When the movie dropped on Netflix August 10, I didn’t think I would have time to watch it that night as I had a wedding to attend. I ended up leaving the wedding early and watching it pretty late that night.
It was an utterly inspiring movie that made me stop and think of my own writing. As a writer, I’m constantly plagued by “what ifs.” What if I’m not as good a writer as I think I am? What if my writing is too simplistic? What if I get a freelance job and I can’t write to their specifications? It’s absolutely incredible that a movie can help me to know that I am a good writer. All those what-ifs and the doubt is so damn leeching. It leeches all the positivity out of one’s soul, leaving the bearer uninspired, undetermined and unambitious.
The main protagonist, Juliet Ashton, also didn’t believe she was a good enough writer but you know what she did? She chose to believe in herself, to believe in the story she was telling and the message it would send.
You will always be good enough for anything you set your mind too, you just need the confidence in yourself to see it.
Now that my preach is over, let’s dive right into the book review because, of course, I had to buy the book after being so inspired by the movie.
In post-WWII London, Juliet Ashton, relieves a letter from a one Dawsey Adams, asking her for information on an author of a book he finds her name and address in. After corresponding a bit with Dawsey, Juliet soon becomes quite obsessed with the German occupation of the island of Guernsey and the literary club Dawsey and his friends were forced to form to keep a roast pig secret.
It was a short read, only 196 pages to be exact, though it felt like it took forever to read. Being a best selling novel I really thought I would love it but I just didn’t. I know, scandalous.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the hell out of Juliet’s character and her story plus her quotes were hilarious, “I am a grown woman-mostly-and I can guzzle champagne with whomever I choose.” My dislike for this novel had nothing to do with the characters, the writing or the story. So then, what was it? It was the epistolary format. I just cannot stand reading a novel through letters, it is so tedious to me.
Here’s the real question though, would I endure the horrid epistolary format to read it again? Yes, I probably would because of how much I love Juliet. Just when I thought she couldn’t get any better, she fell in love with Dawsey. In finding Dawsey, Juliet found a man worthy of her. A man that let her be herself, unequivocally.