Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery 


Genre: Classic/YA Fiction

Dear old world…you are very lovely, and I’m glad to be alive in you.

I first met Anne Shirley when I was 12 years old. There was a program called accelerated reading and this book was worth the most points. Me, being an overacheiver, accepted the challenge.

I found myself in Anne. With her vivid imagination, bright red hair, and comapassion. I wanted to be Anne and she was one of my first heroines. 

I could go on all day about how Anne Shirley changed my life. ❤ This is one of those books that lasts a lifetime.


How to be a Heroine 

How to be a Heroine: Or what I’ve learned from reading too much By Samantha Ellis


Genre: Memior

Yet I feel that more heroines now are Scarlets than Melanies. Melanie’s quieter virtues have gone a bit lost, and many heroines now seemed defined mainly by their strength…They’re Warriors not Worriers.

Though I’m begining to think all readings are provisional, and that maybe we read heroines for what we need from them at the time.

This is a memior where an author looks back on her favorite books where a Heroine was a standout. And how it shaped her growing up and what she took from them. And she rereads these books to see how they may have changed over the decades. 

The author herself is muslim/Jewish and is raised in England. It plays alot on how she goes  through things and how she defines herself and what she wants from life outside of tradition. She explores Anne Shirley, Charlotte and Emily Brönte, Pride and Prejudice, Sylvia Plath (etc) and talks about what makes the MC’S heroines. 
This book was fascinating and very well written. Alot of her heroines are ones that I myself have turned to in times of need. Her adventures are relatable and it makes her very human. I didn’t agree with all of her opinions but it did make me think of what I may have pulled from my own reading to define my sense of self.

I recommend this to the ladies and pose a question: who’s your favorite literature based heroine and why?


Just Jane

Just Jane by Nancy Moser


Genre: Historical Fiction 

When I read a novel, I am not here- I am transported to far off places, my eyes unseen of the words on the page, busy with a sense of being played out in my minds eye, with my ears engaged, hearing the voices carry from the pen to the present. What a lovely place to be- not here.

This book is the second in a a series called Women in History, but reads very much like a stand alone. 

Not much is known of Jane Austen. She lived a quiet life, unmarried and did not seek to be famous from her written works. Alot of her life is not known, but presumptions can be made from the remaining letters that were written to her sister Catherine and what is generally public knowledge. 

This tale is a first hand account (via Jane’s voice) of her life. What she went through after being rebuffed by a man named Thomas Lefroy and how close she was to her sister, whose fiance had died overseas on a mission. You follow in Janes footsteps as she moves from the countryside to Bath, and onward, and get a sense of the feeling behind her work as she worked on her most famous pieces. 

I honestly loves this book. One of my favorite movies is Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway. It reminded me alot of that, except on a more personal level. Many books like this exsist and many more are likely to be written as we continue to speculate about the wonder that is Jane Austen. 

If your a fan, go read this. It’s rich with fact and infused with beautiful fiction.


The Sleeping Dictionary 

The Sleeping Dictionary by Sujata Massey


Genre: Fiction 

My trial is hard indeed. Just when I need a helpmate the most, I am thrown back on myself. Nevertheless, I record my vow that even in this trial, I shall win through. Alone, then, shall I tread my thorny path to the end of this life’s journey.

Oh this one was fantastic. 

Set in India/Burma pre-during WWII, thus is the account of a young Indian woman who overcomes all odds and makes a life for herself. At a young age, she loses her entire family to a Tsunami and is saved herself by climbing a tree and fate of having taken a different path home that day. She wanders lost for awhile until she finds employment as a maid in a school for English girls in India. Over the course of a few years, she learns to read and write English on the sly. She befriends a young Indian woman who was from her home village and uses her skills in English to help her write letters to her fiance in England. Sadly, her friend passes away due to malaria and she is forced away due to accusations of theft and she finds herself nameless and unemployed. She makes it her vow to one day find her friends fiance and prove to him that it was she who wrote the letters, and confirm their love. 

Her life journey continues to a whore house, pregnant and alone, and then employed to an English gentleman as his librarian. She faces hardship, loss, betrayal, love, etc along the way and finds out who she is along the way. 

This book was beautiful and captivating and reminded me a little of A Little Princess. She faces down life and comes out triumphant and proves to the world a single woman of no standing can make a name for herself in the world of men. And what we think we want is not always what we need. It’s also a good look at the way Indian women were treated at the start of the century. (And still today, I believe).  The MC goes through so many changes and flourishes. She was strong, she perservered, and she made a life for herself. 

I recommend this to the women of the world who need an uplifting, powerful story.