I’ve had a chance to reflect on books that made an impact on me when I was a young reader.
1. The Secret Garden -Frances Hodgson Burnett
2. The Catcher in the Rye -J.D. Salinger
3. Nine Stories -J.D. Salinger
4. Of Human Bondage-W. Somerset Maughan
5. To Kill a Mockingbird-Harper Lee
I pondered why those books resonated with me and if there was a shift from my early childhood interests to the themes that attract me today.
1. The Secret Garden -ah yes! The transformation of a selfish, unhappy girl to a focused young woman with a mission. The rescue of a decaying garden to a place of happiness and joy. I’ve always enjoyed novels where the heroine ‘fixes’ up something, whether it is a bed and breakfast, or a bakery. Or even better, when the heroine tries to work on herself.
2. The Catcher in the Rye -No kidding! The ultimate young adult novel. The narrator was speaking to me. I loved the focus on the inability to fit in. This genre has exploded in the last few years.
3. Nine Stories -Eccentric characters and unexpected plot twists. I love to be shocked and turned around by a surprise ending.
4. Of Human Bondage-tangled relationships with deception and mistrust. The characters in this novel act in insidious ways and can upset the reader.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird-injustice and the destruction of innocence. Still big concepts today.
So, I guess one could say that I haven’t changed very much. These brilliant authors with their powerful work have stayed in my psyche for years. They tackled complex problems with stunning expertise.
Do you remember the childhood books that impacted you greatly?
Do they inform your writing today?
I’d love to hear from you.