Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I reviewed The Man Who Invented Christmas. Tina compared the Cormoran Strike books with the TV series. Mike gave us a comprehensive look at the A-Z of Christmas in Britain — just reading that improved my Christmas spirit. Gaele reviewed one novel set in the mid-20th century, The Shop Girls of Lark Lane, and another set during the holiday season, Christmas at Strand House.
A Monster Calls is hard to slot into a genre. There are some real scares, but it’s not so terrifying that you could call it horror. There’s a child at the center of the story, but it’s not necessarily a film for children — there are some young people who really should see it and others who might be better off with a preserved innocence for a while longer. There are lots of fantasy elements, but the plot is no one’s fantasy.A Monster Calls is a story about grief. If you’ve ever experienced a loss, this story will be healing, but not in a comforting way. This film embraces the concept of “the only way out is through.” As anyone who has experienced grief knows, there’s very little that is a true comfort. The closest thing to comfort is to know that you aren’t the first and won’t be the last to experience grief. A Monster Calls reminds us that no matter how weird our response to grief feels, it’s very likely within the bounds of normal human experience.
My favorite setting in A Monster Calls was the quintessential churchyard complete with grave stones and an ancient yew tree. When I needed an English village for a setting in my NaNoWriMo project, I looked for one with just such a churchyard and found it in Tisbury, Wiltshire. St. John’s church claims to have the second-oldest yew tree in Britain at 4000 years old and it has it’s own web page.
Have you seen this film? What did you think?