Book & Movie Thoughts: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Fans of romantic period dramas are probably well aware of the recent book-to-screen adaptation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, now available on Netflix here in the US. Having read the book AND watched the adaptation, I have thoughts!!!

Book thoughts…

Guernsey 2I first heard about this book through another epistolary book-for-book-lovers, Dear Mr. Knightley. The quirky title was enough to have me googling and seeing other reviews that made this sound like something I would like! I’ve since read it twice, most recently with friends discussing in a read-along on Twitter with #GBral. (Shoutout to the #bookbesties who made this super fun!)

I adore the book! I am now and forever a fan of the epistolary (letter) format, and a huge fan of WWII era stories. This combines the best of both worlds, with a gradual romance that keeps you guessing (who is the ultimate hero?). The colorful characters keep the story humorous and balance the more serious moments of the harsh reality of German occupation.

 

Content note: there are a few instances of mild to moderate language, a child born out of wedlock, and suggestions that one character is homosexual.

Movie thoughts…

Guernsey 1

Courtesy of IMDB.com

I appreciate book adaptations. Really. I know they cannot be the original story that plays out in your head, and they cannot possibly be so detailed within a shorter time frame. With that in mind, I really, REALLY enjoyed this one!

I thought the casting was perfect (except for Markham… he was a little more charismatic in my head). Lily as Juliet captured all the emotions and growth so well. Isola was quirky and lovable. Adelaide has a slightly different role but was brilliantly and emotionally played. And Michiel as Dawsey!!!! *heart eyes* He’s wonderfully straightforward and shy and just so genuine. Little KIT was my favorite! She was precious.

The scenery was wonderful. Having a visual of the beauty of the island will be great when I want to revisit the book. Everything from the set design to the costumes and cinematography were wonderful and helped build a picture of the story world.

Let’s talk story! I appreciated the parts that were reserved, and mourned some characters that were missing. Given the shorter time frame, I understand the parts that were abbreviated. I DO wish we had just a bit more time with the characters near the ending! And, I wish they had featured Kit a little more in the way her role with Juliet blossoms. But I loved the time with the society, the stories of Elizabeth, and especially the pigs!

Overall, this was a great adaptation that made me appreciate the root story even more — and is likely very enjoyable as a period drama for anyone who hasn’t read the book.

If you have seen and/or read this little gem, what did you think? Do you feel they did it justice with the adaptation? What was your favorite scene?

Review: The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin + Movie Thoughts

IMG_20171024_201140_531.jpg

Review: The Mountain Between Us is so much more than a story of survival. It’s a story of steadfast hope, sacrifice, and commitment.

This is very much Ben’s journey because it is told in his 1st person POV. Through his eyes, the reader learns of his past (through audio dictations to his wife that read like letters) and experiences firsthand how this sudden test of extreme circumstances challenges him and brings out his admirable determination to succeed. Ashley’s character growth and tenacity is never shortchanged, though, as her spunk, humor, and optimism are easy to love and see.

I am once again impressed with Charles Martin’s emotional prose and ability to maintain tension both in circumstance (stranded in the wild) and heart (Ben has an enigmatic side) until the last few pages. The heart-journey is much deeper than the snow Ben and Ashley find themselves in. And WHAT A TWIST!!!!!! This book is one I would highly recommend to fans of contemporary drama, action/survival stories, or even emotional romantic dramas in the style of Nicholas Sparks.

Movie thoughts: Clearly I loved the book —- highly recommended. The movie was good, just not the straight book-to-movie adaptation I had hoped for (as typical with book-to-movie changes). A few key things were changed —- most I could understand for the film medium and time’s sake, except for a couple key moments. It was beautiful visually and well-acted (I always love Kate Winslet). BUT, there were a couple things that happened which altered the portrayal of Ben, his history, and even altered his character’s integrity that disappointed me. THE GOOD NEWS? Check out this recent response from author Charles Martin in his newsletter concerning the changes and his minimal role in the process. I agree and am encouraged by his response. If the movie is spurring the popularity of the book and the message of HOPE it contains, I’m very happy!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 9 Books or series I wish someone would make into a movie/series

It’s another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday at The Green Mockingbird

This week is a freebie topic! I’m choosing to go with books I wish someone would make into miniseries, TV series, or movies. So, make yourself some popcorn and read on for my ideas!

Top 9 Books or Series I wish someone would make into a movie/series

Miniseries

TTT Adaptation 1

#1 The Pursuit of Tamsen Littlejohn by Lori Benton

No question about it, this book is my number one pick for being adapted into some form of film. I have always said it should be a miniseries, that way there would be enough time for all the little details to be included. Plus the budget would be higher for filming on location in rural TN. And we need authentic costumes. I can dream, right? Basically, I’d volunteer to work on the crew just to see it done. (History Channel, AMC, or Hallmark, are you listening?)

#2 The Price of Privilege series by Jessica Dotta (Born of Persuasion, Mark of Distinction, Price of Privilege)

It should be no surprise to see this on my list. Favorite. Series. Ever. And a miniseries would be awesome, yes?

TV series

TTT Adaptations 2

#3 The “Redemption” series (and subsequent related Baxter Family books) by Karen Kingsbury (some with Gary Smalley)

We have 23 books in 5 series that could be adapted, so I think it could be a very long-running series. (Ahem, Hallmark, since you’ve already adapted Karen’s The Bridge and book-based Cedar Cove, this could be your next hit series.)

(2/4 update: we have a contract! Karen & Roma Downey will be working together to bring the Baxter Family series to television!! http://deadline.com/2016/02/roma-downey-the-baxter-family-faith-based-novel-tv-series-1201694238/)

#4 “Christiansen Family” series by Susan May Warren

This is another that fits the TV series format! Though the 6 books could be a series of movies, too, what with each sibling having their own book.

Movie

TTT Adaptations 3.jpg

#5 The Butterfly and the Violin by Kristy Cambron

In the vein of The Book Thief or Woman in Gold, this would be an excellent historical drama on screen with 2 intertwining stories — present day and WWII.

#6 Five Days in Skye by Carla Laureano

Besides this being a great story, it made me want to go to Scotland. If it were made into a movie, I might not actually have to go there to see all the wonderful locations referenced in the story. Plus I’d like to see a cast with the great chemistry of James and Andrea (with Henry Cavill, of course).

#7 The Wedding Chapel by Rachel Hauck

With a large cast, this would be a fabulous family drama with flashbacks to the early story of a couple certain characters. It would be a perfect June Hallmark movie!

#8 The Headmistress of Rosemere by Sarah E. Ladd

Who doesn’t love a good Regency period drama with mystery and romance? With the right casting, it could be a new favorite!

#9 Here to Stay by Melissa Tagg

Because the world needs more good rom-coms! Why not one with realistic characters, a serious story of forgiveness, and small-town charm.

 

Well, that’s my list for now. How about you? Do you have any favorite books you’d like to see adapted to film of some kind? Share in the comments!