The book It Ends With Us, by Colleen Hoover, for me at least, reminded me how easy it is in life to point a finger. To judge someone or a situation you are on the outside of. So easy to say, “If that was me, I wouldn’t have done that.” But this story shows us that sometimes certain situations aren’t that easy to walk away from and become even messier when emotions and love are involved.
Go in with an open heart. But be warned this story will probably break it.
The book begins with a predictive glimpse into the future of the monarchy. Anderson provides an imagined scene of how events will unfold once Queen Elizabeth has passed, including a look into Prince Charles’s and Camilla’s coronation.
Anderson then provides a well-researched look into the lives of the queen and future queens: Elizabeth, Camilla, and Kate as they vie for the throne. The book reveals lots of secrets including that Camilla pushed Charles to marry Diana and she had doubts about Kate. The big question is will the Queen abdicate her throne and who will follow her reign? Is it all true? Anderson is very convincing in his writing and presentation. Either way, it is a fun read.
All 3 of the musketeers have classically good looks. They all look great in leather, especially Porthos, who in this filmed version is half French, half African and not portrayed as the plump, drunken ox – which he so often is. Athos has deep dark secrets and is cast as the brains of the bunch and the best brooder. Aramis is pleasant on the eye and deviously charming. D'Artagnan has great hair and thus never wears a hat. Cardinal Richelieu is shown to be his usual villainous self; however, his motivation is based less on greed and personal power than exercising his loyalty and vision for a future France. Liberties are taken in this adaptation. The psychopath, Rochefort, is not even introduced until Season 2.
What draws attention is that all of the female characters are not the typical Hollywood buxom bimbos. The casting is very good. Each actress comes across as the girl-next-door. Even the Queen Anne character is beautifully flawed. But make no mistake, the femme fatal is the Milady D’Winter. This is a great part and many actresses love the chance to play "the baddest dudette on the castle block."
Be warned. The first episode is the weakest of the lot. The introduction of all the main characters is like trying to put a size 10 foot in a pair of size 7 shoes. If you stick with this series, it gets better as all the characters grow.
Smith has beautifully crafted a story that is equal parts mystery and love story. The love story itself is not romantic in nature, but rather a tribute to a mother’s love and the love of art as a whole. Both the painting in question, titled “At the Edge of the Wood”, and the artist – Sara de Vos – are fictitious, but Smith has borrowed pieces of the lives of real female masters from the Dutch Golden Age.
Nothing about the structure or plot is groundbreaking: we travel back and forth between 1950’s New York, 17th-century Amsterdam, and 21st-century Australia, with the painting and the haunting presence of Sara de Vos following us along the way. It’s the way Smith tells it, setting the atmosphere in lyrically beautiful detail, that makes you want to stop and savor each chapter as you creep closer and closer to the moment when everything is laid bare.