I’ve ridden across desert plains, survived in harsh dystopian societies, risen to the top in the boardroom, flounced about at Regency balls and rid the world of many a bad guy (or woman). As have you.
We dip in and out of their lives; these heroines, or heroes, who draw us into their worlds for the time it takes to read their story. We get escapism, sometimes knowledge and, hopefully, entertainment. But would you want to be them?
As a teenager I lost myself in tales of bold heroines, as I tried to discover the type of woman I wanted to become. I yearned to be Elizabeth Bennet, the second of the sisters who graced the pages of Pride and Prejudice. I had friends who preferred the serene and kindly Jane but, like so many others, the sharp-tongued, intelligent and oh-so-fallible Lizzy was someone I could be. Ahem – not to mention that she ends up with Fitzwilliam Darcy! (We’re all seeing Colin Firth right now, aren’t we?) A whole sub-genre has been created in re-imagining the world of P&P; long may it continue.
I’m an eclectic, genre-jumping reader and devoured everything from sword-bashing Romans to sweeping sagas and contemporary drama.
I was in my Nora Roberts phase for years. Her romance stories are laced with suspense, crimes and strong heroines. I guess I’d like to be a little like any of Nora’s heroines – at least for a day.
Next up was an obsession with crime thrillers and sassy forensic medical examiners. Yep, I dove into the worlds of Tempe Brennan and Kay Scarpetta. I loved the science, the crime-solving and learning more about a subject I knew nothing about. I also love their fabulous homes!
Then I was Jane Rizzoli. She was a cop, a woman in a male-dominated environment but she held her own, was one of the guys. She softened a little as we saw her friendship develop with the elegant, and oh so different, Maura Isles. Each learned from the other, just like all great friendships.
I’ve read countless historical tales, contemporary romance, and on-trend psychological thrillers, yet never found a character who stayed with me long after the final page was read; whose life I kept thinking about.
And then I discovered JD Robb’s “Naked In Death”. I just knew I wanted the life of New York homicide detective, Eve Dallas; which is strange to say the least, as Eve has gone through unimaginable trauma and pain but she is strong and vulnerable, powerful and unsure. She is real.
Eve is damaged and prickly, yet we see her change over the novels in more ways than one, as she is thrust into a world that is alien to her. Then there is Roarke, but that’s a whole other tale!
JD Robb is the pen-name of the prolific Nora Roberts for the “In Death” series. Each book pulls away more layers of the embattled Eve as she changes and grows to fit the life that is now hers. A life I happily fall into when I read the latest novel and I would certainly spend at least a month as Eve Dallas. Just for the auto-chef alone. There, I didn’t even mention Roarke.
Whose life would you have – even for a day?