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. Narrated by the courageous and irreverent Penny, The Heroines will make book lovers rejoice.
Eileen Favorite teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA in writing in 1999. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize for her short story "Gangway: The Space Between Two Houses." Her poetry and prose have appeared in literary magazines and her essays and poems have aired on Chicago Public Radio. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.
"On a picturesque acreage near Prairie Bluff, Illinois, thirteen-year-old Penny Entwhistle and her mother, Anne-Marie, run a retreat where literary Heroines seek temporary refuge from their tragic destinies. Franny Glass, Madame Bovary, Scarlett O'Hara, Catherine Earnshaw, and others find respite from their varied cries, but must return to their books eventually and suffer the fate that awaits...Favorite offers a fun take on the impact literature can have on our lives." -- Publishers Weekly
"Quirky: adolescent angst meets metaphysics, screwball-comedy trysts with the underpinnings of reality. It's funny and tender; it's a chance to see Scarlett O'Hara and Emma Bovary off duty." -- Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife