My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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The brilliance of “My Brilliant Friend”

A few gentle flakes of snow tumbling down – I guess it must be winter. Really? I hadn’t noticed.

HA. No, I know it’s winter because the Xmas frenzy has begun. Boxes arriving – most importantly, the Paw Patrol fire engine for Ben and 3 huge illustrated Harry Potter books for Eli. We’re set. (Don’t tell them!)

So – the packing has begun. Oh the stuff, the boxes, endless boxes being stuffed full and carted about. A lot of time spent looking at appliances online, at furniture, today at carpet, then flooring, then trim – the five inch or the four inch? A roof guy came to look at rotten dormer sills, more money out the window, literally. The whole day. Why am I doing this again?!

On the plus side, in the middle of it all, got a message from the editor reading the manuscript. “I’m just coming up on halfway through now. It’s going very smoothly; so far I like your revisions very much.”

I don’t believe it.

And in the tooting own horn department, a U of T student wrote to say, “Thank you for giving so much of yourself as a person and as a writer (are they separate anyways?) to contribute to our learning and growth as writers…” And continued in this very nice vein. I needed these boosts today.

Oh yes, this is why I’m writing – to tell you that if you don’t have HBO, you should consider getting it just for “My Brilliant Friend.” I didn’t read Ferrante’s whole series, only the first book, which I enjoyed thoroughly. This television adaption is stunning, in many ways even more vivid and evocative than the book. The casting is mind-boggling – an array of Italian faces and settings, so real, the acting great, the music, everything done with taste and skill, simply the best. A moment in yesterday’s episode, when Lenu sees the sea for the first time – the joy on her face, and then the camera sweeps around the Bay of Naples, sparkling, beautiful, and we are seeing the sea for the first time too. It’s a rare film with female leads, about the intense friendship of two girls, young to start, adolescent now, how much they care about and compete with each other. It’s about the brutality of the culture of Naples, how much macho gangsters could get away with. But mostly, for me, what makes it unforgettable are those glorious faces.

And this:

If you’re not from here, one of the best cities in the world to visit, you know where to find us; we’ll be glad to see you. Come say hello.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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