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The Bridgertons and Other Happy Stories

I have been reading a lot of light-hearted books lately. In fact, the only thing with grit that I've been able to manage has been The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta, who is one of my favourite authors. I sat down with that book one afternoon, intending to browse the first couple of chapters, and finally put it down when I finished it that evening. Melina did it again, drawing me in with her realistic characters and interesting cast, and the texture of Australia she captures that I love.

The book didn't inspire me to read any others of its kind, however. I find I can't breathe within solemnity and weighty words at the moment. I must have light, love, adventure, happiness. Unfortunately, so many books written in this vein are soulless. They are tropes tacked on to a template; their characters and scenes are interchangeable with other such books. It's rare to find any that truly sparkle.

Julia Quinn's books are that rarity. They never fail to make me happy. Granted, some of her scenes read like she has a master paragraph which she uses for every book and simple rewords slightly. And I am a little weary with all her men-seeking-purpose while the heroines almost never long for work or creativity. But Julia is one author whose books I will always excitedly pre-order. So you may be able to imagine my enthusiasm for the upcoming Netflix series based on her Bridgerton saga. I know it's going to ruin the books I love. But it's still something.

Everywhere I look in visual entertainment - tv, movies - I see things made for men and boys. Endless repetitions of comic book stories. Violence even when it's not necessary. Hard fantasy. Cruelty. Crime. If we're lucky we might get an occasional romcom or Jane Austen remake. I don't understand it. Women's literature is the biggest seller in publishing. And yet it is mostly ignored on the screen.

So the Bridgerton series pleases me more than just because I'm a fan of the books. I'm a fan of womanly stories. Of romance and goodness and light. I know the producers will make it as grim as possible, but part of me still hopes. Wouldn't it be lovely if our society considered joy to be entertaining?

1 comment:

  1. it would indeed be lovely if society considered joy to be entertaining... but i would settle for a simple consensus that most violence and misery should not be entertainment, for the realisation that watching crime, violence, and pointless suffering as 'entertainment' is a form of sickness...



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