I missed this book when it was first released though I have heard of it prior to my exposure to it this year, just never read it. I came to it through book tuber Jen Campbell who did a series of Instagram stories advertising the film release by talking about book club communities. Having researched what the story was about I figured it was something hubby and I would both enjoy and we took ourselves off to the cinema. We were captivated by it to be honest. A fictional account based in fact about the German occupation of Guernsey during WWII, the story follows a London based author on a journey to discover the post war realities for occupants of the Island who had started up a book club during the occupation.
Having watched the film and been enchanted by it I was fortunate enough to come across a copy of the book in a charity shop and I devoured it in one sitting. The book is written in epistolary format, a novel that tells its story through correspondence – here letters and telegrams. The author protagonist, Juliet, has produced a successful series of books during the war that light-heartedly take aim at the British, and though she is pleased with her success she wants to move on and write something serious. Her first book, a biography about Anne Bronte, had sold few copies but nevertheless she wants to do something meaningful. But what. One day she receives a letter from a man in Guernsey who had come across a copy of a book that Juliet had once owned, by Charles Lamb. He asks Juliet to source him a copy of another Charles Lamb book and mentions the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. A correspondence commences between the pair that reveals the perfect story to Juliet and thus she travels to Guernsey to meet with the club.
There are several characters corresponding throughout the book, thus the story has continuity when Juliet is in Guernsey, meeting with the bookclub.
I thought this was a lovely and yet tragic story. A story set around the War and the inevitable loss that that brought to so many people’s lives. The human spirit wins out though and there is hope and happiness despite and inspite of the tragedy. I thought the presentation of the book in letter format was particularly effective though I wouldn’t have thought it would be. This is a little gem, a pleasant and happy read and highly recommended.