HOPE & GLORY
The Seagull's Laughter (2001)
Post-war provincial Iceland: around 1950, Freyja, who'd been a plump teen, returns from America, a widow with a 20-inch waist, seven suitcases of dresses, and a list of who ever wronged or slighted her. She moves in with an aunt and socialist uncle: finding a new husband is high on her agenda, and she's mistrusted by Agga, a pre-teen who's our eyes and ears. The social order and Freyja are more complicated than they seem at first, and so may be her prospects. Class divisions, families ties, pride, the onset of puberty, and the power of Eros sliver the ice.
Kiss of Life (2003)
Helen lives in London with her father and her kids. John, her husband, is an aid-worker in Eastern Europe. He has been gone many months. Helen is desperately anxious that he should come home. Taking the kids to school one morning, she is killed in a car accident. She remains caught in limbo, trapped between life and death. Many miles away, in war-torn Eastern Europe, John is unaware that his wife has died. As Helen herself is unaware that she is dead¿ Thus begins, a four-day Odyssey: Grandpa and the kids must come to terms with Helen's death; John must travel across a war-torn land as he tries to reach home; and Helen must stand helplessly observing her own existence as it comes back to haunt her - until at last she is reconciled with John, and thus released.
In an Austrian ski-resort, ruthless Dutch lady-killer Ryan is the cock of the ski-lessons roost, but only accepts advanced Dutch pupils, or he would be swamped with adoring girls; however this year his boss forces him to take beginners too, one of which is a sexually as inexperienced girl. Ryan's younger brother Erik, also gorgeous but far less assertive, gentler and a virgin, has another embarrassing failure to do it with a girl on the train from the Netherlands, ending up peeing in a bottle in girls' sleeping compartment. The good boy bunks with bad big brother, who claims sex-appeal is the key to success as a popular ski instructor. Teachers and pupils go about scheming more for the partner-chase then for winter sports, even at odds with same-sex friendships, but love finds its way...