Veil of Secrecy

Book Cover

DRAMA SUSPENSE/THRILLER ROMANCE

1940s & '50s,1960s & '70s

Margaret Franceschini

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Logline

What happens when a daughter, given up at birth, makes the same tragic mistake as the mother she never knows? In 1950 Julie was deceived in love and had to give up not only the child of that union but her dreams of escaping her small fishing village to become a journalist. Twenty years later, Marina

Genre

Drama,Suspense/Thriller,Romance

Short Summary

1950, sixteen-yer-old Julie finds herself now living at The Fold, a place for unwed women. Once ambitious to leave her small fishing village in Newfoundland to follow her dreams of being a journalist. Learns of heartbreak and reckless love. Will her daughter find the mother she never knew?


After twenty years the child given up at birth finds out she had been adopted. She also gave up her child at the fold and began a search for her biological mother and her baby. She found her child had died which led her for psychiatric help. She ends her life after hallucinating her baby in her arms

Setting

Twillingate, Newfoundland Canada

Based on a True Story

No

Plot - Premise

Quest,Tragedy

Plot - Other Elements

Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Nudity

Main Character Details

Name: Julie, strong and determined, ambitious.

Age: begins at age 16. in her fifties at end.

Gender: Female

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring,Confident,Obedient,Visionary,Romantic,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Marina

Age: 16 at beginning. dies about 27 years old

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Complex,Selfless,Romantic,Secretive

Additional Character Details

Name: Laurie

Age: beginning age 16

Gender: Female

Role: logical

Key Traits: Aspiring,Confident,Empathetic,Leader,Secretive,Outspoken

Additional Character Details

Name: Michael

Age: 23

Gender: Male

Role: mentor

Key Traits: Charming,Masculine,Confident,Modest,Religious,Romantic

Development Pitch

The journey begins in 1950, with a sixteen-year-old girl named Julie, living in the confines of her small fishing town in Twilingate Canada. An introvert who hides behind her writing becomes involved with the town baker who is already married. She becomes pregnant and surrenders her baby at The Fold located by the sea in Nova Scotia for unwed mothers, naming her Marina which means by the sea, after she leaves she is never found again. Her baby now sixteen who she named Marina, living in New York City becomes pregnant and also sent to The Fold where she also gives up her daughter naming her Seton, but spelled backwards means notes. Marina loves writing poetry and little notes is why she decided to name her Seaton/notes. Years later falls in love with the right man who not knowingly has her daughter as his little sister named Cordelia. She meets the family and feels connected to this little six year old. A sudden death for the little girl eventually reveals the truth to Marina that she was face to face with her own daughter. Marina then undergoes psychiatric care for a couple of years. After awhile stops medication and believes her daughter is in her arms and walks into the sea.

About The Author

Margaret Franceschini, a daydreamer as a child, became amused with the animals in her backyard. While observing their actions, her imagination developed from writing poems to little stories. As years passed, she dedicated her life to her husband and three children, putting aside her writing, but hiding and saving all the poems she wrote while dating her husband. Finally, she returned to school hoping to continue her dreams of writing poems and short stories. She was encouraged to join poetry clubs. Her family came together with support and encouragement urging her to continue. She obeyed her desire with a strong willingness. And with paper and pen, she began to press on and continued her short stories. In addition, she just published her first novel.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: with a Publisher

Publisher: Page Publisher, Inc.

Year Published: 2019

Hard Copy Available

Yes

ISBN

ISBN: 978-1-64544-080-2 (Paperback) ISBN: 978-1-64544-081-9 (Digital)

Genre

DRAMA

Brief

Julie is a small town girl who's heart gets taken advantage of while she's saving to go to college. Her parents convince Julie to give up her daughter for adoption so that she can graduate high school; although Julie is reluctant. Sixteen years later, the child she gave up for adoption goes through the same decision. Eventually all three generations are reunited, but tragedy awaits them.

Overall Rating

FAIR

Point of View

THIRD PERSON

Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: EXCELLENT

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: FAIR

Premise: EXCELLENT

Structure: GOOD

Theme: EXCELLENT

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, the development pitch is particularly representative of the story. However, it is not mentioned how Julie and Maria are reconnected as adults through Marina's manuscript. By showing that everything comes full circle not just Marina and Seton, the inclusion of Julie will be more meaningful as the focus of logline and opening of the short summary.

Draw of Story

The idea of a home for pregnant teenagers that is helpful to unwed mothers rather than a horror genre slant is refreshing. The positive and negative aspects of adoption are shown which add the the tension leading towards the unusual reunions which are what draws the reader to the two women.

Possible Drawbacks

Marina's boyfriend's negative reaction to her being adopted seems nonsensical as he has a little sister who is adopted and would have been aware of it as a child because Marina is not that older than him. Either he should not have the connection to the adoption to his sister or he should approve of Marina being adopted because of his sister The emotional intensity of the sudden death of Cordelia undercuts the reveals of Marina killing herself and Julie realizing their connection that are supposed to be the climax. By changing the pacing or leveling the tragedy somehow in drawing out the death of a small child, the other two reveals might retain more impact.

Use of Special Effects

THE STORY DOES NOT RELY ON SPECIAL EFFECTS

Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that history repeats itself where two teenage mothers are forced to give up their child for adoption only to be given the miracle change to reconnect with their daughter years later.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a medium fan base of fans of historical drama. The original premise and positive aspects of adoption are a draw, but the dark turn and deaths after the reconnections might turn away some viewers.

Awards Potential

This could have awards potential due to the dark subject matter and emotional range. The use of mental illness if done correctly has a history of being awards bait, however there is a fine line that could easily be crossed of loosing its emotional impact by having too many dark moments or too contrite an ending.

Envisioned Budget

LOW BUDGET

Similar Films/TV Series

GIRL, INTERRUPTED; MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, LION, THE HOURS, THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, JUNO, MONA LISA SMILE, THE SECRET LIFE OF AN AMERICAN TEENAGER

What’s New About the Story

What is original about the story is that is shows both the positive and negative aspects about adoption. Instead of going to horror route, the story takes an emotionally dark turn involving death and guilt. Either having a dark tone throughout that will slowly build the tension or reducing the tragedy could tonally make the adoptions and reconnections more cohesive.

Lead Characters

The lead characters of Julie and Marina stand out in that they as teenage mothers must make difficult decisions in giving up their daughters in order for the three of them to have wholly fulfilling lives in the future. Their ambition and unselfishness is admirable and their regret is relatable.

Uniqueness of Story

Some of the logic within the adoptions could be adjusted as Marina coming from a rich background is unclear why she can't keep her child with the help of her supportive parents, while Julie's decision is more justifiable. The tone is also very dark at the end and the shift could perhaps be more gradual to retain its impact.

Possible Formats

Film - Streaming, Film - Indie, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

Analyst Recommendation

WORK IN PROGRESS

Justification

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

Cordelia’s perception of herself before her death seems quite precocious for six years olds. Perhaps portraying her more like a child would increase her authenticity as a character. While the male characters are needed to create the conflict of needing an adoption thus should retain their outdated views, adding consistency to their lack of moral character would make their negativity to the baby news seem more naturalistic to their character. The third act and tonal shift regarding the climax at the death of Cordelia rather than the climax where the death of Marina and revelation of her connection to Julie could be adjusted to smooth out the pacing and voice.