This British import arrived, and I knew not how nor why. But it’s a marvelous period piece, and the period is 1940. It’s also a movie about making a movie, and the characters are the screenwriters.
This nuanced tale tackles the sexism of the day. The main character is a Welsh girl who is suddenly called up by the Ministry of Information to help write “the slop,” which is female dialogue for their propaganda films.
When Dunkirk inspires a heroic rescue story, the plot kicks into gear. A news article praises a pair of sisters who stole their drunken dad’s boat to join in the rescue. The government functionaries decide this is grade-A propaganda to inspire the working class to go fight the Germans.
As Catrin develops the story with her co-writers, many tangents appear. Many obstacles to production too, and some are hilarious. Catrin grows as a writer and as a woman with agency. As the story comes together, so does her self-esteem.
This is a poignant, modern romantic tale wrapped in a period struggle. Top marks.
The stand-up comedy novel.