My novel, A Heart for Milton, is based on a movie — the most captivating love story I’ve ever watched, with a concluding scene so staggeringly beautiful that many insist it is the most romantic screen kiss of all time.
After I had watched the four hour mini-series about an unlikely love match burgeoning amid the desolate grayness of the Victorian industrial revolution, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I soon bought the book the film was based upon — Elizabeth Gaskell’s North and South (1854), and learned much more of the backstory and the characters’ inner struggles. The whole story just enthralled me. There’s a lot of angst and hero of the story, John Thornton, is a passionate, lonely, silent, sufferer — an absolute gold mine of a hero for hopeless romantics like me!
There was a heart-rending scene in the movie that I could not stop agonizing over. “If only they could have known…” I told myself, and proceeded to spend the next several weeks of my life relentlessly conjuring a viable alternative to this scene. As the vision became clearer in my mind, I began to write it down. One scene demanded another, and my story swept on to a very fulfilling conclusion some 300 plus pages later!
The original Victorian novel is full of trials, misunderstandings, and life-altering events. The happy ending is finally found on the last two pages of the book! I wrote my novel because I wanted to see the lovers experience the joy of finding love after all the hardships they had experienced. A Heart for Milton extends the happily-ever-after portion of the story, but not without a few trials and anguished moments along the path of bliss.
I’m not trying to sell you my book as much as I dare you to discover the love story of John Thornton and Margaret Hale for yourselves by watching the BBC’s North and South. No warm-blooded female should miss seeing this fantastic masterpiece.
And the original classic novel by Elizabeth Gaskell? It’s my all-time favorite book, of course! (North and South is available on Netflix and on Amazon’s instant streaming. I recommend buying the DVD, however, for the complete, unedited version.)
PART 4 – THE END? No.
Which book/film that you read/saw could have used an alternate ending, or retelling?
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AUTHOR BIO: This is Trudy Brasure’s first fictional work. Inspired by the BBC’s adaptation of North and South (2004), she was impelled to write an original alteration and continuation to the love story.
As a busy stay-at-home mother of three children, the author takes refuge in reading and writing about by-gone eras. A lover of history and a hopeless romantic, she enjoys reading both real and fictional accounts of love and life in times past.
She currently lives in the San Francisco bay area.