The film was always going to be different to the book because the book is almost exclusively letters. I think the book, brings the film alive and handles some of the book’s flaws.
I was slightly confused, at the start of the book about who all the characters were; although I soon got into it. With the start being all letters between characters; you don’t get much of a description of characters making it hard to picture and distinguish them to start with. Whereas the film, brings the characters to life.
I like, that the film starts with the pig roasting incidence as it is the catalyst for the story and sets the scene well. Whereas book is slower burner.
Less letters are written in the film as that would not make great viewing. Sydney does not go to Australia or break his leg. Juliet just buys the book without the letters to the bookseller. This can be interpreted to ways; the book streamlines the plot or the film loses complexity of the book. Or alternatively, that they are different mediums and a slightly altered plot suits the two mediums differently.
Whilst the film, misses some of the letters, it does add by building the side plot of Mr Reynolds. They become, engaged in the film and then that engagement is broken off. Whereas in the book, how Juliet’s decision to marry Dawsey affects Mr Reynolds is not considered. The film does not go for a cheesy wedding scene to end; which does not happen in the book as the book is understated and grounded. The film ends with a happy scene then the credits are worth staying in the screen for. Over the credits, the book club discussions are played; to the Lighthouse is discussed. There is the poignant line ‘Reader I married him’.
The film includes some nice touches, that emphasises the love of books. In a previous post, I wondered; is the book a love letter to books? In the film the love of the Charles Lamb book by Dawsey and Juliet is shown. After Juliet leaves Geurnsey she finds flowers from Guernsey pressed into a book.