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Miss You Most of All by Elizabeth Bass


Exciting news for movie watchers who like to cry, I just saw an advertisement for the movie Miss You Most of All, which is based on Elizabeth Bass’s novel of the same name.

I enjoyed the book, Miss You Most of All, and even though the story was a little predictable, happily sniffled and sobbed my way to the end.

Several of the main characters share a love of movies (which seems funny, since they are about to become move characters themselves and they don’t even know it), so the book’s title comes from a line in The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy is preparing to return to Kansas from Oz. Dorothy tells the Scarecrow she will miss him the most of all her companions in Oz.

Laura, one of the main characters in this book, is a critic of The Wizard of Oz, and regularly points out how insensitive Dorothy was to play favourites amongst her friends, although the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion were too polite to whinge about Dorothy in the movie. The other main characters in the novel, Laura’s sister Rue and their stepsister Heidi, share a love of movies and condemn Laura for disliking this classic movie.

Miss You Most of All is set on the Texas farm which Laura and Rue inherited from their father. In an attempt to earn a living, the sisters renamed the farm, ‘Sassy Spinter’s Farm,’ and host female guests who want a taste of farm life. (I’m a farmer’s daughter, and the term ‘holiday farm’ seems ludicrous to me, but different things for different people). Rue’s daughter Erica, and several farmhands, one of whom, Webb, is madly in love with Laura, also live or work at Sassy Spinster’s Farm.

Heidi only lived at the farm as a young girl, while her mother was briefly married to Rue and Laura’s father. At the time, Rue and Laura were teenagers and behaved horribly to Heidi. After their parents divorced, the girls did not stay in touch, but when Heidi’s boyfriend turns out to be a mobster, she disappears to the farm, knowing that he will never find her there. When Heidi unexpectedly arrives Laura is openly nasty to her, but Rue allows Heidi to stay.

For reasons which become clear during the story, Laura’s character never developed past being a sulky teenager, and she is nasty to everyone except Rue. Laura regularly carries a pig gun around in a threatening manner, treats the farm’s paying guests with disdain, antagonises Heidi every chance she gets and spurns Webb, who she should have recognised years ago as the love of her life.

Heidi and Rue bond quickly as adults on Heidi’s return to the farm, and their friendship gives Rue happiness and relief, something Laura recognises she is unable to provide Rue, who is recovering from serious illness. This is the only reason Laura tolerates Heidi’s presence.

Rue’s 11 year old daughter Erica is the other main character in this book. Erica’s time is divided between her father’s home and the farm. Her father, Rue’s ex-husband, is a philanderer who is about to marry Erica’s school teacher – the stuff of nightmares for a child! (Think back to your Grade Six teacher. Now, imagine your Mum or Dad marrying them. Imagine waking up in the morning and seeing your Grade Six teacher at the breakfast table. Yuck, yuck, yuck. Poor Erica).

Thinking back on this book, there weren’t any happy marriages or relationships in the book. Luckily, the sisters have a loving bond and friendships too, or this story would leave a reader unwilling to risk their heart to anyone with so many poor examples to learn from.

I enjoyed the questions and conversations Rue and Heidi’s characters had about movies; for example, Five Most Essential Actors (meaning you would watch them in anything – also, you’re not allowed to include Cary Grant, because according to Heidi and Rue, everybody chooses him), Audrey Hepburn movies where her leading man isn’t old enough to be her grandfather, Movie Character Dream Date*, Worst Movie that ever won Best Picture at the Oscars and so on. To continue the movie theme, the farm’s chooks are named after the great actors and actresses of Hollywood’s golden era.

I’m looking forward to watching Miss You Most of All at the movies.

*My choices for Movie Character Dream Date are, in no particular order, as follows: Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, Colin Firth as the writer in Love Actually, Colin Firth in Mamma Mia, Colin Firth in What A Girl Wants and Colin Firth in Bridget Jones Diary. That was easy…



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