Win THREE books from Harlequin author
Donna Alward today at the Book Boost!
Donna visits us for a special holiday Featured Author spot and here's what she's thinking...
What About Mr. Potter?
This past weekend I watched It's a Wonderful Life for the first time. For some reason, I’d always been slightly turned off by the sight of a rather quirky-and-crazed George Bailey during all the ads for it over the years. But as I got older I heard more and more people saying how wonderful it is, so this weekend I curled up with hot cocoa, my husband’s Orange-Spice Shortbread, my youngest kid, a fuzzy blanket and put on the DVD.
I loved it! Even though George’s frantic energy was sometimes a little bit much, I cried in at least 3 places. And here’s the special thing about It's a Wonderful Life: we love it so much because of the characters.
The story’s about George. George, who worked to save for college, who longs to see the world before going to school for four years. George doesn’t want to stay in Bedford Falls. He has dreams and plans. And yet – when his father dies, he sacrifices his trip and then his education to keep the family business from falling into the clutches of Mr. Potter, who’d own the whole town if he had his way.
All along the way George makes the right decisions and does the right thing but at great sacrifice to himself. Little by little each hope and dream is stripped away, all to keep Bailey Building and Loan alive. Not just alive – but to do what’s right for the regular Joe in Bedford Falls. His college money goes to send his brother Harry to school. He marries a wonderful woman and has beautiful children, but you know deep down George feels the loss of his dreams keenly. So it’s not much wonder that when it looks like Bailey Building and Loan is going down and he’s probably going to prison, he becomes a man on the edge. He gave up everything and now it looks like those sacrifices were made for nothing.
The ending is, of course, happy. But what really intrigued me was this MAN. And know what else? I really wanted to know more about Mr. Potter. I was telling my daughter later that I was super-curious about this character. What made him so greedy? Why did he make the choices he did, why did he care more about money than what was right for the town?
Why, in the end, was he so cruel as to be the instrument of Bailey’s business’s failure, and then not only ignore George’s plea for help – certainly groveling to Potter is a last resort – but then call the police on him to have him arrested?
And I wanted to know whatever happened to that $8000. And if Potter ever had a moment of reckoning of his own.
It just goes to show that well drawn characters – whether they are heroes or villains – make a story unforgettable long after the last page or end credits.
There’s nothing quite like a holiday story, and I really enjoyed writing my current release, Sleigh Ride with the Rancher. Blake is the kind of man who will definitely sacrifice for what he believes in. Add in a stubborn heroine, some disabled kids and a good dose of Christmas spirit and hopefully you come out smiling at the end.
A Note from the Book Boost: I love how you watched the movie with your kid and then analyzed it. Only a writer would be able to break it down so beautifully. Thanks for joining us and sharing your holiday movie experience with us. Happy Holidays!
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Visit her on the web here: www.donnaalward.com
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