Friday, January 15, 2021

Book Beginnings: Plain Bad Heroines

by Emily M. Danforth
William Morrow, October 2020

Opening Lines

Excerpt From
The Story of Mary MacLane
By Mary MacLane 

Though I am young and feminine — very feminine — I am not that quaint conceit, a girl: the sort of person that Laura E. Richards writes about, and Nora Perry, and Louisa M. Alcott, — girls with bright eyes, and with charming faces (they always have charming faces), standing with reluctant feet where the brook and river meet, — and all that sort of thing.

About the Book
1902, Brookhants School for Girls: students Flo and Clara are madly in love with each other, as well as completely obsessed with The Story of Mary MacLane, the scandalous debut memoir by 19 year old MacLane. A few months later they are found dead in the woods, after a horrific wasp attack, the book lying next to their intertwined bodies. Within five years the school is closed. But not before three more people die on the property, each in a troubling way.
Over a hundred years later, Brookhants opens its doors once more, when a crew of young actresses arrive to film a high-profile movie about the rumoured Brookhants curse. And as past and present become grimly entangled, it’s soon impossible to tell quite where the curse leaves off and Hollywood begins. (Description from GoodReads)

Initial Thoughts
Actually, my first thought was that that opening passage isn't really pulling me in. Also, I had to Google Nora Perry to see if she was a real or made-up person. And she was real! She was "an American poet, newspaper correspondent, and writer of juvenile stories." Good to know.

This was an Early Reviewer win from LibraryThing, and (as usual) I'm very late in getting it read. Not sure exactly why I requested it — it's very much outside my normal comfort zones. Maybe that's why. But at just over 600 pages, it's also a book that's going to take me a looong time to finish. It's been quite a while since I took on such a chunkster. So I'll just have to see how long I can stick with the girls of Brookhants and their scandalous adventures.

Have a good weekend, everyone.
Stay safe. Stay calm. And happy reading!

Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Friday As she says, the idea is to post the first sentence (or so) of the book you're currently reading, along with any first impressions or thoughts you have about the book, the author, etc.  It's a wonderful way of adding new books to your must-read list, and a chance to connect with other readers and bloggers.



  1. Okay, the excerpts pulled me in...but the hefty book, not so much. I am curious to read your final thoughts. Here's mine: “RACHEL TO THE RESCUE”

  2. I've got a coy of this on my shelf and I can't wait to read it!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  3. I hope you end up enjoying Plain Bad Heroines. I love that title and it does sound intriguing. I hope you have a great weekend!


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