15 February 2009


One of the reasons behind my decision to go 'walkabout' was to learn to express myself. And while I have been holding to the letter of the law, I haven't been holding to the spirit. I find self-expression incredibly difficult; if I expose a layer of myself to another then I make myself vulnerable...

I finished reading The Defiant Hero this morning and I thought it was an incredible book - the emotional intensity of Meg & John's relationship and of Eve's story, was breathtaking! It wasn't an easy read and I realised yesterday afternoon the reason why - the book made me feel too much. (And the jury is still out on whether that is a good thing.) Any book that hits such a nerve with me isn't an easy read, but definitely well worth the journey. And while immediately upon finishing such a book and shortly thereafter life is a little flat, is it also the better for it. There have been a number of books over the past few years that have evoked the same intensity. I thought I would attempt to discuss each one in turn over the forthcoming weeks as a way for me to hold to the spirit behind my walkabout...

The books are:

- Blue-Eyed Devil (Lisa Kleypas)
- Mine to Possess (Nalini Singh)
- Blackmailed Into Marriage (Lucy Monroe)

Broadly, the first deals with narcissism, the second with self-esteem and trust and the third with sexual dysfunction disorders. Apologies - not 'cheer germ' topics by any stretch of the imagination. All three books discusses issues close to my heart, and all three made me realise I wasn't....wrong (as in broken) so to speak. To the authors of these books I say thank you - for writing a book that deals with issues often ignored or overlooked. I'm not a heroine in a romance novel and I don't believe my hero will come sweeping in to rescue me..but then the heroes in these books didn't rescue their heroines. Instead, they supported them and allowed them the space and time to overcome the obstacles and issue before them. I only hope I can be as strong as those heroines. And while my journey won't be easy or short, at least I am making it, not avoiding it.

So, which books have you read that speak to you? They may not necessarily be one of your favourite books, as they won't be easy to read, but they will be the books that made you reflect on who you are...or the way you see yourself.


  1. First and above all: brava, orannia! *hug*

    It takes a special kind of courage to see oneself clearly and to change not constructive patterns of behaviour.

    As for the question... that has changed as I have changed. Laura Kinsale's Flowers from the Storm was a book I couldn't re-read for ages. Outwardly, it doesn't reflect anything of my life, but Christian's impotence, frustration, anguish, anger--and his inability to communicate any of them but the last--made me realize I tend to internalize all my feelings until anger explodes out. That realization shook me to the core--and has helped me grow.

    Another book that touched a similar chord, years later, is Suzanne Brockmann's Heartthrob (and I definitely recommend this book on its own terms, by the way, it's excellent writing, everything else aside). Again, while the heroine has issues, it's the hero's journey of self-growth that resonates with me.

    In a different way, Linda Howard's Cry No More was an extremely difficult book to read for me, and one I don't know if I will ever be able to re-read. Still, it's in my keeper shelf, for the writing is beyond excellent.

    [spoilers ahead if you haven't read it]

    I have two kids (okay, almost adults now) and my recurrent day-mare is to lose one of them--in any way. Milla's anguish and fixation with her missing baby are just... well, words fail me.

    There are more, but these are the ones that spring to mind without thinking.

    Here is wishing you a successful walkabout, orannia!

  2. Thank you azteclady! (((((azteclady)))))

    I know changing patterns of behavious conditioned since childhood isn't going to be easy, but I had a beautiful example last night of why it is so important for me to do this...

    I love Cry No More..it was a beautiful book and one of my keepers. And Heartthrob sounds amazing, so I've added it to my TBR list :)

  3. I'm looking forward to your posts on those three books, orannia. And I made note of the books azteclady mentions as well.

    As you are already well aware of, Kleypas' Blue Eyed Devil is the novel that most resonates with me.