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Five Characters We Loved in the Book and Onscreen in 2016

My favorite movie man of the year is actually Ryan Gosling in this year’s La La Land but that’s not based on a book soooo, with great reluctance I have to nix him. Next year, Ryan. Next year!

While in my opinion there are no absolute Noahs from The Notebook in this year’s crop of fictional characters—and sadly, no Mr. Darcy’s either—we do have a few swoon-worthy types that stepped off the page and onto our screens, making good on our fictive imaginations.

Characters We Love

James Norton was the absolute physical embodiment of Tolstoy’s aloof and arrogant Prince Andrei Bolkonsky in the A&E adaptation of War and Peace.

This waltz with Lily James as Natasha literally took many a woman's breath away. It took mine, anyway. Check out the waltz from the War and Peace in depth here. For all the new James Norton fans out there, watch him in Happy Valley, Grantchester and the upcoming series, McMafia.

The count wasn’t everyone’s favorite War &Peace character. Paul Dano as the silly, sweet—and ultimately winning—Pierre won his fair share of hearts. While I felt sorry for him, he never inflamed my passion or won my heart and the actor wasn’t as big and gentle bear-like as I imagined Pierre should be. Should I count him in or count him out? 


While I loved Jojo Moye’s book Me Before You, I was not a fan of the movie starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. Whose fault was that? Certainly not Claflin who played Will Traynor to a T. (Yes, Emilia Clarke, I blame you and your eyebrows with a life of their own!) Sam Claflin who I’d only seen as Finnick Odair in The Hunger Games was more than sexy—even while confined to a sitting position—and he has a smashing smile, but man can he rage using nothing but the intensity of his eyes. I’m obviously not the only one who thinks he’s dishy. Claflin is set to star opposite Rachel Weisz in the remake of My Cousin Rachel, due out July 14, 2017.

Poldark fans might not have read the books by Winston Graham—a dozen in all—or seen the original series from the 1970’s but we love the period bodice ripper with Aidan Turner as the bodice ripping Ross Poldark. The Masterpiece series began with Poldark returning home to England after the American Revolutionary War to find his fiance Elizabeth already married to his cousin, Francis. The war between Poldark and his own feelings for Elizabeth even while married to Demelza keeps things taut. As do the breeches on the men, and the low cut gowns on the women! That’s period romance for you. Turner fans can find him in last year’s adaptation of And then There Were None and at some point, fingers crossed, in the screen adaptation of Sebastian Barry’s The Secret Scripture. 

The critics weren’t kind to The Light Between Oceans  starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander but I loved the book and the film. I felt for Tom Sherbourne, the lighthouse keeper in M.L. Stedman’s novel conflicted by his love for his wife and his own moral code and found Fassbender’s portrayal of the character on screen deeply moving. Fassbender and Vikander fell in love during the filming of the movie and that chemistry is all over the page. If you’re a fan of Nordic crime novels, Fassbender is playing Harry Hole opposite Rebecca Ferguson in The Snowman based on the book by Jo Nesbo. The movie comes out October 13th, 2017. Another one to add to the Must See Movies Based on Books 2017!

Tom Hiddlesbum. That’s what they started calling Tom Hiddleston after seeing the sex scene between his character Jonathan Pine and Elizabeth Debicki’s gangster girlfriend in The Night Manager. In real life, Hiddleston himself is a highly educated man and brilliant actor but we also like the way he looks in a suit. We totally understand why there was so much chatter about The Night Manager being an audition to play the next James Bond.

Who’d I miss? Educate me!

My friend Irene, a librarian in the UK has an addition. It took me awhile to figure out who Ian Donnelly is. Do you know?