I had no idea what to expect when I started watching The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society but I ended up really enjoying it! I don’t watch a lot of historical or war era movies so I liked that this one takes place after World War II has ended. A young author, Juliet Aston, decides to travel to the island of Guernsey after hearing about a unique book club formed during the German occupation of the island. But not everything is as it seems and this book club has it’s secrets that they don’t want a writer finding out.
“Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instincts in books that brings them to their perfect readers.”
This was a unique movie that is equal parts romance and equal parts history and I loved getting a look into this part of history. As Juliet, played by Lily James, spends more time on the island she finds the home that’s been missing since her parents were killed in the London bombings. She also begins to fall for a member of the book club, Dawsey Adams played by Michiel Huisman which certainly complicated things because she’s recently gotten engaged to her boyfriend back home in London. Juliet and Dawsey have a complicated slow burn but I liked the way their relationship developed because it felt very real considering all the circumstances surrounding their time together.
I also really enjoyed the historical aspects of the movie and they were probably my favorite part because it was fascinating and also troubling to learn about the German occupation of the island and how it affected all these people’s lives. I absolutely adored the book club and all it’s quirky members and they really created the atmosphere for the movie. It’s heartbreaking to think about things that happened during the war but I also believe it’s important to talk about these smaller stories that don’t get covered in a traditional school history class. As a note for viewers, there is a backstory to one of the characters that involves a romance with a German solider/medic and I know the topic of romanticizing Nazi soldiers is controversial for many people. This is shown through flashbacks and though it’s not the main focus it does affect the events happening in the current time frame.
Released August 2018