Kate Bosworth in The Year of Fog

Kate Bosworth to star in adaptation of The Year of Fog, directed by Michael Polish

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may know that The Year of Fog has been optioned for the big screen before. And you know that it can take a very long time for a film to get made. So many things have to come together: a great script, the right director, the right actor, and, perhaps the most difficult piece of the puzzle, funding. If that weren’t complicated enough, once all of those things are in place, the schedules have to somehow all sync up. No wonder movies can take such a long time to make. But sometimes the stars do align, and a story that began as an image in a writer’s brain, a phrase, an inkling, at long last makes it to screen.

I’m very happy to announce that husband and wife team Michael Polish and Kate Bosworth have just optioned The Year of Fog. This is exciting for a few reasons. One reason I think this is such a good fit is that Polish has a strong track record of thoughtful, beautiful, smart independent films (Northfork, The Astronaut Farmer, Big Sur, Twin Falls Idaho, among others). He also has strong ties to the Bay Area. His adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s Big Sur was praised for the way it was truthful to Kerouac the man and to the story of Big Sur. Landscape plays a starring role in Polish’s films. He is a gifted storyteller with a a keen eye for the inherent drama of place and a sublime understanding of the way place defines character (Northfork is a prime example of this aesthetic).

Another reason this option just feels right to me is that Kate Bosworth will be playing the lead. Abby, the main character of The Year of Fog, is a stepmother, and so is Bosworth. At the time of this writing, Bosworth is the same age that Abby is when the book opens. There’s a good bit of surfing in the book; Bosworth, who gained a cult following for Blue Crush, is a surfer in real life. The story really puts Abby through the paces, and Bosworth, whose recent work includes psychological thrillers like Before I Wake and Bus 657, as well as subtle dramatic turns in films like Still Alice, can pull it off.

Bosworth and Polish have recently completed 90 Minutes in Heaven, an adaptation of the book by the same name, which will hit theaters soon. And in an interesting coincidence, Bosworth just wrapped filming the action thriller Bus 657 with Robert DeNiro in my hometown of Mobile, Alabama (which gets a cameo in The Year of Fog). Which all just brings me to another thing I love about this couple: they work hard, and they really make movies. Between them, they have at least six forthcoming films, and Bosworth is also starring alongside Dennis Quaid in the Netflix series The Art of More.

While nothing in Hollywood is certain, I have a good feeling about this one. I can’t wait to see Polish’s cinematic vision for the novel realized, and to see Bosworth’s interpretation of Abby, a character who is close to my heart.

Read More

Brilliant Summer Books

This month’s online issue of the British magazine Easy Living features Culture Editor Beatrice Hodgkin’s round-up of “brilliant summer books.” The list includes The Whole Wide Beauty, by Emily Woof, The Day the Falls Stood Still, by Cathy Marie Buchanan, Tell it to the Bees, by Fiona Shaw, The Vice Society, by James McCreet, Love Verb, by Jeams Green, Ties that Bind, by Catherine Deveney, April and Oliver, by Tess Callahan, and The Year of Fog. Thanks, Ms. Hodgkin!

The Year of Fog, Michelle Richmond (Orion, £6.99) Dive into this novel with trepidation, for its story is deeply harrowing; the protagonist loses the child of her fiancé in the thick fog of a beach in San Francisco and won’t give up the search to find her. A gripping, altogether visceral read.

Read More

Thank you, Sarah Broadhurst!

Today from The Daily Mail, to mark the British publication of The Year of Fog:

In just two novels (No One you Know was the first), Michelle Richmond has established herself as mistress of the kind of literary mystery which packs the punch of a fine thriller but with added insight and wisdom…Mesmerising and harrowing, this is not just a story about a missing child but about faith, the function of memory and the way life can completely turn around in an instant.

Plus Sarah Broadhurst’s review of The Year of Fog.

Read More

Life imitates fiction: Fog spoiler alert!

When I read this article about three little girls who were kidnapped by their father in 2007, I was struck by the uncanny similarities to The Year of Fog, particularly regarding the girls’ eventual recovery. The girls, who were abducted from their mother, Christine Bedford, during a custody visit with their father, David Matusiewicz, were eventually found living with Matusiewicz in a Winnebago in Central America. They had even spent time sleeping on a beach in Costa Rica.

It wasn’t until March 2009 that a lead, on which authorities declined to elaborate, brought law enforcement officers to a town about 40 miles outside of the Managua, Nicaragua.
There, at the end of a 19-month search, authorities discovered the girls inside a messy Winnebago trailer, overfilled with items from their Delaware home, said a U.S. Marshal who arrived on the scene.

Christine Belford took the first flight she could to Nicaragua. Her girls were healthy, though disheveled. The eldest, Laura, now 7, told her mother about sleeping on the beach in Costa Rica. The once-plump girl had become thin. Her autistic daughter, Leigh, now 6, hadn’t received treatment. When Leigh smiled, Belford noticed her teeth had rotted.

Read More