A Girl Walks Into a Book

Maddox Pennington

How many times have you heard readers argue about which is better, Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights? The works of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne continue to provoke passionate fandom over a century after their deaths. Brontë enthusiasts, as well as those of us who never made it further than those oft-cited classics, will devour Maddox Pennington’s delightful literary memoir.
   Pennington, today a playwright and teacher in Los Angeles, was a precocious reader. Their father gave them Jane Eyre at the age of 10, sparking what would become a lifelong devotion and multiple re-readings. They began to delve into the work and lives of the Brontës finding that the sisters were at times a lifeline, a sounding board, even their closest friends. In this charming, offbeat memoir, Pennington traces the development of the Brontës as women, as sisters, and as writers, as they recount their own struggles to fit in as a bookish, introverted, nonbinary person. In the Brontës and their characters, Pennington finally finds the heroines they need, and they become obsessed with their wisdom, courage, and fearlessness. Their obsession makes for an entirely absorbing and unique read.
   A Girl Walks Into a Book is a candid and emotional love affair that braids criticism, biography and literature into a quest that helps us understand the place of literature in our lives; how it affects and inspires us.