Then there are some books that stay with you long after that final page, seep into your mind as you read the next book on your nightstand, and become one of your annual rereads where each time you open that book, you fall in love with the story again.
For me, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is one of those books.
If you have yet to read this beautiful masterpiece about community, courage, and love, and wonder if a potato peel pie is Whole30 approved (it isn’t), here’s what you’re missing:
January, 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, Dawsey Adams, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name in a book?
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of Dawsey and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—a book club born as a spur-of-the- moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts an outstanding cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
When I first read Guernsey in 2008, I immediately had the following epiphanies:
- Someone needs to give this book a nickname because there’s no way I will ever remember the full title.
- I will communicate with my friends and family through letters that will convey my colorful personality and well-rounded emotions. (This only lasted a few hours when I realized that I hadn’t possessed an updated address book since 1997.)
- If I recommend this book to you and you still haven’t read it, we cannot be friends. In fact, we’re mortal enemies and I will have to destroy you.
- Dawsey Adams has become one of my literary baes. Atticus Finch and Mr. Darcy would just have to get used to sharing me with him.
For the past few years, each reread would inspire a dream cast in my head: Jamie Dornan as Dawsey with me as Juliet. Ryan Reynolds assuming the role of Dawsey while I stayed on as Juliet. Robert Pattinson a la Breaking Dawn Part II press tour style as Dawsey. Julie a la 27 year old Julie as Juliet. Shockingly, my dream cast never became a reality.
And then on February 13th, the cinematic gods bestowed the ultimate Galentine’s gift:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is Coming to Netflix in April.
Now while “straight to home video” was the kiss of death for movies a few years ago, streaming service premieres have proven otherwise – think Mudbound and Beasts of No Nation. Although I would love to have seen the British Isles on a large screen while I recline in a chair that I paid $11 to sit in, Netflix is the perfect route for this book to screen adaptation.
The film adaptation stars Lily James as Juliet, Michael Goode as Juliet’s steadfast editor Sidney Stark, and Jessica Brown Findlay as Elizabeth, the founder of the book club whose mysterious disappearance leads Juliet on a quest to discover the truth in Guernsey.
And who will be Dawsey Adams come to life?
MICHIEL HUISMAN. If you have no idea who Michiel Huisman is, you are not our people.
I am ashamed to say that I didn’t initially picture Michiel Huisman as Dawsey when I read the novel. After watching the trailer a sorry-not sorry amount of times, he’s the Dawsey we all deserve and need right now.
Michiel Huisman playing one of my favorite literary men, while I get to sit in the comfort of my home with my dog-eard copy of Guernsey in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other? Netflix, you deserve all the awards in the world.