I'll let you know what I think just as soon as I've finished the book. In the meantime, here's Evie and some of the fictional characters that have had the greatest impact on her...
Not Pretty Women.
As readers, we all crave the discovery of the characters that instantly become a part of us. When I decided to pull together a list of the ones that have had the greatest impact on me, I was a bit surprised to find that all of them are female, and that none of them are pretty.
Sara Crewe, from Frances Hodgson Burnett’s A LITTLE PRINCESS – Sara Crewe is a clever and caring child, but not a beautiful one. That such a person could be the subject of a story was startling to me, an equally not–beautiful child in a world where princesses sang with sparkly eyes and seemed to have a lot of time on their hands. Sara lived not in a castle but in a severe London school, and I always picture her alone in her freezing garret, naming the rats that come to share her meager crumbs. Her unshakeable integrity in the face of cruelty and injustice never ceases to inspire me.
Meg Murry, from Madeleine L’Engle’s A WRINKLE IN TIME – Meg is angry, sullen and awkward, yet she’s the one who saves her little brother. She succeeds by coming to accept that she’s lovable just as she is, with all of her flaws. She also gets the cute boy in the end. I would love to liquefy this and vaccinate every fourteen–year–old girl with it.
Harriet D. Vane, first introduced in the Dorothy L. Sayers STRONG POISON – We meet Harriet in 1930, on trial for the murder of her former live-in lover. She broke off the relationship when he eventually asked her to marry him, something the public seizes on as evidence of her depravity. Few except urbane sleuth Lord Peter Wimsey see it as a sign of integrity and courage; Harriet could love a man who genuinely didn’t believe in marriage, but could only despise one who pretended to do so in order to test her devotion. When rich and fascinating Lord Peter throws himself at her feet after saving her from the gallows, she rejects him. She sees the very fact that she owes him her life as an insurmountable obstacle to an equitable relationship. Oh, Harriet – I adore you.
Thank you for allowing me to share these amazing characters with you. If you’ve missed out on any of these wonderful books, I can’t recommend them enough.
Thank you Evie :o) If you want to stick around for the rest of the tour (I will be) then here are the places you need to visit over the rest of this week...
Tuesday ("Blueberries") http://civilian-reader.blogspot.co.uk/
Wednesday ("Monomania") http://www.curiositykilledthebookworm.net/
Thursday ("The Other Shoe") http://steve-emmett.com/
Friday ("Midlife") http://bookmonkeyscribbles.wordpress.com/