Winter is Coming!

I’ve been a little absent recently, do in large part to work, which has commanded most of my attention in recent weeks. I’ve also been busy watching The Dog run around and have a blast in the snow, which we received over the weekend. Most of it has melted already, but it was nice to get a little taste of winter and a reminder that it is approaching. One thing I love about winter is the opportunity to curl up with a good movie or a book when it is too cold to step outside. While it hasn’t reached that point yet, I have taken the opportunity to watch a great film and start reading a beautiful book. If you’re in a soon-to-be wintry state or country, I have two recommendations for you.

Last Night is a film that stars Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes and Guillaume Canet. It follows a married couple (Knightley and Worthington) who are separated one evening and are both given the opportunity to cheat. Often, a film I absolutely love is one that might not appeal to everyone. This is one of those films. Last Night thrives on the dialogue, the body language and the situations that arise. It’s really hard for me to say too much about this film without feeling like I’ll give away the ending so I will try to keep my statements short. The conversations these characters had were incredibly fascinating and I’ve been thinking about them (and one in particular) since I watched this a week and a half ago. I found the film to be more suspenseful than a thriller. I thought I’d dislike at least two of the characters but in the end, I cared about them all. Canet’s character is probably my favorite–and I don’t think it’s just because he’s a writer (although that’s part of it). I loved him and I can still picture one of his scenes vividly.

Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan is about a young Irish woman named Ellie who travels to America during the 1920’s to work in order to save money for an operation that her husband needs after being wounded while working as a soldier for the Irish Republican Army. While in America, she is introduced to an extravagant life that she soon finds herself drawn to.

I was downtown one morning last week, so I decided to visit Barnes & Noble and browse through the books, which is how I discovered this novel. I was intrigued by the description on the back of the book and am totally in love with fiction about the 1920’s so I knew this was a book that I’d have to take a look at. I read the opening paragraphs of the novel and immediately knew that I’d bring the book home. Kerrigan’s writing took my breath away with her gorgeous descriptions. The book starts with a prologue that gives the reader a glimpse of what’s to come, but the first section starts in Ireland during Ellie’s childhood. Usually, this background would lose my interest, however I absolutely loved it! Kerrigan used this section to set up the story, introducing the reader to Ellie and John and giving the background needed to propel the rest of the story when Ellie finally makes her way across the ocean to America. While the prologue filled me with anticipation for Ellie’s life in America, her childhood in Ireland was just as fulfilling.

I haven’t finished the book yet (in fact, I’m not even halfway through). Ellie is currently on her way to America and her voyage is equally as fascinating as her life in Ireland. While reading it this slowly isn’t by choice (if I had had the time to sit and read straight through, I would have) I am enjoying the chance to savor this novel.

I owe everyone a Project 365 update. It will come soon! I finally transferred the photos from last week to my computer, now I just need to edit them.

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