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The Heroines

2.76  ·  Rating Details ·  981 Ratings  ·  280 Reviews
Up in the dusty attic of Prairie Bluff Homestead, Anne-Marie keeps all of her beloved books locked safely away. For her treasured novels - and the tragic heroines who make them so irresistible - have a way of hitting too close to home. To the Homestead itself, actually...

This otherwise ordinary boarding house has become the favoured refuge of the great women of literature,
Paperback, 256 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Arrow (first published December 1st 2007)
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Jul 11, 2008 Amanda rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crap, blog
Sometimes a clever conceit should remain just that--a conceit. Because no matter how you try to develop it, it will never be as as wonderful as the idea itself. Trying to build upon it and give it complexity strips it of its fanciful "What if?" brilliance and plummets it back to earth. And so we have The Heroines, a novel built around one of the most wonderful ideas I've ever encountered--what if the heroines from famous novels needed a respite from the tragedies of their own storylines--and yet ...more
Awesome idea. Terrible execution. It is just a mess. The writing is awful. I almost didn't make it through the first paragraph. It is much darker than I thought it would be, which is not bad in itself. The darkness didn't really do anything to me emotionally though. I didn't care about the characters at all. Also, the Heroines the novel is named after are underutilized. I thought it would be a story about what all the heroines got up to at the B&B, why they came, etc., but it was more the na ...more
Mar 02, 2009 Gerund rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stories about fictional characters interacting with the physical world are nothing new -- see Jasper Fforde's bestselling Thursday Next series or, on the silver screen, Enchanted. Still, the premise of this novel -- that literary heroines like Madame Bovary are able to visit our world via an isolated bed and breakfast in rural Illinois -- should delight all bibliophiles.

But premise only gets you so far, and this book turns out to be more Helen Fielding than Gustave Flaubert. Though that's unfai
Audrey Niffenegger's review on the front of this book is very apropos.

"Quirky: adolescent angst meets metaphysics, screwball-comedy trysts with the underpinnings of reality. It's funny and tender; it's a chance to see Scarlett O'Hara and Emma Bovary off duty."

This was a fun book to read - one of those read-it-in-one-day books.

This book really gives you a little look at what it would be like if heroines from books suddenly appeared in your home.
Apr 26, 2008 megan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I am giving this book 2 stars mainly because the idea was so wonderful--a bed and breakfast where heroines of classic literature come for a respite from their plotlines--but the execution just left me kind of "meh". I think it tried to be too many things--a book about coming of age, a book about literature, a book about mothers and daughters---and not one of those themes really melded well with another. There was also a lot of odd lusting from the main character, Penny--a 13 year old girl who ha ...more
Oct 04, 2011 Sue rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book began with such promise. A lively adolescent girl growing up in her mother's bed and breakfast, which just happens to be a favorite destination of literary heroines escaped from their novels for a little R & R -- what a delightful premise! (Hmmm . . . a premise with promise.) BUT, for me, the story fell flat.

When I try to analyze why it did so, I come to the conclusion that the author tried to write two different types of books at one time, and it just didn't work. When Penny (the
Jan 27, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008-reads
I lack the verbal skills to make you, the reader, fully comprehend the twitching heap of nerdy glee to which I was reduced by the sheer potential of this premise: rural bed and breakfast, in which dwells a female narrator steeped to the ears in puberty rage (and her mother), is visited periodically by heroines of classic literature, each on brief hiatus from the climax of her drama.

If you, like me, squealed and opened an window upon reading that, if you have already begun to consider
Mar 11, 2012 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It is 1974, and thirteen-year-old Penny is living with her mother in their small bed and breakfast in rural Illinois. Penny longs to read, but her mother has disallowed it and she can't understand why -- until the heroines from all sorts of famous works start magically coming to life and visiting the bed and breakfast. Their lives intersect with Penny's in unexpected ways, and through these intersections Penny must learn about what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a literary heroine, ...more
Jan 13, 2012 Ladygwen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
A Christmas gift from Miss B....It's an odd book, the fantasy clash of literature famous heroines appearing in an everyday bed and breakfast...set in the USA 70s. It has all the marks of the 70s, the pot, the psych and the drugs, Nixon and Watergate. It is literally a clash, which I found disconcerting, but I know that if that background wasn't there, there would be nothing, and the book would fall apart. I called Penny's parentage well before she knew it herself, found it odd how she kept refer ...more
Oct 10, 2015 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kristy Miller
If you are interested in this because love fiction/real life cross-over stories, such as the works of art written by Jasaper Fforde, do yourself a favor and skip this one.
Penny's mother has had book heroines popping in and out of her life since she was a child. Now she runs a bed and breakfast outside Chicago, where Heroines often come to escape the woes of their stories. Dealing with the emotionally wrought heroines doesn't leave much time for Penny, who is thirteen and wants some of her mothe
What if your favorite heroines from literature made an appearance in real life? Would it be fun, hobnobbing with them or an utter nightmare?

Being the inverse of the Thursday Next novels, Ms. Favorite adroitly brings the protagonists from some favorite old classics into the real world and shows how one woman and her curious daughter deals with them. These aren’t just heroines; these are heroines in need of rescue or at least a respite from the perils given to them by their authors. They cannot be
I was really excited to read this book, but it contained too much 'angst-ridden teenage rebellion', sexuality, & drug use for me to really enjoy the story. The book couldn't make up its mind whether it was metafiction or mother-daughter drama. The heroines didn't play as big a role as I had hoped. How could someone as fiery as Scarlett O'Hara be relegated to one chapter? If you're looking for wonderful metafiction, try reading Jasper Fforde.
Nov 07, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The idea is rather interesting - a bed and breakfast for all those heroines in those really old novels. But in some ways, you want it to be a little more something.

Favorite does an excellent job of nailing down the characters of her heroines, and the book is a rather intersting look at how we see fiction and fact. Just need a little more something.
Feb 17, 2008 Hilary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 08, 2013 Velvetink rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, sf-fantasy
This is a YA novel, but I really liked it.

found today 8/2/2013 1 of 20 books for $10
Mar 18, 2014 Jesi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(This one is going to contain spoilers. Sorry, but I have to talk about the ending with someone. Don't worry, I'll warn you when they are coming.)

When I first read the blurb on this book, I thought it sounded great. Set in 1974, thirteen year old Penny lives with her mother in a bed & breakfast set in a picturesque setting in northern Illinois. But, it's not an ordinary B&'s a place where literary heroines go to escape their stories. Past guests have included women like Scarlet O'
May 16, 2013 Melody rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heroines starts off with an intriguing premise. Ann-Marie and her daughter, Penelope, maintain a boarding house in the 1970s (Forrest Gump anyone?) and from time to time Heroines from various novels/plays/stories will come and visit them. There is only one rule: you must never interfere with a Heroine's fate. Little Penelope is 13 and on the cusp of womanhood as a daring Hero (or Villain?) arrives chasing down his lost heroine. She is drawn by this dashing stranger and resents the heroines for m ...more
TBBManiac Robs
The Book

Meet Penny, a thirteen year old girl whose mother, Anne Marie owns a bed and breakfast, the Homestead. Penny is faced with the normal challenges of any teen girl, a less-than-ideal relationship with her mom, a strong desire to rebel against the expectations placed on her, oh and a deep resentment towards the never ending presence of unexpected Heroine. The likes of Daisy Buchanan, Franny Glass and Anna Karenina have crossed their threshold seeking out comfort and support at the point in
cute / clever idea, bringing the "heroines" of books to life in the middle of their crisis, mother and daughter get to know them personally and thru their stories, without interfering!
recommended at the end of a Sookie Stackhouse recorded book... sounded interesting...

Penny - age 13 and Anne-Marie - her mother... live in her family home, somewhat secluded from town, near a woodsy area... running a bed & breakfast... and one where the heroines of stories come for various lengths of time for rest - Hester, Scarlet, Madame Bevary, Catherine, Rupunzel, etc...

Her mother lives by a fairly strict rule of non-interference.. .they come to the inn at a crisis point in their story,
Jeanette Stingley
When I read the inside blurb to this book, I couldn’t wait to tear into and read it. The story is set in 1974 in a small town in Illinois . A single mother runs and lives in a Bed and Breakfast with her daughter, Penny, and a quirky housekeeper, Gretta. The story is told from the point of view of Penny who is thirteen for the main part of the story but the story does jump back in her life for back story.

What makes this B&B unique is the times that heroines from classic fiction books and folk
Penelope Entwhistle è un’adolescente dirompente. Capelli ramati, elettrici ed eccentrici come la sua personalità. Penny è bizzarra come la propria apparenza, un personaggio dei fumetti dall’ironico piglio deciso, frettolosa e riflessiva allo stesso tempo.
Penny è l’Io narrante di un romanzo, che pare acerbo e ingenuo, quasi affrettato, non perfettamente consapevole di essere fondato su basi potenzialmente pretenziose.
Una narrazione che scorre leggera, frizzante ma che tocca temi importanti, com
Megan Palasik
Oct 05, 2011 Megan Palasik rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-book
This book was interesting. Not exactly what I expected, but not bad either. I listened to this as an audio book, so my experience may differ from other reviewers'.

This is the story of a girl, Penny, who lives in a bed and breakfast with her mother, Anne-Marie. Heroines from famous and not so famous books frequent their B&B almost as often as paying customers. Penny, as an early adolescent, has grown tired of her mother giving more attention to the whiny heroines than herself, and becomes a b
Sep 16, 2012 Constance rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Little House on the Wide Sargasso Prairie

Thirteen-year-old Penny Entwhistle, in Eileen Favorite’s new novel The Heroines, is growing up in the 1970s American Midwest on a steady diet of Watergate coverage and over-the-top dramatic heroines, from Scarlett O’Hara to Blanche du Bois. For those of us who grew up in similar places and times with similar reading lists, Penny is a familiar figure. One difference: for Penny, the fictional heroines come to weepy, irreverent life and set up residence at h
Leigh Teale
Jun 11, 2016 Leigh Teale rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I just finished a quick little read from my favorite place: The bargain section of Barnes & Nobel. You can normally get some pretty great stuff there, and I went on a spree because I had a happy little gift card. This book, as you can probably tell from the title, is called “The Heroines” by Eileen Favorite. This book really has a unique concept, and I admit that I had high expectations. When a book jacket tells me that I get an “off duty” look at the likes of Madame Bovary and Scarlett O’Ha ...more
Mar 03, 2009 Janice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
I first started listening to this as an audio book, and just could not get into it. I really disliked the mom, for her betrayal of her daughter, and even though I felt some sympathy for the 13 year old girl, I didn't really care enough about what happened to her to push through to complete the book. Yet I had really expected to love this book, with the role of literary heroines from books through the ages, and how the fantastical intermingled with the ordinary—so I checked out the hard copy book ...more
May 02, 2008 Lindsay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lindsay by: Dianne
Interesting enough, I read this novel right after finishing "Gods Behaving Badly," which also tries to answer the question of what happens when classic figures are thrust into modern life. Favorite's attempt was much more successful in this task largely because the quality of the writing is of a much higher caliber. She also strives to avoid the pitfalls of plot lines so trite that they inspire eye rolls and groans (Phillips falls into these head-first).

"The Heroines" is Penny's story of growing
Rachel Lehman
The Heroines is a tale of a young girl,penny, who lives with her mother in . Her Illinois runs a small bed and breakfast, but not all of the tenants are as normal as might be expected. Some of the guest at the inn have been and continue to be heroines from classic stories. These Heroines usually come to rest at the inn during the point in there stories that is the most traumatic. It is a kind of rest from there lives. Penny being a young teenage girl finds the attention that her mother is givin ...more
Erin O'Riordan
Jul 30, 2011 Erin O'Riordan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The cover of my edition portrays a woods in which great heroines of fiction are lounging. Hester Prynne and Scarlett O'Hara are the easiest to discern. The concept behind the book is something like Inkheart: the Heroines appear to Anne-Marie Entwhistle, take up residence in her inn and subsequently torment and fascinate her 13-year-old daughter Penny. Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina each make an appearance, as do J.D. Salinger's Franny and Emily Bronte's Catherine Earnshaw.

Catherine was the mos
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Eileen Favorite teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she received her MFA in Writing in 1999. Her poems, essays, and stories have been published in many periodicals. She has received two Illinois Arts Council Fellowships for poetry and prose. Her poetry and essays have aired on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio. She lives in Chicago with her husband and daughter.
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“Choosing between day and night. Edgar and Heathcliff.” 16 likes
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