Ah, Guernsey. This is one of those books/movies that feels like a warm hug from someone wearing a large and soft knit sweater. Something about it is just so cozy and nice.
I’d forgotten about Guernsey, but then something (I don’t remember what… probably pinterest) brought it to my attention and I rewatched this delightful little movie.
How I forgot about something so homey and happy and lovely, I don’t know. But anyway, here’s all the little reasons why Guernsey, the book aaaannnnnd the movie, are so great.
(Also, excuse the details I may miss. It’s been a while since I read the book and I know the movie combines/omits some minor characters.) (Also prepare yourselves for many gifs and much gushing.)
- The characters! They’re all so inventive and unique. There’s quirky and romantic Isola; kind Eben; thoughtful and rational Sydney; shy, dear, dear Dawsey; charming but uuuugh obnoxious Mark; reserved but warmhearted Amelia… am I missing anyone? Oh! Elizabeth McKenna! And Kit! Aww Kit. I love her. She’s adorable. And so sweet. And Elizabeth. Wow. I admire her. So so much. I wish I had her that kind of fearlessness and conviction. OH AND JULIET. (How did I forget the main character?? I blame my memory loss on school. *glares at my math textbook*) I love Juliet. She’s so cute and sweet and outgoing and she’s a writer! I really like how she’s not portrayed as this gloriously successful carefree author. She published a book or two but she wants to write something that matters. She has this deep love/appreciation/delight in reading and I don’t know, I just love her spunk. She’s deep but joyful and I really strive to be that way.
I think this quote sums up my sentiments (and Juliet’s of course since she’s the narrator here) toward the characters pretty well:
I’ve been in Guernsey only twenty hours, but each one has been so full of new faces and ideas that I’ve reams to write. You see how conducive to working island life is? Look at Victor Hugo – I may grow prolific if I stay here for any length of time.
There’s just so much to say about them. But we’ll move on.
- MY GOODNESS the costumes. Please someone send me to the 1940’s. What happened to our sense of fashion between then and now? Seriously though. The outfits are so cute in the movie, and so well chosen for each character’s personality.
This beauty?? The gold? The little buttons? The hair? Classy at it’s finest.
THIS ONE THOUGH. I think it’s my favorite of them all. I’d wear this today. I love that blush blue color. Especially with her complexion. Ugh. So nice. So classy. Classy. Classy. Classy.
There’s this one outfit Elizabeth McKenna wears often and I could not find a picture of it for. the. life. of. me. But oh well, ’tis not to worry. It was something like slacks and a red sweater with a hair scarf? Very 40’s tomboyish. ‘Twas very cute. Again, can someone whisk me back to the 40’s? I think I would’ve thrived there.
- No Guernsey post would be complete without gushing about Juliet and Dawsey. Dawsey, ah Dawsey, what to say of him? He’s like a shy Gilbert Blythe. Juliet is so much more outgoing than him, but yet she’s still somewhat shy in his presence. Also can we mention the fact that they met because Dawsey found an old book of Juliet’s? And he wrote to the address inside because he wanted to know the person who also enjoyed Charles Lamb so much? *squeals* It’s so adorable. Also, I love the easy going yet hesitant friendship the two of them form. It’s not love at first sight. It grow’s gradually and wonderfully day by day.
Also this quote from the book in one of Juliet’s letters to Sidney makes me smile. ‘Tis so sweet. And the bit where she’s proud of making no mention of someone who may or may not catch her fancy (at this point in the story) is a wee bit too *cough* relatable.
P.S. I would like to point out that contrary to certain insinuating remarks in your last, Mr. Dawsey Adams makes no appearance in this letter. I haven’t seen Mr. Dawsey Adams since Friday afternoon, when he came to pick up Kit. He found us decked in our finest jewels and marching about the room to the stirring strains of Pomp and Circumstance on the gramophone. Kit made him a dishtowel cape, and he marched with us. I think he has an aristocrat lurking in his genealogy; he can gaze benevolently into the middle distance just like a duke.
love, no I’ve used that word too often, I adore (there we go) the intimacy and acceptance between all the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (in the words of Sydney ‘crikey, that’s quite a mouthful). They really do care for one another and they embrace all the funny isms of each member.
It’s also very lovely that they take turns taking care of Kit. They love her as if she was their own, and she in this way she does become theirs. *wips a tear, ‘I promise I’m not crying*
- On a slightly more serious note, one thing I deeply appreciated was how Juliet defended the Bible when it was misused. Rather than Ms. Adelaide misrepresenting the Bible for the whole of the book/movie, Juliet calls her out. She tells her that this is a book of love, which is true.
- The scenery is gorgeous. The island is beautiful and homey and I want to live there. The end.
- I find it perfectly lovely how Juliet finds in the Guernsey book club a story ‘finally worth writing about.’ She found something deep and meaningful and something that truly touched her and she wrote about it. That’s what makes a good book, writing about something that means something to you.
- The book discussions in the novel and movie made my literary heart burst with joy. Especially that part where Isola passionately recites the “I have as much soul as you and as full as much heart” monologue from Jane Eyre (I may or may not have that monologue memorized *avoids eye contact*). They have such lively discussions of books and I wish, oh I wish so much, that conversations like that were more a part of daily life. Also I love how reading draws everyone together. It’s beautiful.
We clung to books and to our friends; they reminded us that we had another part to us.
- Alrighty, last thing. How can one not help but sigh at that perfect ending. (Sorry for any spoilers, if you don’t want any, don’t read on. And don’t say I didn’t warn you if you don’t heed my warning.) Just ahh, ’tis perfect. Juliet and Dawsey are finally together, all obstacles gone, Kit lives with them as their daughter (SO SWEET), I love love love that the two of them have the simple gold wedding bands. Juliet really didn’t like her ostentatious engagement ring from Mark and knowing that, the gold bands made me smile. Dawsey knows her so much better.
I lied, that wasn’t the last thing. I want to share some of the best quotes before I wrap up.
I have gone to this bookshop for years, always finding the one book I wanted – and then three more I hadn’t known I wanted.
Think of it! We could have gone on longing for one another and pretending not to notice forever. This obsession with dignity can ruin your life if you let it.
I believe I am becoming pathetic. I’ll go further, I believe that I am in love with a flower-growing, wood-carving quarryman/carpenter/pig farmer. In fact, I know I am. Perhaps tomorrow I will become entirely miserable at the thought that he doesn’t love me back – may, even, care for Remy- but at this precise moment I am succumbing to euphoria. My head and stomach feel quite odd.
I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some secret sort of homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.
*sighs* ‘Tis all. How do you guys feel about this movie/book?