Last year, Netflix distributed a movie of The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society which I watched as it starred Lily James and I adore her. (Lady Rose for the win!) Then it turned out that Jessica Brown Findley was also in it, and Penelope Walton and my Downton Abbey obsessed brain exploded.
The movie was cute and breezy, even if it dealt with some dark things (German occupation and British post war depression,) and I kept meaning to pick up the book and read it, because I found the movie so completely charming, so I dove into the book full force.
I found the book even more charming, if you can believe it! It’s a book about people who love books! It’s very British, and post war! It’s epistolary! More books should be epistolary, it’s such a delightful writing device.
Epistolary means that the story is told through letters and notes, and it was used a lot in the 18th century and isn’t used much anymore, and it should be, because it’s wonderful. My favorite modern version is a trilogy that Meg Cabot wrote in the early 2000s that uses emails. The Boy Next Door, Boy Meets Girl and Every Boy’s Got One. 10/10 highly recommend it.
Anyway, back to Guernsey, which tells the story of a writer named Juliet who stumbles upon the story of a small island in the English Channel that was occupied by the Nazis during World War II and finds herself drawn to the people there. A small group resisted by forming a book club, and one of their number was eventually arrested and died in a concentration camp. Juliet decides to tell her story.
That’s pretty heavy stuff, but the epistolary nature of the book as well as the “stepping out of the darkness of the war into the light of possibility” timing of the story keeps things breezy. It’s only upon reflection that you realize the horrors this book is communicating. That’s good writing.
Once again, I think this is a book that I’m going to have to buy a copy of at some point, because I see it becoming one that I’ll read again and again.
Up next is Throne Of Glass by Sarah Maas, I’m interested in picking up this series, which Maggie over at Magpie Making Due is very into. (Maggie and I align on many things, so I trust that it’s pretty up my alley.) (Seriously, we’ve been trading recomendations for nearly a decade, she hasn’t steered me wrong.) (Also, we both hate Outlander.)