I was drawn in to watch Little Fires Everywhere after listening to Brene Brown's podcast in which she interviewed the author Celeste Ng on one episode and the producers/actors Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington on another. I enjoyed it, but I thought I would enjoy it more. It was a LOT about mother/daughter relationships and also about perfectionism, and the fallacy of the "perfect" life, how things are "supposed to" be. Today on Code Switch Podcast, on "What's in a Karen?" they talked about examples in entertainment of Karen examples. Reese Witherspoon's character was named as one. I'm glad I watched it, I didn't think it was phenomenal, but now, a month later, I still think about it, about the tension and conflicts, so I guess it was better than I th9ught it was.
So what next? The only show that I remember really liking during my trial was Normal People. I don't know what drew me in, but it did. And once drawn in, I was hooked. The character of Marianne was quirky and sad at the same time, but she didn't seem to wallow in self-pity. She was in touch with the reality of the meanness around her, but she still managed to rise above it. Connell at first, seemed so blah, especially compared to Marianne, but it was like a painting with layers. This was intentional because that is his journey, to become himself. Marianne's journey was also so complex. The acting was so good, the story was told slowly, and intensely. Loved it.
I love when books blow my mind. Sue Monk Kidd writes from the point of view of Ana, who she imagines could have been the wife of Jesus. Before his ministry, and after his birth in Bethlehem, we know very little about the historical Jesus. Kidd researches the times, and finds that it was unlikely that Jesus was not married, that there was a lot of pressure in his community to do so. One thread leads to another and the author imagines a Jesus who would have loved a strong, interesting woman. Ana is that. She is a rebel and longs for more than to be married off to a rich man for a political alliance. She has "longings" and she expresses those longings as a writer recording stories of women. Her need to write is like needing to breathe. Monk's storytelling is compelling, the weaving together of Jesus's ministry with the difficult life that Ana had. It is Ana's story though that is the backbone of the book.