I’m quirky. I know it. And it’s probably why I sometimes watch quirky movies or read quirky books and like them.
But I’m also flighty and sometimes I don’t like quirky movies or quirky books. Yes, I am a conundrum.
Last week I watched a quirky movie called Take Me Home and then read a less quirky book named Lead Me Home. Hmmmm…they weren’t connected to each other but they were both about home, which is ironic considering we are in the midst of selling ours. Of course, we can’t really sell a home. Home is, as the saying goes, where the heart is. So we are selling our house and that process has proved to be very stressful and annoying so far. I’ll be writing more about our house selling adventure later in the week.
First, though, let us talk about the movie and the book. The movie, which was an independent one, was made in 2011 and stars Sam Jeager and his wife Amber Jeager and I had never heard of either of them, but that’s probably because the film appears to be an indie film, as I said. Victor Garber is the only well-known actor in it and plays Sam’s father.
The general plot of the movie is a little unrealistic in some ways but creates some interesting opportunities for conversations about the lead characters. The woman believes her husband is having an affair, is in a dead-end job and finds out her estranged father has had a heart attack and is in the hospital. The man can’t get a job and uses a taxi he bought at an auction to raise extra money. He has been kicked out of his apartment, decides to use the taxi, of course, who does he pick up? The depressed woman whose life seems to be falling apart.
The movie is full of both humor and touching moments and well written. It’s also free of some of the more overplayed tropes of similar movies, which you will see if you decide to watch it. Jeager wrote and directed the movie. Yes, again, I did watch this movie on Amazon, but I’m sure it is on other streaming services, as well.
The book, Lead Me Home by Amy K. Sorrells, also manages to skip some of the more overplayed tropes in books in general but especially Christian fiction. The story of a pastor struggling to deal with trial after trial weaves in well with the story of his younger neighbor who is struggling to run a farm with his mother and mentally challenged older brother. The pastor, James, lost his wife a few years before and is now dealing with the church he pastors being closed down and with a teenage daughter, Shelby, who is rebelling to avoid the pain of facing the loss of her mother. (An aside, but am the only one who thinks of Sally Fields in Steel Magnolia’s saying “Oh, Shelby!” anytime the name Shelby is said? Yeah, I probably am.)
The neighbor is Noble, an aspiring musician who is tied down to the small town he grew up in because his abusive father left his mom, brother and now it is Nobel’s responsibility to keep the family farm running. Throughout the book, he tries to decide if he wants to pursue a career in country music or stay in the small town and, more importantly, continue to try to rekindle his friendship with Shelby, who he has known since they were children.
I won’t say there aren’t any cliches in the book, but the ones that are there are made more bearable by Sorrell’s amazing talent at writing poetic prose full of detail that makes you feel as if you are experiencing the moment along with the characters. For example:
“He took in her frame, the slightness of it, the way her fingers looked pale and thin, like a child’s almost, the emptiness beneath the over-sized T-shirt, the jeans which hung on her thin legs.”
In this book she really brought home some of the challenges of the church today from pastors who feel like they are the brunt of everyone’s criticism to a failure to reach out to the broken people of the world.
“Where and in what church is it really okay to be broken anymore?” A former member of the congregation asks James.
Ouch. That’s a topic for a Faithfully Thinking, I think, but maybe a little too deep for how scattered my brain is these days.
With that book finished, I have to choose another one to start, and I think I might start another one of Sorrell’s that was suggested when I finished Lead Me Home.
I hope to find some more lighthearted books for the remaining months of winter because the seasonal depression is definitely setting in for me right now. I’m tired every day, gloomy, and very fuzzy-headed so I’ve ordered d3 with vitamin k2 to see if it helps me perk up and make it through the next two weeks of winter. I certainly hope so.
So, what have you been reading or watching? Anything interesting? Let me know in the comments so I can check it out.
This post is part of Readerbuzz’s Sunday Salon. You can find out what others are reading and watching and doing by clicking over there and checking out some of the other bloggers who link up.