Title: The Heroine’s Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder
Author: Erin Blakemore
Genre: Nonfiction; Books about books
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Erin Blakemore has done something unique here. She has taken 12 wonderful books and presented them to us in a new light. By choosing one concept that binds the author to her heroine – “Self” for Jane Austen’s Lizzy Bennet, “Family Ties” for Betty Smith’s Francie Nolan, “Steadfastness” for Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre – Blakemore explores the motivations and desires of our beloved characters.
Blakemore chooses her heroines wisely. As women readers, many of us grew up surrounded by the same books. Books like Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Little House on the Prairie. Revisiting them through their authors offered a new way to look at them. I hadn’t read all of the books discussed in The Heroine’s Bookshelf, but I enjoyed those essays just as much (and I fully intend to read them all now – but don’t hold me to it when I fail).
I found myself dipping into one or two essays at a time and then putting the book down in exchange for others. The Heroine’s Bookshelf was perfect for this style of reading. While the compilation is cohesive, each essay stands on its own.
If you love these heroines as much as I do, pick up this book and enjoy.