As a writer, you know you’re in the middle of a really good book when almost every sentence you read makes you feel torn between wanting to continue reading or closing the book to start writing instead. 

How to be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis is a book like that. In this book about books, Ellis reexamines her favourite childhood heroines from fiction to see if they are really as heroic as she remembered them to be. 

For example, was there that much to love about Cathy Earnshaw in Wuthering Heights? Was Jo March in Little Women really that much of a wild thing? Is it a good thing that Anne from Anne of Green Gables grew up? 

I’ve read most of these books and loved some of these heroines as well. And now I’m wondering if I would still see them the same way. 

I always loved the fact that Jo married an old German professor that could “handle” her. And now I wonder if my reading of Little Women was coloured by my daddy issues. 

The thing about the classics is that they grow with you. Every reread is almost like reading a different book, depending on what stage of life you’re at. 

It’s been a while since I’ve cracked open the spine of these books and How to be a Heroine makes me want to dive back into these stories again. 

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