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In which my reading matter takes a dark turn this month to the competitive world of an elite ballet school, the claustrophobic drawing rooms of corrupt eighteenth century aristocrats and onto the ledge of attempted suicide.

“All the Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven (Penguin)

“Tiny Pretty Things” by Sona Charaipotra & Dhionielle Clayton (HarperTeen)

“Clarissa: or, the history of a young lady” by Samuel Richardson
Image from the public domain


F I L M & TV
“Clarissa” (1991)
Directed by: Robert Bierman
Written by: Janet Barron and David Nokes
Production companies: British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), WGBH

Main cast: Saskia Wickham (Clarissa Harlowe), Sean Bean (Robert Lovelace), Hermione Norris (Anna Howe), Cathryn Harrison (Mrs Sinclair), Sean Pertwee (Jack Belford), Shirley Henderson (Sally)


“Don Jon” (2013)
Directed by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Written by: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Production Companies: Voltage Pictures, HitRecord Films, Ram Bergman Productions

Main cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Jon), Scarlett Johansson (Barbara), Julianne Moore (Esther), Tony Danza (Jon Sr.), Clenne Headly (Angela), Brie Larson (Monica), Anne Hathaway (Hollywood Actress), Channing Tatum (Hollywood Actor)


“Pillars of the Earth” (2012)
Directed by: Sergio Mimica-Gezzan
Written by: Ken Folett, John Pielmeier
Production Companies: Tandem Communications, Muse Entertainment Enterprises, Scott Free Productions

Main cast: Ian McShane (Waleran Bigod), Matthew Macfayden (Philip), Eddie Redmayne (Jack), Hayley Atwell (Aliena), Sarah Parish (Regan Hamleigh), Natalia Worner (Ellen), Sam Claflin (Richard), David Oakes (William Hamleigh), Donald Sutherland (Bartholomew), Rufus Sewell (Tom Builder)

“Cute” by bensound.com
“Indie Romance” by Silent Partners


Key words: black swan, pretty little liars, young adult, book review, film review, television recap, ballet, school, giselle, nutcracker, we need diverse books, diversity, mental health, bulimia, suicide, romance, bipolar disorder, classic, sexual assault, cathedral, medieval, game of thrones, romantic comedy, historical