Tag Archives: historical fiction

Enola Holmes: A Review

Enola Holmes directed by Harry Bradbeer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So, to be perfectly fair, I watched this movie assuming it was an adult movie which I think colored my opinion of it. This is not an adult movie. If it was meant for adults, it would definitely be a 3 star film, but I’m going to review it as a young teen film.

The cast is fantastic, as it would be. Enola Holmes is played by Millie Bobby Brown who is also known as Eleven from the Stranger Things series. In this film, she is quirky and fun and encompasses both the cleverness and naivete of the character. Henry Cavill plays her brother, the famous Sherlock Holmes. He seems almost type casted in roles as an emotionally stunted superhero/savant who ends up learning to love in the end (Witcher, Superman, and now this). He didn’t exhibit the exaggerated arrogance that usually is connected to Sherlock Holmes, but he fit this storyline well. (Benedict will always be the one and only Sherlock). Helen Bonham Carter, Sam Claflin, Susan Wokoma, and Louis Partridge (as well as basically the rest of the cast) did excellent jobs as well in both explaining and supporting the main character’s antics.

There is a romance, but it is really young and awkward. Most of the film is spent running and investigating, very little canoodling, even in scenes with just those two characters. The romance reflects well Enola’s naïve nature. There is more of a focus on the clues to follow much like a Sherlock Holmes novel.

It has a strong feminist message, but more in the sense that people can be more that what they are labeled. This message is first exhibited by Enola, as a girl who can do incredible things but not the socially acceptable things. But then Enola, herself learns not to judge a book by its cover through her relationship with Tewkesbury who she thinks is unable to take care of himself. He, of course, will prove her wrong.

It is set in the 19th century during the suffrage movement in London, England. The costuming is beautiful. The sets are lovely and enforce the tone of the movie, exhibiting Enola’s chaotic upbringing in the countryside to the order of the finishing school back to more chaos in the streets of London.

The ending fell a little flat for me, a little too neat and naïve, but the movie is fun. The characters are loveable. And it is fast-paced and funny. Definitely recommend to a younger audience or a family film night.

There is no profanity in this film. No sexual content, other than longing glances and a kiss on the hand. Violent content includes hand to hand combat, one scene with characters shooting a gun at other characters with intent to kill, and one death scene which felt a little brutal for this movie. If that one scene (which is towards the end) was out of the movie, I would recommend the movie to even younger audiences. Parental discretion is a must.

The Jane Austen Society: A Review

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

It should be obvious by the title, but if you are a Jane Austen fan, this book is definitely for you. There are so many references to all of the books that Austen wrote, plus the characters in this novel also have a very Austenian feel to them. And the story is set in a real town that is known as one of the places Jane Austen wrote her final books.

Set mostly in the years after WWII, the residents of Chauton, England are familiar with the notoriety of the local estate, inherited by Jane Austen’s brother. But the estate has dwindled over the years, unable to keep up with estate taxes, and the final heir has no heirs of her own. Within this small village, there is a group of people who love Austen’s books and come together in an attempt to save artifacts from the estate connected to this beloved author. They become the Jane Austen Society.

The writing is immersive without being too descriptive. Every time I picked up this book, I was transported to this town, though the main plot of this book didn’t feel dated within the period. The problems each of the characters were facing are still relatable. I even was surprised at the decisions some characters made, almost to a point of frustration. I wouldn’t have made the same choices, so it was fascinating to see the outcomes. True to a Jane Austen novel, things do work out in the end even if you don’t see it completely until the last page of the book.

Two trigger warnings, however, and I have to slightly spoil the beginning plot to reveal them. First the spoilery one, there is a detailed pregnancy loss early in the book and the aftermath grief described. I practically threw my book across the couch when it happened, as I wasn’t prepared for it (and I read this close to the anniversary of one of my own losses), hence the warning. Second, there is a sexual assault (both of these happen to different characters) that happens in the first half of the book as well. It is a little detailed, enough that made me feel a little uncomfortable, so warning there, too.

Towards the end of the book, there is a good bit of legal jargon in regards to the estate. I had to reread it a few times to follow what the issues were and how they were being resolved, but it was quite fascinating. Overall, the book is wonderful and I would reread it again, most definitely. Also, all of the conversations the characters have over their favorite Austen books have me wanting to pick up that author and reread some of her work again.

There is profanity in the book. Sexual content includes the above mentioned assault, as well as some light kissing, and a sex scene which is not detailed or steamy. No graphic violent content (other than the pregnancy loss), but there is some death mentioned from the war. There is also LGBTQIA representation in the main characters.