Monday, February 13, 2023

Caroline Lea's "Prize Women," the movie

Featured at My Book, The Movie: Prize Women: A Novel by Caroline Lea.

The entry begins:
Imagine Succession in the aftermath of Logan Roy’s death, combined with the menacing social control of The Handmaid’s Tale and you have my novel, Prize Women. Set in Toronto 1926, the book follows a scandal after a fabulously wealthy lawyer dies, leaving the majority of his vast fortune to the woman who can have the greatest number of babies in the ten years after his death. The catch? It’s based on a true story. The story of the women caught up in the notorious ‘Great Stork Derby' sounds outrageous. Often poor and socially disadvantaged, they found themselves at the centre of a court battle, a media maelstrom and scathing public criticism, which examined what it meant to be a woman, what makes a ‘good’ mother and whether certain women have the ‘right’ to have children.

It feels like a story ripe for movie adaptation: while writing, I drew inspiration for my character from films and television past and present. My novel follows two of the women caught up in the hideous ‘baby race’. Near the start of the novel, they are the closest of friends: their love is one of the propulsive forces of hope in the story. However, as the women compete for a sum of money that will change their lives and save their families, their relationship is fractured and tested to its limits.

Lily is an outsider in Toronto, of Italian-Canadian heritage and, at the start of the novel, is on the run from her abusive husband. Her mixture of vulnerability and strength would be played perfectly by Elisabeth Moss, whose compelling performance in The Handmaid’s Tale is both haunting and hopeful and she...[read on]
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--Marshal Zeringue