In the Midst of a Lifetime --Originally published as Between Extremities.
DRAMA FAMILY FUNNY ROMANCE
1980s & '90s
An artist, Brit, turns 50. It terrifies her. She sets out to see if indeed her love/sex life is truly over. Her ex, lawyer Grant is a recovering alcoholic. They're brought together by their malelovent, rapist, psychopathic son, Saunders.
Britannia Rhodes wakes on her 50th birthday terrified she'll no longer enjoy love and sex. She launches a quest to test the truth of this. Her ex-husband, attorney Grant Griffin, alcoholic, is middle-aged crazy. Through his dangerous psychopathic son, whom Brit loves, can they be re-united?
Asia, Brit's timid daughter, is doped and brutally raped by her step-brother Saunders in the barn loft. Brit torches the barn; and Asia survives. Grant and Brit are passionately re-united and thus, Brit's question, will she be able to enjoy sex after age 50? is dramatically answered—YES!
1990's New Orleans and the horse-country north of Lake Pontchartrain, but could easily be set NOW.
Based on a True Story
Plot - Premise
Plot - Other Elements
Meaningful Message,Happy Ending
Mature Audience Themes
Extreme Violence,Nudity,Incest,Sexual Abuse, Language/Profanity,Substance Abuse
Main Character Details
Name: Britannia Rhodes
Key Traits: Complex,Sexy,Desperate,Empathetic,Educated,Funny,Romantic
Additional Character Details
Name: Grant Griffin
Key Traits: Masculine,Clumsy,Educated,Honorable,Insecure,Naive,Romantic,Funny,Engaging
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Aggressive,Crazy,Villainous,Narcisstic,Criminal
Additional Character Details
Key Traits: Complex,Empathetic,Selfless,Funny
A beautiful artist, Brit, endures her 50th birthday. Is her sex life over? Has her artistic ability vanished? She dashes out to her barn and jumps naked onto the back of her white Arabian stallion. She rides him over her land, clearing her mind. Then her sadistic, psychopathic, teenage stepson Saunders, insinuates himself into Brit's unsuspecting good graces. He dopes and rapes her daughter Asia, his stepsister, in the barn loft. This monster, ironically, brings her ex, divorce attorney Grant, recovering alcoholic, (a therapist at a book signing told me she bought 25 copies of my book, saying, "This is the best description of alcoholism and recovery I've ever read. Far better than textbooks. You make it so real.") back into Brit's life. Brit, with the help of wise-cracking sidekick, Lee (who is African-American), rediscovers her talent and creates a stunning series of life-size horse sculptures. She has a spectacular opening show in New York. Back home, Saunders murders Brit's horse.Then Brit torches the barn where Asia was raped. and her stallion lies dead. The barn burns.Thus healing begins. Brit and Grant reunite, passionately. Brit learns her sex life decidedly is not over. The story unfolds in the sultry beauty of New Orleans and the verdant horse-country north of the city across Lake Pontchartrain.
THRILLER, ROMANCE, MATURE AUDIENCE, SUSPENSE
Brit is a divorced artist facing a sexual midlife crisis, her ex, Grant is also going through the same and alcoholism and the two are unexpectedly reunited when Grant's son, Saunders, runs away from home to Brit's house. Saunders has been exploring his sexuality in his own twisted way raping women on the way to Brit's house; choosing her daughter Asia as his next eventual victim. Brit helps Asia get through the trauma by burning the barn she was raped in, which Saunders is found badly burned because he previously snuck into the barn. Brit and Grant reconnect, find help for Saunders and Asia and find passion in their lives again.
Authors Writing Style: GOOD
Franchise Potential: FAIR
Accuracy of Book Profile
The book profile accurately reflects the book.
Draw of Story
There was nothing in particular about the writing that drew me into the story immediately, rather the increasing tension and inevitable chaotic climax that followed gradually drew me into the story.
At times, the sexually explicit scenes were uncomfortable to read to the point of me wanting to put the book down. Part of the uncomfortable aspect of these scenes was the character Saunders and his one-dimensional nature. There was nothing redeemable about his character which attributed to some of the scenes he was featured in feeling like "torture porn".
Use of Special Effects
THE STORY RELIES A LITTLE BIT ON SPECIAL EFFECTS
Primary Hook of Story
The story's hook relies on the reader waiting to see how Saunders will come into play in helping Grant and Brit reunite and overcome their personal crisis.
If adapted, I don't see this having a large fanbase due to the controversial subject matter that skirts the taboo.
If adapted, I don't see this story garnering awards/acclaim due to the controversial subject matter and the theme not really resonating with the reader at the conclusion. The themes in this are about sexuality and self discovery and the story fails to handle these mature themes with tact.
Similar Films/TV Series
FILMS SUCH AS "WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN", "BEAUTIFUL BOY", AND "AMERICAN BEAUTY" ARE SIMILAR FILMS TO THIS STORY DUE TO THE SIMILAR THEMES OF PARENTHOOD, SEXUALITY, AND MIDLIFE CRISIS.
What’s New About the Story
The film has a unique premise that follows the journeys of a divorced couple going through a sexual and existential midlife crisis and are reconnected through the chaotic sexual journey of their son. This story admittedly approaches the subject of midlife crisis from a bold angle.
There is nothing in particular that makes the lead characters stand out.
Uniqueness of Story
This is not quite a rare gem yet, if some depth is added to Saunders character and the author treats the controversial subject matter with more sensitivity, this story has the potential to be a rare gem.
Film - Indie, Film - Streaming
WORK IN PROGRESS
While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.
Tips for Improvement
I think a change in the approach to depicting some scenes, adding depth to Saunders character would go a long way in making this a viable story for adaptation.