BOOK: Novel Advice–Practical Wisdom for Your Favorite Literary Characters
AUTHOR: Jay Bushman
YEAR OF PUBLICATION: 2020
If you like the premise of this book (Antigone of Greek mythology as an agony aunt, dispensing advice to other, mostly more recent, literary figures), you will likely enjoy it. If you find the premise confusing, pointless, twee, ridiculously silly, or irritatingly shallow–well then, just stop right there and find something else to read.
Personally, I found both the premise and the execution of this book rather amusing, the work itself not so much an advice letter as a love letter to the memorable characters in classic literary works. The life advice within is actually quite good. (Antigone has been through a lot, and has wisdom to share.) The most fun part is reading the letters without checking the table of contents and seeing if you can figure out whether it’s Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables asking advice about school, or Boo Radley from To Kill a Mockingbird seeking help making friends in the neighborhood, or Ophelia from Hamlet hoping for some dating tips. Lady Macbeth truly is in dire need of marital advice, and Mrs. Bennett of a financial plan. (All of this is, of course, only fun if you’re familiar with the classics.)
If you’re a fan of old stories reimagined, you’ll likely enjoy this romp through centuries of literature. And this would make a lovely gift for that friend who has read everything. And if this is not to your liking–worry not. The originals are not going away and will always be here for those who seek them out. I think it likely that unusual takes like this one will lead more readers to discover, and be inspired by, the classics.
RATING (one to five whistles, with five being the best): 3 1/2 Whistles
HOW TO PURCHASE: Amazon
Laura LaVelle is an attorney and writer who lives in Connecticut, in a 100-year-old house, along with her husband, two daughters, and a cockatiel.
Laura can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Book Cover Courtesy of Simon and Schuster
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