The Life and Death of Sophie Stark – Anna North

Gripping and provocative, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark tells a story of fame, love, and legacy through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist.

“It’s hard for me to talk about love. I think movies are the way I do that,” says Sophie Stark, a visionary and unapologetic filmmaker. She uses stories from the lives of those around her—her obsession, her girlfriend, and her husband—to create movies that bring her critical recognition and acclaim. But as her career explodes, Sophie’s unwavering dedication to her art leads to the shattering betrayal of the people she loves most.

Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew her best, The Life and Death of Sophie Stark is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art, both for the artist and for the people around her.

What an artistic and abstract novel. I adored it, every single aspect of it, every sentence and every word. I really absorbed the way the story of Sophie Stark was told by everyone other than Sophie herself. We, as the reader, got to view her from all her different angles, separate sides and never once hear her voice. Beautiful. Gripping. Evocative.

Sophie Stark was an individual, with the power to hide behind the camera yet express her trapped emotion through the lense and the life of others. Her films were raw and edgy yet profound showing her great talent yet her lack of understanding of others and how people feel. I didn’t feel she was a selfish character, I felt she was just removed and somewhat detached from the emotion of everyday living.

Sophie was obsessive for the moment, the person, the film, that time and then she would fade and move on looking once again for her next fix, her next addictive feed and obsession. She lived for the moment.

I don’t know if Sophie loved herself. I get the sense she never did. I felt she ran when things became hard or people didn’t live up to her expectations. There is also a side of maybe she uses the people in her life yet her movies express how much she loves and care for them.

North’s writing was beautifully penned expressing so much about Sophie without us having to hear her voice. I felt I knew Sophie better than the people around her and I understand a lot of how she felt and the way she lived her life. The greatest emotion of all was giving those she loved her story.

I would love to read more work from Anna North.


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