The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society #FilmReview #BriFri
Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I shared my thoughts on Topsy-Turvy, a film about Gilbert & Sullivan. Tina reviewed Women of the Dunes, a novel about an archaeologist working in Scotland. Heather reviewed the quirky book, The Bespoke Society: A Guide To… London. Sim was looking forward to seeing Matthew Goode in two projects — The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society and Ordeal by Innocence.
As I mentioned in my G is for Guernsey post in April, I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society in 2009 (according to Goodreads because I didn’t have a blog yet). The story, presented as a series of letters about books, was very popular among librarians and other book lovers when it was published in 2008.
Given the popularity of the book, I’m a little surprised that the movie didn’t get a US theatrical release. The film opened in the UK in the spring to mostly positive reviews. The economics of film have surely changed if it made more sense for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society to open in the US via Netflix.
Since I read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society long ago and didn’t write any kind of review, I have only the vaguest of memories. World War II. Occupation by German soldiers. Island in the English Channel. Book club. Letters. A woman writer with an idea. A general feeling of warm nostalgia for a time and place I’ve never been.
A faulty memory may have helped me enjoy the film more. I wasn’t comparing it to the book and I didn’t know, in advance, how things were going to play out. I missed the primacy of letters, but I was pretty sure that no one can make a compelling movie told entirely through written correspondence. A few letters at the beginning set the tone enough for me to enjoy the film.
The film is beautiful. I wondered if it were filmed on the island of Guernsey. Sim did the research and discovered that the filming locations were in Devon and Cornwall. I loved learning that Sim’s neighbor, who spent her early childhood on the island before evacuating due to the war, recognized the setting as home, anyway.
Have you read or seen The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society?
I haven’t seen the movie but did enjoy the book very much.
I enjoyed the book. I don’t buy Netflix so will have to wait until my library buys it.
I’m still disappointed—and surprised—it didn’t get a big screen release! And even while it wasn’t shot in Guernsey, it does make me want to visit there. Glad you enjoyed it.
I enjoyed the book about ten years ago and I’d love to see this movie! I probably would have gone to see it in the theater if it had been released in the US. Brag moment: I met Annie Barrows once and have a photo of my star-struck daughter with her (Barrows also wrote the Ivy and Bean books for kids).
I’ve had the book on my shelf for what seems like forever – but it always had to wait for that ‘free’ moment -but I had such a ‘morning’ in all the bad ways on Monday that retreat was the best option -so I watched the film – and adored it- the setting, the sense of ‘community’ and ‘the secret that wasn’t’… I’m hoping to read the book that’s been calling to me from the shelf soon
I loved the book and thought the movie was just okay. I think it’s one of those movies where if you haven’t read the book you like it and if you have you’re disappointed
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