Letter from Joy
November 22, 2023
Well, we’re back in Toronto after spending two weeks in Florida, so I’m a little late with this letter. Florida was wonderful. We got a chance to see my younger daughter and her family who now live in Miami, as well as many of our Florida friends. My gorgeous granddaughter turned eleven on the same day her father turned 50, and the next day was my husband’s birthday, so they drove up from Miami and we all celebrated together, along with my older daughter and her husband of almost six months who traveled with us.
The first week was sunny and very hot, and we went for walks and played a lot of golf and read and swam and did puzzles. The second week brought three days of torrential rains, but we still managed to have a good time. We watched The Burial on Netflix, and it was excellent, if a little long (a common thing with movies these days). I also started watching Narcos, which I’m enjoying. God knows there hasn’t been a lot on network television these days, due to the prolonged writers’ and actors’ strikes. I’m not one for game shows other than Jeopardy, and the only Housewives I watch are the ones from Beverly Hills, but I have been watching The Voice and The Golden Bachelor, as well as Bachelor in Paradise. My sister is really into all the 90 Day Fiance and Married at First Sight franchises, but I can’t bring myself to indulge.
I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten back into reading. I read Ashley Audrain's latest novel, The Whispers, Don Winslow’s City of Dreams, and Stephen King’s newest, Holly. While I think they’re all very good writers, I can’t say I was thrilled with any of these books. Ashley, whom I’ve met and like, is very talented, but I didn’t like any of her too many characters, and found the constant jumping around in time both distracting and unnecessary; City of Dreams, while moderately interesting, can’t compare to Winslow’s previous books like The Cartel and The Border; and I can’t say I liked Holly much at all. It was way too long and predictable. I knew exactly what was coming next, and I had no feel at all for the title character. Luckily, the book I’m reading now, Yellowface, by R. F. Kuang, is fabulous. At least so far. I’m only fifty pages in, but so far I’m loving it.
Of course the main reason I’m finally free to read is that I finished my own new book. I actually just sent it off to my agent today, and I’m very excited about it. It will likely be about fifteen months before it’s published, but I’ll keep you posted. Other good news is that The Housekeeper debuted at number 4 on the Swiss bestseller list! Yay!
We’re going to see The Holdovers at an actual movie theatre this weekend. The last movie we saw in the theatre was Killers of there Flower Moon. It was excellent, but at 3 1/2 hours, way too long. I actually started to resent the final half hour. But it’s nice to be back in the theatres again. Now if only they would do something about all those ads…
To my American friends and readers, I wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving. We celebrated our Thanksgiving in Canada last month, and we on this continent have a great deal to be thankful for. I only wish the rest of the world could be as fortunate. But there is still too much hate and intolerance. We must be vigil and not allow petty prejudices to override our common sense and humanity. We must confront and condemn racism and anti-Semitism in all its guises. We must remember the past and cherish and protect our democracy. Above all, we must be kind to one another.
On that note, you may have noticed that I haven’t posted anything on X (formerly known as Twitter) in a long time, and won’t ever again. It has become a platform for hate, propaganda, and baseless conspiracy theories, and I will not be associated with it.
And that’s about it for now. Stay well, be safe, and above all, be kind.