The Life and Death of Sophie Stark

By Anna North

4 out of 5 stars

Sophie Stark is a filmmaker that some might call visionary or some might call strange. She begins her calling by following around a guy named Daniel in college and filming him. She gets her brother Robbie to help him. Sophie is rather an outcast who seems to want to be normal and can’t understand why she isn’t. She looks for herself in other people. “I thought making movies would make me more like other people,” said Sophie. “But sometimes I think it just makes me even more like me.” That little film gets her noticed by a few people, especially a film critic who appears throughout the book. Her next film, Marianne, is telling the story of her girlfriend Allison. The next tells the story of her husband Jacob’s mother. When she is tapped to direct a film for a major studio, things start to fall apart. Her last film tells her story, that’s all I will say about that.

The book is told by Sophie’s brother, Allison, Daniel, Jacob and George, a film producer. That gives the book it’s interesting aspect because we never hear directly from Sophie, it’s everyone else’s vision of why Sophie does what she does. She seems very strange and yet they are all drawn completely to her, even they don’t understand it at times.She is the most ambiguous of characters that I have read in a long time and I might not have liked her all that much but I enjoyed everyone around her and what she brings out in them.

It’s a very original idea and kept me reading. I didn’t see the end coming but it made so much sense. Good job, Ms. North.

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