Monday, September 19, 2011

Hot potato!

I heard from a tweet awhile ago by Sinjoor that Kenneth Branagh will be producing a movie version of this wonderful book by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie BarrowsThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society captivated me from beginning to end.  I love historical fiction, the time period of World War II, all things British, humour, books, heroes, tender moments and this book has it all and then some!

I borrowed it from a friend at work because she was gushing about it in the Staff Room one day. I kept it for so long because I loved it so much and I just knew I'd end up blogging about it.  So I had to keep it "for research purposes".  I knew the owner had asked me to pick her up some Hawaiian coffee when I was in Hawaii on the March Break.  So I wondered if she would accept a trade? -- The coffee for the book!  It wasn't an easy decision for her (she obviously loved the book too) so she mulled it over at home for a night.  The next day she told me it was a deal -- and so I had my book!

Why was I so attached to this book?  Here is part of the reason:

The story, which takes place after the end of World War II is told in a series of letters. A writer named Juliet Ashton who became famous during the war for her humor column, decides she is tired of that syle of writing.  Then she receives a letter from an unknown man from the island of Guernsey named Dawsey Adams who has found a book of essays by Charles Lamb which used to belong to her.  When she answers him back, they begin a correspondence which also includes many other acquaintances of Dawsey's. The letter writing results in her wanting to visit the  island (which had been occupied by the Nazis during the war) to interview residents about their experiences and the bond which was forged between them by their love of reading as an escape from the harshness of wartime reality.

The plot is explained much better by one of the authors, in this video:


Here is the other reason I loved this book.  I envisioned the main male character as a perfect movie role for Richard Armitage. I am not the only person who feels this way.  Yesterday Maria Grazia who also reviewed this book on her blog Fly High! alerted her Facebook friends to a Facebook page called Richard Armitage for Dawsey Adams Campaign  It is trying to persuade people that Richard Armitage should play Dawsey Adams in the movie adaptation of the book.  According to Internet Movie Database ( the film is due out in 2013.  I hope there is time for Mr. Armitage to conclude his part in the The Hobbit movie in order to be available for filming this movie.

Although I could picture Richard Armitage right away as I got to know the character of Dawsey Adams, it was when he appeared wearing this hat that I was absolutely convinced he would look the part in a movie role.

His gentlemanly manners and shy demeanor in real-life are similar to Dawsey.

Signing autographs.. or writing a letter to Juliet?
This cap seems like a fashion from the 1940s.

Have you read this book?  If so, who else would you want to cast in this movie for the role of Dawsey or Juliet or any of the other roles?  Here is a website where you can make your suggestions. Or write me a comment below.


Musa/Fabo said...

I have the book on my long "must read" list, but if you, and Sinjoor, and MG believe the part is perfect for RA, I have no doubt it is! Plus what a great opportunity for him and Kenneth Branagh to work together.

Anonymous said...

Phylly, I'm so excited about this campaign! I've read the book twice and loved it, from the old fashioned epistolar style to Elizabeth's moving story, without leaving out all that eccentric and very human Guernsey inhabitants. Of course Kate Winslet for Juliet, and what a pair she would be with Richard! *dreaming with open eyes*
Another suggestions:
Emma Thompson - Isola
Audrey Tautou - Remy
Judi Dench - Amelia
Rupert Everett - Sidney
I don't know about Elizabeth, it's a very strong part.
And please, no American actors playing British characters...
Thanks for the post!

bccmee said...

I just downloaded this book to my Kindle and I look forward to reading it with RA in mind. :) It would be amazing if RA himself would be able to take part in the movie, although of course that seems unlikely based on his schedule. It sounds like a really interesting story and I love the title!

Anonymous said...

It's a lovely book! The Channel Islands only make an impression as tax haven; but they have a fascinating history. That would be a wonderful role for Mr. Armitage!


Anonymous said...

P.S. Fabi, total agreement with the casting choices - and of course, Ms. Winslet. Ah, if only WE were producers! And Mr. A's agent team...


Phylly3 said...

@Musa-- Oh do read it soon! I am rereading it now. It is such an interesting read. I can't wait to hear what you think of it!

@Fabi - Great suggestions! Those are the most popular picks on that website I linked to on the blog. All except Audrey Tautou(who would be wonderful) but most of the commenters mentioned Marion Cotillard for Remy.

Phylly3 said...

@bccmee - Yes, the title is very intriguing and the story behind it is even more so. Can't wait to hear what you think of the story!

@fitzg -- Isn't it funny so many of us agree about this role for RA? Well, he did say he wanted something a bit romantic. This one does fit the bill. Plus, the character is a man of few words so we would get to see the meaningful glances and brooding he is so famous for!

LadyCassia said...

Hi Phylly, as most of you recommend this book, I will put it in my queue of readings.

Of course, Mr. A can choose his next roles according to his career goals and time available, but if I could campaign only a bit, I would put pressure on being on the London stage soon, instead of shooting another movie.

I would see him playing on a stage before I get too old to travel Europe following him, fangurling ….

Phylly3 said...

It would indeed be lovely to see him on the stage, but reality is.. that will probably never happen for me. I hope that dream comes true for you! I thought I read somewhere that he didn't really enjoy doing theatre? I could be's happened before (once or twice). :D
Also, I wonder if it's true that Annie Barrows suggested RA for the role of Dawsey? I read that in a comment somewhere but I haven't been able to find any confirmation of it. THAT would be amazing if true!!!

bccmee said...

I finished reading the book and have started it for the second time around! Wow, you're right that role of Dawsey Adams would be so PERFECT for Richard Armitage.

The characters are very well-developed in this epistolary novel. I will be continuing the drama in my mind....

Phylly3 said...

So happy you enjoyed the book bccmee! It really is wonderfully written and so perfect for RA. I am reading it again too. It's like an alternate universe -- the characters seem so real!

tully2shoes said...

I'm intrigued. Your post and all the comments have convinced me that I would be missing out on something quite special if I didn't read it. Thanks!

Phylly3 said...

@tully2shoes - Oh yes! You will be so glad you did! It is a quick read too. All those letters are very intriguing. You will find it hard to put down.

JaneGS said...

I loved the book also, for all the reasons you cite. I found it captivating and moving and interesting. I am on board with RA for Dawsey--you're right, the hat and the deameanor are clinchers.

I love how you traded the Hawaiian coffee for a precious book--good for you!

Phylly3 said...

@Jane -- Thanks! I read your review so I know you liked it. You read it way back when it first came out. Did you have anyone in mind for the roles, when you first read it?