Wednesday, May 2, 2007

A book and a film

I have finished Jane Harris' The Observations and enjoyed it very much. It is reminiscent of those other Victorian 'bad girl' novels such as Slammerkin, The Crimson Petal and The White, and Fingersmith, though I would say not in the same category of accomplishment. It is a bit of a romp, our narrator Bessy is quite funny, and the story contains a bit of mystery, a ghost, and a lunatic in an asylum. I don't think this book takes itself too seriously, which is why I think it works. All in all, a fun, entertaining read. For me it fit the bill for a long weekend at work with short bursts of reading in between.

I have finally gotten around to watching The Queen. I thought it an absolutely wonderful film and Helen Mirren was magnificent. I thought it was interesting how the tone of the movie changed, at least in my opinion, from being quite negative towards the Queen in the beginning and more gentle towards the end, coinciding with Tony Blair's appreciation and understanding of her.


Jessica said...

What a lovely blog. Have added to my to-read list thanks to your reviews :)

nutmeg said...

I love Helen Mirren and also Judy Dench (another British actress). I try to see most movies they are in. I saw The Queen a couple of months ago and really enjoyed it. I agree, by the end of the movie they had really shown the Queen's struggle to walk the very fine line between "holding it all together because she is the Queen" and "the very human side of the Queen"

And Borders has The Observations as one of its 3 for 2 deals at the moment - I have picked it and put it down twice now!

Iliana said...

I've had this book on my TBR list for a while now. Love those victorian settings. Glad to hear you enjoyed it and I can't wait to get a copy of it :)

Tara said...

Jessica - Thank you! And thanks for stopping by. Your photographs are beautiful.

Nutmeg - I also enjoy Judi Dench, and I can't think of what else I've seen Helen Mirren in. I had also picked up The Observations many times before it finally went home with me!

Bookgirl - I do love these victorian settings - they're not always well executed, though. I hope you enjoy it as well!

Lesley said...

I loved all three of the books you compared this to, so I think I might have to get my hands on this one - but I'll be at least halfway good and get my copy from the library!

And I agree, The Queen was a wonderful film - Helen Mirren is just a superb actress.

Tara said...


Thanks for stopping by! I also *loved* those 3 books I mentioned. =)