Although a true lover of books, Anne-Marie Entwhistle prefers not to read to her spirited daughter, Penny, especially from the likes of Madame Bovary , Gone With the Wind , or The Scarlet Letter . These novels, devoted to the lives of the Heroines that make them so irresistible, have a way of hitting too close to home — well, to the Homestead actually, where Anne-Marie runs the quaint family-owned bed and breakfast. In this enchanting debut novel, Penny and her mother encounter great women from classic works of literature who make the Homestead their destination of choice just as the plots of their tumultuous, unforgettable stories begin to unravel. They appear at all hours of the day and in all manners of distress. A lovesick Madame Bovary languishes in their hammock after Rodolphe has abandoned her, and Scarlett O’Hara’s emotions are not easily tempered by tea and eiderdowns. These visitors long for comfort, consolation, and sometimes for more attention than the adolescent Penny wants her mother to give. Knowing that to interfere with their stories would cause mayhem in literature, Anne-Marie does her best to make each Heroine feel at home, with a roof over her head and a shoulder to cry on. But when Penny begins to feel overshadowed by her mother’s indulgence of each and every Heroine, havoc ensues, and the thirteen-year-old embarks on her own memorable tale. Eileen Favorite’s lively, fresh, and enormously entertaining novel gives readers a chance to experience their favorite Heroines all over again, or introduces these fictional women so beguilingly that further acquaintance will surely follow.
My take: 2.5 looks
After reading the summary, I would say that you don’t really need to read the book. It pretty much sums up the whole thing. I found it difficult to get into the story, then once I was into the action, I found it hard to understand why Anne-Marie chose the heroines over her own daughter time and time again. As a mother, that is completely unbelievable.
Toward the end, there was a spark of whether or not Penny may be a heroine. I would have LOVED that twist in the story. It would have made it more compelling.
While this is an intriguing storyline, I can’t recommend it.