Stories for Coffee blog BLOG
Publication Date: June 2020
Genres: Historical Fiction, Gothic, Horror
Summary: He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.
After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find — her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.
Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.
Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.
And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind.
Yesterday, while scrolling through Netflix, I stumbled upon Enemy (2013) directed by Denis Villeneuve, which is based on the novel written by José Saramago. This relatively short thriller is based on a simple idea: a man seeks out his doppelganger after seeing a glimpse of him in a film he’s watched.
Enemy has been recommended to me many times whenever I ask for films that have the same twisted, multilayered tone of Shutter Island. So, on a whim, I began the movie and dove deep into a world that I can’t stop thinking about, especially after I read a quote dissecting the underlying message of the entire story.
Note: Before I begin analyzing Enemy from my perspective, I do want to preface by stating I haven’t read the book, so my analysis is based solely on the movie itself, and there will be spoilers, so beware. More
Publication Date: April 21, 2020
Genres: Literary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller
Summary: While on her daily walk with her dog in a secluded woods, a woman comes across a note, handwritten and carefully pinned to the ground by stones. “Her name was Magda. Nobody will ever know who killed her. It wasn’t me. Here is her dead body.” But there is no dead body. Our narrator is deeply shaken; she has no idea what to make of this. She is new to this area, alone after the death of her husband, and she knows no one.
Becoming obsessed with solving this mystery, our narrator imagines who Magda was and how she met her fate. With very little to go on, she invents a list of murder suspects and possible motives for the crime. Oddly, her suppositions begin to find correspondences in the real world, and with mounting excitement and dread, the fog of mystery starts to fade into menacing certainty. As her investigation widens, strange dissonances accrue, perhaps associated with the darkness in her own past; we must face the prospect that there is either an innocent explanation for all this or a much more sinister one.
A triumphant blend of horror, suspense, and pitch-black comedy, Death in Her Hands asks us to consider how the stories we tell ourselves both reflect the truth and keep us blind to it. Once again, we are in the hands of a narrator whose unreliability is well earned, and the stakes have never been higher.
The world is full of uncertainty, right now, and many may be looking for peaceful distractions to accompany them as they social-distance or quarantine themselves in their homes. So, I wanted to share some tips on how to keep busy when social-distancing. I hope these tips give you some peace and offer you some normalcy in a time of change.
Remember, not everyone may be able to do these tips due to different situations, and I’m not forcing you to do them. These are just some things I do to keep myself busy when at home for long periods of time. More
A good friend of mine, Alexandra, does monthly wrap ups over on her website, Twirling Pages, and it inspired me to do the same for every month in 2020! Not only is it a fun way to catch everyone up with what I’ve been reading, watching, and doing each month, but it’s also a great way to reflect, savor the big moments and the small, and remind myself that each month is meaningful and filled with wonderful discoveries.
For years I’ve had a fear of seeing a film, alone, in theatres. I had this grand assumption that films should be a collective experience, and it would be foolish and risky to see one in my own company.
What if someone creepy sits beside you? What will others think when you walk into the theatre alone? Movies are supposed to be watched among friends and loved ones, not by yourself. My anxiety always told me it wasn’t safe or good to see movies alone, in public. Something, anything could go wrong.
But, one day, I went out on my own, bought a ticket to a Marvel film, sat by myself, and watched a film. More
R — 110 minutes — Drama, War, Historical Fiction
Release Date: Jan. 10, 2020
Directed by: Sam Mendes
Starring: George MacKay, Dean-Charles Chapman
“1917” is an explosive, innovative, ground-breaking film that still courses through my mind, long after leaving the theatre and, I believe, will be in my Top Five Movies of 2020 list by the end of the year. Set during WWI, it follows Schofield who tags along with fellow soldier and friend, Blake, as they try to deliver a crucial message to halt a dangerous attack that can put thousands of soldiers– including Blake’s brother– at risk.
People may read the synopsis and assume it’s another tired war movie that will glorify The Cause and send a message that war is necessary to achieve peace, but “1917” is everything but that. Instead, what we get is a cinematic masterpiece that is edited and shot to look like one continuous shot, free of any cuts, transitions, or any other jarring editing techniques that wartime movies love to use. More
PG — 108 minutes — Drama
Release Date: Nov. 22, 2019
Directed by: Marielle Heller
“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” first hits you with nostalgia when Fred Rogers (Tom Hanks) walks into his home and begins singing the famous theme song to “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”, transporting us back into our childhoods when his soothing voice would teach us important life lessons. We see Tom Hanks wonderfully embody the role of Mr. Rogers as he speaks to the audience and introduces us to Lloyd (Matthew Rhys) whose life is melancholic, mundane, and isn’t filled with any real joy or happiness.
PG-13 — 130 minutes — Drama, Mystery, Suspense
Release Date: Nov. 27, 2019
Directed by: Rian Johnson
In this latest Whodunnit movie, “Knives Out” follows a detective (Daniel Craig) who gets mysteriously called to an extravagant mansion where a best-selling murder-mystery author, Harlan Thrombey, (Christopher Plummer) has been murdered. One-by-one, Harlan’s family and staff are interviewed to see where they were before the crime was committed on the night of Harlan’s birthday. And so begins the utter madness and quirkiness of this movie that was a mixture of “Clue” meets Agatha Christie. More