I’m very excited to be joining forces with my merry band of writing friends to celebrate the launch of two books from our group: Sara Foster’s All That is Lost Between Us, and A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald by yours truly! Because both books feature young women with big goals, we thought it would be fun to reflect on the book or books that most inspired us when we were young women.
I’ve got to say, I found this hard. So many books to choose from! But it always comes back to one: Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte.
Jane Eyre: A Book That Inspired Me
Maybe this is where my preference for writing heroes with dark hair comes from but Rochester and Jane made such a huge impression on me as a twelve year old. I’d heard of the word passion, but had no idea what it really meant until I read this book.
It had everything: I was horrified by the cruelty Jane suffers as a young girl; wowed by her bravado when she stands up to Rochester, who is, in the beginning, a trifle scary; terrified by the bed-burnings and moanings and eventual discovery of a madwoman in the attic; traumatised when Jane is left at the altar; beside myself at the thought of her marrying St John; and so damned happy when she finally marries Rochester.
And so my love of the epic novel, the love story, the tale of someone fighting against the odds to become something other than what anyone ever expected of them was born. Nobody ever thought Jane would amount to anything at the start of the book. But, by the end, she is well and truly deserving of the word heroine.
I reread Jane Eyre every couple of years and it inspires me as much today as it did when I was twelve. I understand a lot more of it now than I did back then, and I gain something new from it on each re-reading.
So, are you a Jane Eyre fan? Or do you side more with Heathcliffe, who I’ve never been able to make myself get along with. What is the book that you read as a younger person and that still inspires you today?
Other Inspiring Books
My writing friends have made some wonderful choices too. You can hop over to their blogs to find out which book inspires them. Find Sara Foster here, Amanda Curtin here, Annabel Smith here, Yvette Walker here, Dawn Barker here, and Emma Chapman here.