NOTE: This article is a republication- Source: Kirkus Reviews (by David Rapp).
Be on the lookout for our in-depth columns on All the Light We Cannot See, a Netflix limited series based on the Kirkus-starred and Pulitzer Prize–winning novel by Anthony Doerr (premiering Nov. 2), and The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a theatrical film based on Suzanne Collins’ Kirkus-starred prequel to The Hunger Games (premiering Nov. 17). Here are four more book-to-screen adaptations coming in November:
Nov. 1: Black Cake (series premiere, Hulu)
In Charmaine Wilkerson’s 2022 bestseller, two estranged Southern Californian siblings, Benny and Byron Bennett, come together to listen to a tape made by their recently deceased mother, Eleanor, a Caribbean immigrant with a complicated past. It turns out that she has many secrets; for one, her name isn’t Eleanor, and she’s been on the run for years. Her story, and those of her children, are told in alternating “Then” and “Now” sections. (The book’s title refers to a traditional Caribbean dessert, which plays a key role in the story.) Our reviewer called the novel an “ambitious and accomplished debut,” although they took issue with what they called its “endless lingering inside the heads of characters recapping, reviewing, and agonizing over their predicaments.” Such interiority is less common onscreen that it is in literature, so this new streaming series may well go a different way. It was created and co-written by Women of the Movement’s Marissa Jo Cerar and executive-produced by Oprah Winfrey, and its trailer promises a sweeping, decades-spanning family saga. Its cast includes the excellent Mia Isaac as the matriarch in her younger years; she was a standout in the brilliant 2022 Hulu film Not Okay.
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