Monday, October 19, 2020

Cathy Marie Buchanan's "Daughter of Black Lake"

Cathy Marie Buchanan is the New York Times bestselling author of The Painted Girls.

Here she dreamcasts an adaptation of her latest novel, Daughter of Black Lake:
Daughter of Black Lake tells a story and love and survival in the northern misty boglands of pagan Britain.

Black Lake lies far beyond the reach of the Romans invading hundreds of miles to the southeast. Here, life is simple—or so it seems to the tightly knit community. Sow. Reap. Honour Mother Earth, who will provide at harvest time. A girl named Devout comes of age, sweetly flirting with the young man she’s tilled alongside all her life, and envisions a future of love and abundance. Seventeen years later, though, the settlement is a changed place. Famine has brought struggle, and outsiders, with their foreign ways and military might, have arrived at the doorstep. For Devout’s young daughter, Hobble, life is more troubled than her mother ever anticipated. But this girl has an extraordinary gift. As worlds collide and peril threatens, it will be up to her to save her family and community.

The narration alternates between Devout and Hobble. Devout’s chapters take place during her youth, and as they progress, we learn of a complicated love triangle that has far reaching implications. Hobble’s story unfolds years later as the Roman invaders inch their way westward across Britannia, drawing ever closer to the remote settlement.

Because the story moves back and forth in time, two of the novel’s main characters—Devout and her mate Smith—appear both as youths and as adults, adding an extra layer of challenge to casting the movie. For youthful Devout, I choose Kiernan Shipka, and for her adult counterpart, Emma Stone. I admire both, and think their shared traits of fair skin, wide eyes and broad mouths might make them plausible as the same person at different ages. My reasoning is similar in casting Smith: As his youthful self, Timothée Chalamet; and as his adult self, Kit Harington (who doesn’t love Jon Snow?). As Hobble, I cast Mckenna Grace. She could pass as Emma Stone’s daughter, and a talent like Mckenna could pull off Hobble’s beyond-her-years wisdom and strength. That leaves only Fox uncast. Who best to play the druid priest who arrives at Black Lake hellbent on stirring up rebellion to Roman rule and who becomes Hobble’s chief adversary when she gets in his way? Sam Heughan? In the novel, I describe Fox’s ridged brow, his grooved cheeks—a face made lean by unrelenting effort, by quick accomplishment. Yes, Heughan’s got the chops to play a fanatic, a man incapable of reason, incapable of adopting any view other than his own.
Learn more about the book and author at Cathy Marie Buchanan's website

My Book, The Movie: The Painted Girls..

--Marshal Zeringue