The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Review

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a mouthful, but it's such a pleasure to watch.

I was ready to cancel Netflix because they've had nothing but crap on lately. I happened to see this title, and looking like a period piece, decided to take a chance.

If you are a reader, a writer, a WWII buff, or an Anglophile, you'll come away glad to have seen this. At first, I was afraid it was going to be one of those sappy Hallmark movies because frankly, the film synopsis is as dull as dust, but don't let it fool you. This is a gem in hiding.

It's about a young writer who receives a letter from a resident from the island of Guernsey in the English Channel. He tells her how his literary group discovered her personal copy of  "Essays of Elia" while Guernsey was under Nazi occupation. His letter intrigues her and she goes off to meet their little literary society. In the back story, you discover the Society's bizarre origins. It was created as a means to break curfew during the Nazi occupation.

It's about war and hardships; about isolation and unbreakable friendships. You walk away knowing these characters and feeling for them right down to your bones.

Greg is the WWII buff, but I'm more interested in what makes people tick when privation is palpable and dire. This movie delivers on both counts.

The beginning is slightly uneven as it weaves its story between 1946 England and Guernsey during Nazi occupation but eventually it falls into step so it's easy to know when they're flashing back.

The settings and costumes are detailed and correct--except for the plane, but only vintage plane buffs will catch it. You are transported to 1940s England during and after WWII. The characters are so real you hurt and cheer for them as their lives and stories unfold. The story is told in layers and each layer locks into the story line of another character.

I honestly did not know that any part of England had been under occupation so I was held in rapt awe as I watched how they managed in complete isolation. The island is beautiful and rugged and gently surreal.

I wish I could tell you more but I don't want to ruin the sheer delight of revealing each of the characters. Go see it. That's all I can tell you. Go and fall in love with Guernsey and her inhabitants.

I canceled Netflix in the end, but I was glad I caught this before I called it quits with them. Recommended.


I have this on my list to watch, but I'm hesitant because I read the book ages ago and loved it. Not sure how this will compare.

I watch all kinds of older shows on Netflix, but one new show I really enjoy is GLOW.
lynnviehl said…
I actually read the book a few years back, and enjoyed it a lot, so I'll definitely get the movie on DVD now. Thanks for the rec, Maria. :)
marlenedotterer said…
I tried searching for it on Netflix and can't get anything to come up.
marlenedotterer said…
Never mind, I found it. Thanks for pointing it out!
Maria Zannini said…
Madeline: A blogger friend of mine thought it was just as good as the book. If you have Netflix it's well worth the time.
Maria Zannini said…
Lynn: I was pleasantly surprised. It's the kind of story that makes you keep thinking about it long after its over.
Maria Zannini said…
Marlene: Oh, good. I'm glad you found it.
Michael Keyton said…
Despite your enthusiasm, I've a feeling this isn't my kind of film, but then what do I know? On my wife's insistence I went to see Mama Mia II and ended up crying in the baptism scene.
Betty said…
I'm going to have to check this out. It sounds like my kind of movie. I'm working my way through the series offered on Netflix. We also got Amazon Prime which has opened up a whole new venue of things to watch. We'll eventually fade out Netflix, I think :)

Maria Zannini said…
Mike: After so many favorable reviews I finally saw Mama Mia. Greg seemed to like it, but I was bored to tears. I hated the story. I will not be seeing #2.
Maria Zannini said…
Betty: I've had Netflix for a while and we've binged on every series we liked from years ago, but very little of their new offerings are worth the money. I'm thinking of switching to Hulu.
LD Masterson said…
I hadn't heard of this one but it sounds like something I'd really enjoy. I'll check it out. Thanks.
Maria Zannini said…
Linda: I think you would like this one. Try it. Once you get immersed with the characters you can't let go.