(And I’m not talking about bringing the Kindle here, loaded with millions of titles. It’s a real, paper and ink book we’re discussing today.)
Tough question? Yes, it is, that’s why I’m asking it. You need to dig deep here, kids.
Depending on what genre you like to read, it could be a non-fiction bestseller, an autobiography, a sports book or even Camping for Dummies (hey, you ARE stranded on a deserted island, you know.)
For myself it’s a no-brainer. I’d bring Pride and Prejudice.
Why would I bring a book whose story is over 250 years old, you ask. Well, I’m glad you did.
As a lover of romance novels – and a writer of the same – Pride and Prejudice for me is the penultimate story of love. It has everything a romance book should have: a strong female lead; a tortured, romantic hero, miscommunication, drama, betrayal, several black moments, a wonderful story-line, and most of all a happily ever after ending that endures for all time.
I think I’ve read this book – no lie – two dozen times since I was 11. The first time I read it the language gave me a bit of difficulty – hey, I was a tween! – and I had trouble understanding some of the plot. I did think Mr Collins was odious, though, even at that tender age, a thought I still have to this day.
I read it again for high school English. This time around, though, I was able to gleam more about the plot and I remember wondering why Lizzy didn’t try to talk Charlotte out of marrying Mr Collins. If she was a true friend, she should have. I also remember it was at this time in my life I began to see Darcy for the hunkadoodledoo he was.
College brought the next reading and by now I loved Lizzy for her strength of character and her loyalty and – even though I knew the end of the story – I prayed she would wind up with Darcy and not the narcissistic Wickham.
The next several times I read the book were after relationship breakups. I’d read the book cover to cover while inhaling cartons of Milano cookies and Pepperidge farm layer cakes. Then I’d watch the BBC rendition with Colin Firth as Darcy. This always made me feel so much better and got me through the downside of the breakups.
After I was married and the Kiera Knightley movie version came out, I read it again a few times and was impressed with how easy it now was to understand the language. Much more so than when I was 11 and had an untrained English lit ear.
Through all of the re-reads, though, I have never once been disappointed with the story. I know some of the page dialogue by heart and can quote Lizzy’s infamous dismissal speech to Darcy verbatim. The story stands up to time and differing cultures, class and age group demographics.
If I could only take one book to read on that island until I was (hopefully) rescued, it would always be Pride and Prejudice.
And in the event I could take two…..
My most recent book, THE VOICES OF ANGELS.
Love is the last thing Carly Lennox is looking for when she sets out on her new book tour. The independent, widowed author is content with a life spent writing and in raising her daughter. When newscaster Mike Woodard suggests they work on a television magazine profile based on her book, Carly’s thrilled, but guarded. His obvious desire to turn their relationship into something other than just a working one is more than she bargained for.
Mike Woodard is ambitious, and not only in his chosen profession. He wants Carly, maybe more than he’s ever wanted anything or anyone else. As he tells her, he’s a patient man. But the more they’re together, Mike realizes it isn’t simply desire beating within him. Carly Lennox is the missing piece in his life. Getting her to accept it-and him-may just be the toughest assignment he’s ever taken on.