Thursday, June 30, 2011

Julie's Review: The Heroine's Bookshelf

The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder Summary: Marketing consultant Blakemore finds that in moments of struggle and stress she revisits her favorite childhood women authors and their plucky heroines for respite, escape, and perspective. Jane Austen, who broke off an engagement and threw away her last chance at a respectable marriage, poked fun at polite society and its expectations of women in her novels, and she created a self-assured, self-respecting protagonist in Pride and Prejudice's Lizzy Bennet--who also doesn't need a man to complete her even if Lizzy does get a rich, handsome husband in the end. As Blakemore pushes against the boundaries of her own life, she also identifies with selfish Scarlett O'Hara, who, lacking in self-awareness and oblivious to the emotions of others, shoulders life's burdens and moves ahead, "her decisions swift, self-serving, and without compromise." The Little House on the Prairie series reminds Blakemore that when we focus on people and life instead of on material possessions, we learn to acknowledge what really counts. She finds inspiration, too, in Little Women, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Color Purple, and Anne of Green Gables, and offers some nuggets of wisdom, but for the most part, her observations are familiar and pat.

Review: The Heroine's Bookshelf: Life Lessons, from Jane Austen to Laura Ingalls Wilder

What I loved about the book was not only did you dig into the characters in each of the featured books but you learned new information on the authors as well. This is where I began to realize, perhaps, how autobiographical these novels were for a lot of these women.

This is a must keep for me. This will be kept on my nightstand and brought out when I need a little pick me up. It has also added books to my huge TBR pile. It is also something that I will gladly lend to my daughter when she's older. This would be a wonderful gift for a young woman who is looking for literary women to read.

Final Take: 4/5



Jen - Devourer of Books June 30, 2011 at 10:24 AM  

Yay! I'm so glad you liked it as much as I thought you would. I love that book so much, it is definitely going to be my go-to gift for young women for quite some time.

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