The Flight of Gemma Hardy by Margot Livesey
I chose Jane Eyre for my senior thesis on derivative works (by which I of course mean fanfiction) rather than any particular Austen for three reasons: Jane Eyre is often misunderstood and read through the lens of a romance novel, it already has a recognized and respected derivative work associated with it (Wide Sargasso Sea), and the sheer amount of Austen pastiches, even were I to limit myself to a single book, would, frankly, kill me. Of course, I didn’t realize it was the season for Jane Eyre-derived works, and this year alone has brought A Breath of Eyre, the upcoming Ironskin, and The Flight of Gemma Hardy, a novel which poses an interesting question in terms of derivative works.
Do you like to talk about what you read? Do you have somebody to talk WITH?
…yes. Hence the blog.
Okay, all flippancy aside, yes, I do. I have a pretty awful memory, and I started this book blog to keep track of what I read and how I felt about it, partially because I don’t really have anyone in real life to consistently talk books with. Oh, I’ll occasionally catch someone reading what I’m reading—my academic advisor is reading The Flight of Gemma Hardy, which I finished the other day—but for the most part, not so much. I belonged to a book club in high school, which I enjoyed (I think there’s one or two reviews from the very end of high school on here, like The Interview with the Vampire), but my reading is half pleasure-reading and half-research at any given moment, so it’s impossible for someone to be reading everything I read.
But with a blog, people who have read what I’ve read or have any passing interest in what I’ve read can comment on its review and get a discussion going—even people I know in real life. The answer to this question isn’t yes or no; it’s book blogging. Even if you have someone to talk every one of your reads over in real life, it’s nice to get other perspectives.