I wasn’t at all sure that I would like this book because it was framed as a series of letters between different people. But very quickly, I found myself absorbed in the characters. The main character Juliet is spontaneous, curious, and a little clueless. She reminded me a bit of Jane Austen’s Emma actually. The best part about the book being written as letters was that each character’s perspective and voice were so clear from the beginning.
The story focuses mostly on the island and inhabitants of Guernsey, who are a little folksy but endearing. Their stories about the war are sometimes heart-wrenching and at other times surprising. It gave a strong touch of reality to the story that they came to know and even love some of the German soldiers that stayed on the island. There are tragic parts to the book, but the overall tone is light and somewhat hopeful rather than somber, which is appropriate to the central character.
I suppose there are things you could criticize about the book – perhaps it was not always focused, some characters seem too archetypal or flat – but I liked it and enjoyed it and thought it was a very worth-while story that the authors told.