Review: ‘The Life & Death of Sophie Stark’ by Anna North

Sometimes you read a book that is just so beautiful that it is hard to think of anything else to say. The Life & Death of Sophie Stark is one of those books. When you begin reading it isn’t immediately clear that this is the case, but as characters are revealed and the story unfolds you are drawn into the story and never want it to end.

Synopsis: Told through the recollections of family, friends, and coworkers, The Life & Death of Sophie Stark is about a young film-maker who uses her movies as a way to express her feelings and try to understand the world around her. Odd, occasionally off-putting, flawed Sophie crashes in and out of people’s lives, leaving destruction in her wake, but it feels like a privilege just to have known her for a short time before she disappears again.

About half way through this book I felt like I was part of the story. I felt like I knew Sophie as much as the other characters, and that her inevitable fall was going to scar me just as much as any of them. Every chapter has just enough description in it to make it easy to visualize without bogging things down with too much detail, which made it that much easier to insert myself into the story.

I truly hope that this book never becomes a movie because I think it is so much more effective in print. Even though North has essentially written a documentary, taking the characters off the page would never do this story justice. I don’t know how well the book will do with a mainstream audience, but I know a few people who need to share the Sophie experience with me.

LC rating: five-stars (amazing book)

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