the extraordinary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Through their letters, the society tell Juliet about life on the island, their love of books - and the long shadow cast by their time living under German occupation. Drawn into their irresistible world, Juliet sets sail for the island, changing her life forever.



A Place of Hiding by Elizabeth George

An isolated beach on the island of Guernsey is the scene of the murder of Guy Brouard, one of Guernsey's wealthiest inhabitants and its main benefactor. As family and friends gather for the reading of the will, Deborah and Simon St. James find that seemingly everyone on the history-haunted island has something to hide. And behind all the lies and alibis, a killer is lurking.

Number 12 in the Inspector Lynley Mysteries series, A Place of Hiding sees some of Elizabeth George’s lesser-known characters take centre stage in this Guernsey-based crime novel.


The French House by Jacquie Bloese

Set in Guernsey during the German Occupation in World War II, The French House is a moving and compelling novel with a love story at its heart. Left profoundly deaf after an accident, Émile is no stranger to isolation - or heartbreak. Now, as Nazi planes loom over Guernsey, he senses life is about to change forever.

Jacquie Bloese’s critically acclaimed debut novel is inspired by both her family history and her time working at Victor Hugo’s residence-in-exile, Hauteville House. 


The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G.B. Edwards

“Tonight the sea is pounding away on the rocks of La Petite Grève and the spray is dashing against my windows and the wind is whistling round the chimney and the fire burning blue in the grate. I am in the warm, and as old Jim would say, as snug as a bug in a rug.”

Ebenezer Le Page, cantankerous, opinionated, and charming, is one of the most compelling literary creations of the late twentieth century. Eighty years old, Ebenezer has lived his whole life on Guernsey. Ebenezer himself is fiercely independent, but as he reaches the end of his life, he is determined to tell his own story and the stories of those he has known. He writes of family secrets and feuds, unforgettable friendships, love glimpsed and lost. The Book of Ebenezer Le Page is a beautifully detailed chronicle of a life, but it is equally an oblique reckoning with the traumas of the twentieth century.


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