what’s in a blurb
October 4, 2011 2 Comments
It’s time for some books and movie recommendations. The blurbs on the back cover of the book or DVD case are to entice the audience with a promise that the time investment to read the book, or watch the movie, will be worth the cost. This is highly subjective because what entertains or inspires one is not what works for others. So here’s some promo blurbs and my opinion of the story I watched unfurl then reread the blurbs…
The Jane Austen Book Club (2007) [Blurb] Six Californians start a club to discuss the works of Jane Austen, only to find their relationships — both old and new — begin to resemble 21st century versions of her novels.
I haven’t read the Jane Austen novels. This admission is considered heresy within the historical romance community but I’m a contemporary writer so can admit this lack to my education. I adored all the twists and dramas as six unique women created a personal network because of their love of Ms. Austen’s novels. I’m not sure why the “Six Californians” are the first two words of the blurb since that was the setting. The setting was a very integral part of the plot but the story portrayed timeless characters, universal themes, and was entertaining enough to watch twice because the final twist related to the men in their lives actually becoming interested in – what interests the women in their lives.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008) [Blurb] Guinevere Pettigrew, a middle-aged London governess, finds herself unfairly dismissed from her job. An attempt to gain new employment catapults her into the glamorous world and dizzying social whirl of an American actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse.
Yep, all true for the first 20 minutes of the movie. This movie is a delightful representation of pre-WWII London, from the point-of-view of a woman who has nothing left to lose, so she sheds all her prejudices and dogmas as well. For one day she is less an observer than participant, but this is a role she’s played for years and suddenly she no longer observes but becomes a participant in the life happening around her. Miss Pettigrew has her image spruced up and when the whirlwind of her story that day settles, a good meal with a good man is gained. What makes him a good man is his interest in women as a designer for their lingerie.
The Thirteenth Tale (2006) [Blurb] Sometimes, when you open the door to the past, what you confront is your destiny. Reclusive author Vida Winter, famous for her collection of twelve enchanting stories, has spent the past six decades penning a series of alternate lives for herself. Now old and ailing, she is ready to reveal the truth about her extraordinary existence and the violent and tragic past she has kept secret for so long. Calling on Margaret Lea, a young biographer troubled by her own painful history, Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good. Margaret is mesmerized by the author’s tale of gothic strangeness — featuring the beautifuland willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire. Together, Margaret and Vida confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.
This is actually a pretty good blurb for the book. The writing is lyrical all the way through to the final page. It’s a bit spooky, a bit mystical, and since Margaret (the biographer) is even more reclusive than her subject I really enjoyed watching the tortured Margaret transform into a woman who can be happy as she strives forth into her life once the story/assignment is complete. Maybe… The men in this story are only scantily revealed but create pivotal turning points in the lives of the women that psychologists and English teachers will be able to dissect for decades.