High Tea with Ophelia
OVERCOMING LOSS AND CHOOSING TO LOVE AGAIN.
20th Century (multiple decades)
SABRIEL: 40. LEAD. INTELLIGENT AND PASSIONATE ABOUT BOOKS.
BRADLEY: 50. SABRIEL'S HUSBAND (UNTIL HE DIES).
ERIC: 40S. SABRIEL'S NEW LOVE INTEREST.
OPHELIA: 20. SABRIEL'S MENTOR AND ADVISOR.
ANNA: SABRIEL'S FRIEND IN ST. AUGUSTINE.
HOLLY GOLIGHTLY: 30. SABRIEL'S MENTOR AND ADVISOR.
Sabriel Shelley, a literary professor relocates to St. Augustine, Florida from New Orleans and buys a very unusual bookstore. Characters from Hamlet, like Ophelia, Holly Golightly, from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind, Daisy Buchanan, The Great Gatsby, begin visiting her.
Target Gender: Universal
New Orleans, Savannah, Georgia, and St. Augustine, Florida
Based on a True Story
Status: Yes: self-published
Publisher: Scotoma Publishing
Year Published: 2020
Dr. Sabriel Shelley, moves to St. Augustine after her husband died unexpectedly in New Orleans. She is searching for answers on how to continue her life as a new, young widow. Literary characters, that she has always admired and taught in her classes, begin to come alive to assist her.
Sabriel discovers, with the help of her literary characters, that she is surrounded by spiritual guides to lead her to her final revelation.
St. Augustine tourism
Hard Copy Available
Mature Audience Themes
Information not completed
Plot - Other Elements
Philosophical Questions,Coming of Age,Meaningful Message
Plot - Premise
Main Character Details
Name: Sabriel Shelley
Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Engaging,Educated
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Complex,Empathetic
Additional Character Details
Name: Holly Golightly
Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Complex,Empathetic,Engaging
Additional Character Details
Name: Scarlett OHARA
Key Traits: Charming,Complex,Confident,Engaging
Have you ever wondered what it might be like to get advice from one of your favorite literary characters? When Ophelia steps out of the pages of one of the most well known plays by Shakespeare, Hamlet, readers begin to learn directly from Ophelia about how she really should be understood. Viewers will see famous characters appear in a totally different way, while they learn the truth about how characters are developed.
ROMANCE, DRAMA, FANTASY
Sabriel and Bradley have a beautiful love story, but shortly after they are married, Bradley dies. Sabriel moves to Florida and starts a bookstore, and soon characters from her favorite books come to life and begin to give her advice. They help her accept love and be with Eric instead of running away because of the potential loss.
Authors Writing Style: FAIR
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
Yes, it is accurate.
Draw of Story
The central romance and the dynamic characters drew me into the story. Ophelia, Scarlett O'Hara, Daisy Buchanan, and Holly Golightly all coming to life in such an interesting way is a great component of the story as well. Sabriel is a very intelligent, academic protagonist, and the knowledge with which she discusses literature with others is admirable and fascinating to observe. The author clearly has a deep knowledge of literature as well that shines through in the writing.
There were times when the pacing was very slow and the book was unable to hold my attention, especially in the first half. So much of the first half of the book is focused on Bradley and Sabriel's love story, but the real focus of the plot should be on the book characters coming to life and her eventual love story with Eric. There are also many typos and grammatical errors in the book that were distracting when I was reading. In addition, the narration changes occasionally away from Sabriel – Eric, Ophelia, and others have brief chances to share things from their perspective. I think these segments are unnecessary and that the book would be stronger if the narration was continuously from Sabriel's point of view.
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The book characters coming to life to give Sabriel advice is the most exciting part of this story. These are interesting, famous female characters who are often misunderstood or misinterpreted. Seeing them come to life in this complex way is definitely the biggest hook and would make me want to watch this movie.
I am not confident that this would have a large fanbase if adapted. There are already many stories where book characters come to life, and I'm not sure that this one brings anything new and exciting to the table. I also think that the constant emphasis on literature and the literary jargon would limit the potential audience size.
No, fantasy stories like this do not normally have awards potential.
Similar Films/TV Series
What’s New About the Story
The fictional characters who come to life could give more concrete, actionable advice to Sabriel. We can also get to know Sabriel more – it sounds like her past as an orphan was traumatic, but we don't hear much about it. We also see Bradley talk about the occult frequently and about spirits approaching Sabriel, but this never really comes into play. Maybe to make this more unique, Bradley's spirit works to prevent Sabriel from moving on with Eric, and the book characters help her move on?
Sabriel has a deep knowledge of and passion for literature, and this pervades all aspects of her life. She opens a bookstore, bonds with romantic partners over her favorite writers and novels, and befriends fictional characters who assume human forms and come to life to give her advice. This love of books is what makes her stand out.
Uniqueness of Story
I wouldn't classify this book as a rare gem. I think that more can be done to make the story rare and unique. Book characters coming to life is exciting, but it is not original – more should be done to make the characters active and original. They should give Sabriel more actionable, constructive advice, and there should be more conflict around them. People should question where they came from and why they are staying with Sabriel.
Film: Indie, Streaming TV Series: Limited Run / Mini-Series
WORK IN PROGRESS
There is a lot that could be improved in this story. The first half focuses too much on Bradley; more of the book should be devoted to her love story with Eric. There is not enough conflict, and the stakes could be higher, especially surrounding the fictional characters. The pacing could be quicker, and the plot could be more original and less predictable.
Tips for Improvement
There would need to be more conflict and higher stakes. While Sabriel suffers loss, she does not frequently come into conflict with any other characters, and there should also be much more conflict surrounding the sudden appearances of all these fictional characters. The book would also need to be revised and edited – there are many typos and grammatical mistakes and moments of weak writing that could be improved.
After Sabriel's husband dies, she moves to St. Augustine to start a new life as a bookstore owner. Fictional characters from her favorite books come to life and help guide her. They encourage her to move on from her past suffering and loss and focus on the present and her love for a new man, Eric.
What We Liked
This book is unique for showcasing not one but two beautiful love stories. Sabriel's relationship with Bradley is a whirlwind romance, and they share a passion for literature and English. When he dies, she is left heartbroken, but viewers will get to see her recover, move on, and find a new, deep love with Eric. What's more, viewers get to witness fictional characters from classical works of literature come to life in an appealing and entertaining way. Like Sabriel, these female characters have often been misunderstood and long to be better versions of themselves. They advise Sabriel and offer her companionship when she needs it most, and these female friendships are beautiful and empowering to watch play out.
Film: This story has a clear beginning, middle, and end. This structure would easily allow writers to adapt this book to film. The romances would be fun to watch play out on the screen, and the pacing would lend itself nicely to a feature length story. The concept of book characters coming to life and advising and befriending the protagonist is one that historically has done well across the film medium. Sabriel's witty dialogue and passion for literature would be popular with moviegoers.
TV: This story has two beautiful romances that could be delved deep into if this were to be adapted as a lengthy series. A television adaptation would also allow writers to devote more time to developing the characters and their relationships in a way that would cause viewers to become very invested in their struggles. This story has scenes in New Orleans, Savannah, and St. Augustine, and different episodes could focus on segments of the story in different locations.
Key points: 1. romance
2. fantasy elements
3. female protagonist
4. unique setting
5. literary allusions
SABRIEL is a literature professor at a university in New Orleans. She meets BRADLEY, another professor at the university who is the head of her department, and they fall in love. While at first Sabriel tries to keep their relationship friendly and professional, she eventually gives in, and they have a beautiful love story. They share a passion for literature and an interest in the occult. Bradley suddenly grows ill and dies shortly after they get married. Sabriel is devastated, but she does her best to accept his death and move on. Bradley left her money to open a bookstore in St. Augustine, Florida, the oldest city in the U.S.
Sabriel opens her bookstore, which she names Carcosa, and it becomes a popular spot for book lovers. One day, she is invited to afternoon tea with Ophelia, who she realizes is the character from William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Ophelia tells her that she has been sent there in a human form to help Sabriel. As time goes on, Sabriel meets and befriends other characters, including Holly Golightly from Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Scarlett O’Hara from Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind, and Daisy Buchanan from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. She puts them all up in rooms in her house and makes up stories about their backgrounds and her relationship with them to tell others.
They all are there to guide her and give her advice, and although she is shocked by their appearances and is skeptical at first, she grows to appreciate them and enjoy their company. They specifically help her navigate her complicated relationship with ERIC.
Eric is a local reporter who has caught Sabriel’s eye. As someone who is an orphan and a widow, she is afraid to love and lose again, but Eric is an orphan who has suffered tremendous loss as well, and he is willing to be patient with her. Their bond continues to grow stronger and stronger until one day after they share a magical kiss, Eric reveals to Sabriel that he sent the book characters to her to help her get through this difficult time for her and to help guide her forward. Sabriel is shocked and moved, and she realizes how compatible she is with Eric. They share a love for the same writers and fictional characters, they both are orphans, and they both found themselves drawn to the history of an old town like St. Augustine.
After the characters help Sabriel realize that Eric is her Twin Flame – like a soulmate, but even more connected – they disappear, leaving the two lovers together. Eric helps Sabriel finally spread Bradley’s ashes where he requested she spread them, and she realizes that although she and Bradley shared a tremendous love, he wasn’t truly her Twin Flame in the way that Eric is. The characters help her realize that she shouldn’t run away from what could be a truly great love.