Well, after sending my novel off to safely wait its turn with Holly, I finally finished this delightful book, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. So. Charming, that book. Its harsh realism during a description of a concentration camp shocked me to pieces in the midst of small, personal stories about what it was like to live on an English island during the German occupation. (Absolutely delicious example: The character who stated that the most difficult part of the occupation was when they knew of the allied victory before the Germans (they learned it from their contraband radios) and then they had to go about for a whole day not smiling lest they give it away that the occupation would end. “It was just so hard not to smile.” I really loved that part.) Anyway, I’ve heard you’re not supposed to shock your readers that way, but I suppose I really should have seen it coming. It was very sad, cushioned by all kinds of – well, charming – like I said. And then it ends so happy too, and I have to stop now. You’ll just have to read it for yourself.
It’s not the only thing I’ve discovered well after the rest of the world. I also watched Julie and Julia last night. Again, with the shocking. My heart still hurts that Julia didn’t float right to Julie’s walkup and bring a dish of whipped butter to go with whatever meal Julie was cooking that day so they could dish together about finding happiness in good husbands and good recipes. That part was very, very sad. But other than that it was also charming and beautiful and just the kind of film that makes me want to live deliberately. (Notice I did not say cook. It actually didn’t help me want to cook. It made me want to find my own thing I love and do that). Also, this is the most romantic movie I’ve seen in which all the people are already married to each other and remain that way.
I loved this movie from the moment I saw the words, “A film by Nora Ephron.” And do you know what lovely thing I noticed? “Shakespeare and Company.” This was the name of the bookshop where Julia looked for a French cookbook written in English, and it was also the name of a bookstore in New York City that Nora Ephron loved but which got put out of business by Barnes and Noble or some such store just like Kathleen Kelly’s Shop Around the Corner and Big Bad Fox Books in You’ve Got Mail. I bet Nora liked being able to feature that store. Which is just what I love so much about Nora Ephron. She makes films like a person who still understands they’re living a dream, like someone so happy to share with us the things they love.
I love good movies. And that brings me to another favorite quote that sums up anything more I could say here:
If I weren’t going to be a writer, I’d go to New York and pursue the stage. Are you shocked?
~Jo, Little Women