When I first encountered the publicity around this film, my first thought was. ‘Wow, that’s a long title.’ However, it certainly got my attention, therefore it was an ingenious move on the part of the author. Sadly the original author of the book (Anne Shafter) did not survive to complete the story and from what I understand; it was finalised by her niece (Annie Barrows).
Now if you are a regular reader of my Blog Posts, you will be aware of my interest in Historical films. You can, therefore, imagine my delight when this film hits the screens and not only is it a historical production, it is also a story about a young author? A perfect combination of my love for all things literary.
Set in post-World War Two Britain, we are first introduced to Juliet (Lily, James) as a young, wealthy but dissatisfied author. Juliet is a very attractive, upper-class young lady who has a passion for adventure that takes her to Guernsey; having corresponded with Dawsey (Michael Huisman)
Dawsey, a book lover and Pig Farmer, who she later discovers is a member of the Society, found her name in a second-hand book. At this point, he wasn’t aware that the name belonged to an author.
With books being scarce as a result of the German Occupation during the war, he corresponds with her, resulting in Juliet sending him a book to read. This connection leads her to visit Guernsey and her intention to write a newspaper article about ‘The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society’ which Dawsey mentioned in his correspondence.
This is a story of romance and mystery. The flashbacks to the wartime German Occupation provides the background information to the very quickly formed Society. Juliet soon realises that there are many secrets related to the time of the occupation, resulting in the locals abiding by the saying. ‘Loose lips sink ships.’ It takes some time for her to get to the bottom of the mystery that the society wishes to keep to themselves. However, along the way, a romance develops between the author and pig farmer; much to the disdain of Juliet’s wealthy American Fiancé.
Without giving away too many spoilers, I can report that this is an endearing film that kept me interested throughout. I enjoyed the opportunity to learn about the occupation in Guernsey and the social history related to the Islanders.
As a result of watching the film, I have been on the lookout for similar books and have discovered, ‘The Guernsey Novels’ written by Anne Allen. The novels are all stand alone, however, I started with ‘Dangerous Waters’ and have since read the second book in the series. I highly recommend these books, if you wish to be transported back to Guernsey and the Channel Isles. https://amzn.to/2Hm7tb2