If you can remember the convoluted name and convince a friend to join you, you'll likely have a wonderful time watching this British period romp - even if you never get the title correct again.

Lovers of The Crown or Downton Abbey will happily immerse themselves in a handsome and well-delivered film which is part-historical drama, part-romance and a slice of detective story. TGLAPPPS (surely you don't expect me to write it out again ... ) is a film that defines "perfect Sunday afternoon viewing".

It manages to rise above its sentimentality and twee-ness thanks to an eclectic and likeable bunch of characters, and just the right dose of history and backstory.

It's a story about the power of books to sustain people through the worst of times; in this case the 1941 occupation of the Channel Island of Guernsey during World War II. A group of inebriated locals is stopped one night by the Germans and claim they're allowed out after curfew as they're a cultural group - a book club. Needless to say, it was their first meeting.


After the war one of the society members writes to a free-spirited London writer Juliet Ashton (Lily James). Intrigued, and in search of a new idea for a book, she decides to visit Guernsey.

The film's based on the novel begun by American writer Mary Ann Shaffer, who died before she completed it; and finished by her niece Annie Barrows.

In the hands of veteran director Mike Newell, the focus is on the characters' relationships as Juliet gets to know all the members of the book club, rather than debating the merit of the classics.

It's all very predictable and moves along with old-fashioned familiarity but somehow I don't think Sunday afternoon viewers will mind at all.


Lily James, Matthew Goode


Mike Newell


Running time:

123 minutes


M (Adult themes)


Predictable, and yet a charming way to kill a few hours.