A Debut Book That is a Little of a Lot

A Girl Walks Into A Book:
What the Brontes Have Taught Me About Life, Love, and Women's Work
by Miranda K. Pennington

ebook edition, 320 pages, May 16, 2017, Seal Press

Also available in paperback

GoodReads Summary:  

How many times have you heard readers argue about which is better, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights? The works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne continue to provoke passionate fandom over a century after their deaths. Brontë enthusiasts, as well as those of us who never made it further than those oft-cited classics, will devour Miranda Pennington's delightful literary memoir.
Pennington, today a writer and teacher in New York, was a precocious reader. Her father gave her Jane Eyre at the age of 10, sparking what would become a lifelong devotion and multiple re-readings. She began to delve into the work and lives of the Brontës, finding that the sisters were at times her lifeline, her sounding board, even her closest friends. In this charming, offbeat memoir, Pennington traces the development of the Brontës as women, as sisters, and as writers, as she recounts her own struggles to fit in as a bookish, introverted, bisexual woman. In the Brontës and their characters, Pennington finally finds the heroines she needs, and she becomes obsessed with their wisdom, courage, and fearlessness. Her obsession makes for an entirely absorbing and unique read.
A Girl Walks Into a Book is a candid and emotional love affair that braids criticism, biography, and literature into a quest that helps us understand the place of literature in our lives; how it affects and inspires us.

The eARC of A Girl Walks Into A Book was provided by Seal Press and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, for which I am not being compensated in any way. All opinions are fully my own.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

My first responseA madcap whirl of images swirling around in my head of Jane and her dearest Edward, then the author comes on very heavily about the Bronte sisters' brother and his alcoholism and drug use and her own alcohol problems. Here is where she really draws the parallels between the books and her life. This is one heck of a debut book. Full review on my blog after April 20th...

My Review:  
This is a debut book. It is a memoir. A literary critique of all the works by the Brontes. A self-help guide of how to use the works of the Brontes in your life. How can one book be all these things you say? When the author has a masters degree in creative nonfiction, I think. 

Ms. Pennington uses the writings of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Bronte to relate her own life experiences as well as to relate the lives of the Brontes. At the same time, she uses the characters as role models in her life. For instance, she uses Jane Eyre as her role model in a relationship at one point in her life. The way Jane acted in her relationship with Mr. Rochester at the discovery of his mad wife in the attic. Ms. Pennington left a relationship in a similar way using Jane as her role model.

The details of the lives of the three sisters and their brother have been meticulously researched by this Bronte aficionado. And she shares much of her research with us in her book. She has been a fan of Charlotte Bronte since she was 10 and received her first copy of Jane Eyre. Since then, she has made a thorough study of the lives and works of the three sisters and their brother, gaining access to resources not readily accessible to most readers. She shares their lives and works and her own life as well with us as she twines them all into a whole that amazes. She draws parallels between her modern life with writings and lives from a century ago. She makes you see the writings in a fresh light. She certainly made me want to read Jane Eyre again. As well as some of the other works I wasn't as familiar with. 

I can't recommend this book to you strongly enough. If you like memoirs, this will interest you. If you're a Bronte fan, this with enthrall you. If you're just looking for something off the beaten path, this is it. I do hope we see more from this author in time. Release date is May 16, 2017.