My new book “Midlife Solo” is now available.

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Anatomy of a Fall: whodunit?

Anatomy of a Fall: wow. A friend was at the cinema too, by chance, and at the end, we turned to each other and just said, Wow! A propulsive murder mystery, but so much more, an analysis of a marriage, of writers, of the way we manipulate truth in courtrooms and our own minds and everywhere else.

Sandra is a German writer living in the French alps with her French husband and son. When the man is found dead in the snow, the question is: was he pushed from a high window by his enraged wife, or did he commit suicide? Sandra’s trial hinges on many factors. But for me, the horror was in the scene where the court plays a recording the husband made secretly of an argument the couple had the day before his death, that turned into a physical fight. What we see — at least, what I saw — is a petulant, self-pitying man blaming his confident, successful wife for the problems of his life. But we all hear the way an argument devolves into recrimination and senseless violence.

I remembered one argument my ex and I had, some months before we separated, in which he, a quiet and controlled man, picked up a heavy armchair and hurled it at the wall. What happens in those moments is like nothing else. If a tape had been made of us at that moment, one of the worst of our marriage, what would a courtroom have concluded?

The performances are brilliant, the script so tight and tense you can barely breathe, not a moment of release granted — and at the end, the enigma remains. One important question: will Sandra’s son grow up to be a successful writer too? Possibly.

I’m a bit better each day, enough to go to a film, at least. Next week is really busy, I have to get my lungs back!

Yesterday, the last episode of Beckham. I loved this doc, loved the man and his wife and his kids, the relentless trajectory, the extreme ups and downs of his life, the way he allows the camera to witness his OCD — his absurdly meticulous closets and drawers, the way he scrubs and shines the barbecue after using it. And yet the main thing, the important thing, is his work ethic. The scenes where he’s being excluded for some unknown reason from practicing with his team Real Madrid but comes every day, on time, to practice, and works out by himself on the edge of the field. Until finally he’s allowed back into the fold — and scores, of course.

He’s also impossible, full of macho ambition and drive, Posh left on her own with the kids over and over again — well, on her own with the kids and, I assume, her extensive household staff. Her sense of humour saves the day, and the fact that they love each other a lot, and that he’s a genuinely good man who allows himself to be vulnerable. Beautifully made and powerful.

I wonder if one reason I’ve been so sick is this strange limbo in the life of a writer. My book — two years of my life — is out in the world, and the silence is deafening. Yes, I’ve heard lovely things from a few friends, but – the book is not on Amazon, there’s no ebook, and it’s available in only one bookstore. A month after its launch, for a reason not known to me, you can still only buy the book from Mosaic Press or Ben McNally Books.

So I ask you — if you’re interested, please make the effort to order it from the bookstore or the press. I think you’ll find it’s worth your while. And if you like it — tell somebody.

It’s a dark December, the world’s falling apart, but artists keep on keeping on. Blessings upon them.



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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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