Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Half Broken Things

It is very difficult to work in the same territory as Barbara Vine and not be completely overshadowed. But Morag Joss managed it with a quite magnificent novel, worthy of Vine at her best, Half Broken Things. It’s one of the best novels of psychological suspense that I have read in the last ten years.

So I approached the televised version of the book – which appeared on the small screen last year; I’m characteristically late in catching up with it – with mixed feelings. I wanted the tv programme to be as good as the novel, but doubted whether it would be possible.

Happily, my fears were unfounded. Thanks to a superb cast, led by the delightful and compelling Penelope Wilton, here at her considerable best, the screen version was gripping from start to finish. This is a wonderful story of self-deception, involving Wilton as a slightly barmy house-sitter who ‘adopts’ an odd couple who have only just met, and the young woman’s soon to be born baby. What follows is poignant and terrible.

If you haven’t read the book, or seen the tv adaptation, you have a treat in store.

3 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Amazing book and I'm glad to hear they did it proud.

Karen said...

I did see it, and like you, thought it was superb. I'll go in search of the book now!

Juliet said...

Gosh, how did I miss this? I love Penelope Wilton. Must find it on DVD asap!