The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows (Book Review + Movie Trailer)

Publisher: Bloomsbury
Page Count: 250

Okay, this must have been one of the longest titles to EVER exist on my blog. The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society is quite a mouthful, but don’t get intimidated by the title (which will from here on out just be Guernsey Lit or something for simplicity)! This was the second book that I chose as my giveaway prize from the one Ari @The Romance Corner Blog was amazing enough to host. So another shout out to her for making it possible for me to read that book!

Most of you who have followed my blog for a while now, know that I struggle with books set during or around the time of World War II (especially if you have read my review of Wolf by Wolf). Being from the country that I am from, we just seem to have a continued peculiar relationship with the topic and due to the way it was heavily treated at school, I was usually not very fond of spending even more thoughts on it in my free time. However, all of that doesn’t change that those books usually end up having quite the impact on me and it wasn’t much different this time either.

Guernsey Lit is completely told in letters between various parties. Some people may only appear once while others are visible main characters. It was easy to fall in love with them all, each having their own voice, wit and humour about them. I am not sure I could pick any favourites, however, I do love Dawsey Adams. He is the one who initiated contact with Juliet because he found a second-hand book that once belonged to her. It turns out he is quiet, kind and considerate but it is most of all that shared passion for literature that brought him and Juliet closer. Honestly, this must be the dream scenario for any bookworm looking for romance! I shipped it hard. But seriously, where is my Dawsey Adams??

I enjoyed reading how Juliet got closer and closer to the members of the society with time, yet through letters alone, because it reminded me so much of the 1940s version of our very own bookish online community. I have found so many dear friends that I wouldn’t want to miss from my life through blogging and reading, so whenever someone would suggest she didn’t even know these people for real, I felt offended on her behalf. Also, her meeting them for the first time was just brilliant as well and also reminded me of online friends meeting in real life!

As a whole, I wouldn’t describe Guernsey Lit as a heavy read at all, having marked several paragraphs that had me laughing out loud, but at the same time it does cover the topic of war and the feelings of grief, anger, loss, helplessness, frustration and fear that come with it. There was this one particular part told from someone who was sent to a concentration camp and it reminded me of my visit to one of those camps. They are usually done with school where I am from and by chance we met this elderly man while we were there and even though he only spoke French (me and some of my classmates translated for the rest of the class), he wanted to tell us his story. It was the first time he came to visit as some of his relatives had died in that very camp. It was heart-wrenching and sad, but to that man it was important to talk about what happened. He didn’t need us to reply, I am not sure we would have had the right words, he just needed someone to listen. I feel like that is very much the same thing with the people in that book and the story that they are all trying to tell, whether it was on purpose or not. WWII was one of the most atrocious times in human history and while I understand that some people rather wouldn’t be reminded of it, it is also necessary to acknowledge that it happened and to prevent it from ever happening again.

The last quarter of the book seemed to loose focus a little bit. I was a tad confused by the direction it took on and didn’t really see all of the storylines as necessary, because some of them were quite a bit whacky. However, that did not subtract from my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

And lastly, here is the trailer for the movie adaptation that will release mid to the end of April! I am in love with the cast, and not just because it is a sort of mini Downton Abbey reunion, but because I have followed the careers of most of those actors a while and loved their work. They obviously had to change quite a bit to get the characters together sooner though, since they couldn’t just rely on letters for the storytelling (I think that would not be very visually pleasing?). I am not too anxious, even though I can really see a lot of changes, but I am worried about one of my favourite storylines being cut – the adoption storyline! It’s another topic near and dear to my heart, but I  don’t want to say any more as to not spoil anything. It doesn’t look like that will be in the movie at all though, as well as another, in my opinion, important storyline. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below, especially if you have read the book as well!

 

Fazit: 5/5 stars! Did not expect to fall in love with it the way I did.

Are you going to read the book? Have you already? Do you want to watch the movie? Let’s chat!

 

22 thoughts on “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows (Book Review + Movie Trailer)

  1. That really was a beautiful review, Kat – and it sounds like you had amazing picks for this giveaway price so yay for that as well!
    I really like the fact that it’s told in letters, it sounds so very interesting to read this way – and Dawsey, well from everything you’ve said about him, it just makes me dreamy and where can we have someone like that?
    To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll read this book, given that I am not a fan of WWII settings or historical settings like that in general… so I’m not really sure, but you make it sound really good. So happy you enjoyed it so much 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Marie! I put a lot of heart into that review, so I am glad you liked it. And totally! I had such a lucky hand in picking those books. Good thing I followed my gut feeling.
      Letter formats are always something I like a lot, but I understand if that’s not something you necessarily want to read. It’s a very specific topic.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’d never heard of this book until I saw the trailer for the movie a few weeks ago but as soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to read the book and see the movie! I’m not usually a fan of War Fiction but there was something about this that really intrigued me! You’ve wrote a really great detailed review that has made me want to read it even more!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. THE TRAILER LOOKS SO GOOD, OMG.
    I’m so happy that you enjoyed it as much as you did! I completely agree that this book’s plot sounds like the dream of every bookworm out there, I’m a bit in love only from what I’ve heard from you. I think I might try to read the book before I watch the movie since you made me so curious about it and I also adore how it’s told through letters. I think I told you before, but I just love books with unique formats.
    Lovely review!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s a surprisingly quick and short read, so I definitely think you could squeeze it in before the movie 😊 I hope you’ll enjoy it. I love books with that format as well. Have you read Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern?

      Like

  4. hehe yup that is most certainly a long title. So cool you got this as part of a giveaway 😀 I do relate to struggling with books set during WW2 and find myself drifting away from the topic more and more (trying to change that though). However I do find the books I read on the topic very impactful too. I do want to give this a go and I love the sound of the bookish community here. This sounds like it was brilliantly done, even if it lost some focus towards the end. Amazing review!!

    Liked by 1 person

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