My guest today is author and blogger Ivy Logan. Today is publication day for Ivy’s debut novel, Broken. You can read more about that at the end of this post. Today, Ivy has written about keeping a clear head in romance – something we all should take note of, perhaps! Over to you, Ivy.
I love romance. But being a romantic and being a fool are different things, even if the two are often painted or rather tainted with the same brush. In this article I look to the classics for an answer.
Through the eyes of the second Mrs de Winter, Jane Eyre, Bathsheba Everdene and Jo March I try to find the perfect balance we girls need while looking for love. I trust that the wisdom of yore will offer us a glimpse into the ‘perfect romance’ somewhere between these lines.
REBECCA BY DAPHNE DU MAURIER
“They are not brave, the days when we are twenty-one. They are full of little cowardices, little fears without foundation, and one is so easily bruised, so swiftly wounded, one falls to the first barbed word.”
A rich, mysterious suitor, Max, sweeps a young woman, a companion to an older, sophisticated woman, off her feet. It is the typical rich boy-meets-impoverished girl scenario. If any one thought that this woman – whose first name we never learn – meeting her Prince Charming meant a happily ever after scenario, they were in for a rude shock.
Rebecca shows us that while you can’t stop love, it is better to be insightful rather than emotional and impulsive. Not knowing, is one thing and knowing yet accepting a harsh truth, eyes wide open, are two different things.
The mystery surrounding Max’s isolated home on the Cornish coast, Manderley, and the constant comparisons with the utterly ‘perfect’ Rebecca, almost break the second Mrs de Winter’s already fragile spirit.
Max never looks for his first wife in her but it doesn’t matter. His second wife’s insecurities taint his every action and reaction with shades of grey and doubt about his love for her.
The second wife’s life is far from the perfect love story she envisaged. The relationship she has with Max towards the conclusion of the book is more mature, a far cry from their initial whirl-wind romance.
JANE EYRE BY CHARLOTTE BRONTE
Another orphan meets our eye in Jane Eyre. Mistreated by her family and brought up in a charity school, Jane Eyre is a young lady who dreams of a better life. But unlike Daphne du Maurier’s unnamed protagonist, Jane’s spirit is not so easily crushed nor is her self-confidence so easily broken.
She believes that she has found the perfect love in the guardian of her charge, Mr Rochester. His love is so passionate that the usually reticent and reserved Jane finds herself plagued by strange emotions.
Yet, young Jane is prudent. She is not so accepting about lies and just before she is to walk down the aisle the harsh reality that her husband already has a wife is revealed; a volatile, crazy wife but a lawfully wedded and living wife nevertheless.
At that point in her life Jane has just discovered happiness. Thornfield has become a sanctuary for Jane and Mr. Rochester the one she loves. Her traitorous feelings almost compel her to give into Mr Rochester, married or not.
“Think of his misery; think of his danger–look at his state when left alone; remember his headlong nature; consider the recklessness following on despair–soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for YOU? or who will be injured by what you do?” they say to her.
Jane’s heart is a little sturdier than the second Mrs de Winter’s. Her will is stronger. She flees Thornfield because her conscience tells her. Ultimately she returns, but not before facing hardships and a turn of events leading to her being blessed with sudden good fortune.
Sometimes a particular guy, however inappropriate, holds a strong appeal. Something in him stokes the passion lying dormant in us, makes us feel safe and wanted. Is he necessarily the right guy? We need to have the guts to walk away sometimes. Some one needs to put ‘YOU’ first, and who better than you to do that?
The below lines describe Jane’s self control and determination to resist temptation.
“I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more un sustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man. I will hold to the principles received by me when I was sane, and not mad–as I am now. Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth? They have a worth–so I have always believed; and if I cannot believe it now, it is because I am insane–quite insane: with my veins running fire, and my heart beating faster than I can count its throbs. Preconceived opinions, foregone determinations, are all I have at this hour to stand by: there I plant my foot.”
FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD BY THOMAS HARDY
Set a little later in the Victorian Era, this novel has the independent, glorious, spirited, but innocent Bathsheba Everdene as the protagonist. The romance between her and a farmer fallen on hard times turned shepherd Gabriel Oaks takes years to reach its culmination. He is her first love but Miss Everdene put practicality and her farm’s progress over romance. She has to make her own mistakes in life before she can appreciate Gabriel.
“Bathsheba loved Troy in the way that only self-reliant women love when they abandon their self-reliance. When a strong woman recklessly throws away her strength she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away. One source of her inadequacy is the novelty of the occasion. She has never had practice in making the best of such a condition. Weakness is doubly weak by being new.”
Bathsheba or Miss Everdene’s courtship with Gabriel is free from impulse, unlike hers with Troy. She knows and accepts his quirks, his quiet strength, his unquestioning support and love.
“They spoke very little of their mutual feeling; pretty phrases and warm expressions being probably unnecessary between such tried friends. Theirs was that substantial affection which arises (if any arises at all) when the two who are thrown together begin first by knowing the rougher sides of each other’s character, and not the best till further on, the romance growing up in the interstices of a mass of hard prosaic reality. This good-fellowship — CAMARADERIE — usually occurring through similarity of pursuits, is unfortunately seldom superadded to love between the sexes, because men and women associate, not in their labours, but in their pleasures merely. Where, however, happy circumstance permits its development, the compounded feeling proves itself to be the only love which is strong as death — that love which many waters cannot quench, nor the floods drown, beside which the passion usually called by the name is evanescent as steam.”
LITTLE WOMEN BY LOUISA MARY ALCOTT
Jo March is poor as a church mouse. Her rich neighbor Teddy is desperately in love with her. Jo is clear that Teddy is a friend, almost a brother. She has stories to tell and places to go even if she has to sell her one beauty, her hair to do it. She refuses to settle into a relationship with a perfectly suitable and amiable boy just because he happens to be her best friend. She is convinced that the love she has for him and he for her is not the sort that a marriage should be based on. She has the courage of her convictions and to walk away from what would be considered an enviable match, and to focus on her dreams.
“I want to do something splendid before I go into my castle–something heroic, or wonderful–that won’t be forgotten after I’m dead. I don’t know what, but I’m on the watch for it, and mean to astonish you all, some day. I think I shall write books, and get rich and famous; that would suit me, so that is my favorite dream.”
The girls etched in our hearts and minds, through the classics have shown us that love is about first finding yourself, loving yourself. If it is so then romance can never become a crutch. It will not compensate for what is missing; instead it will only enrich and enhance the beauty of love.
The one you love should also be a true friend like Gabriel is to Bathsheba but you need not conveniently fall in love just because he is a friend like Jo and Laurie in Little Women.
Every man doesn’t have a secret like Mr Rochester or Max de Winter, but it is worthwhile treading a little wisely, before we give our hearts. For we all know that love has no rules. Through Rebecca, Jane Eyre, Far from the Madding Crowd and Little Women we see there are different reasons why we all want to love or be loved. Why be a fool and needlessly rush in?
Ivy loves romance. She believes that family, friendships and sometimes sacrifice are the essence of human life. Her books might be based in magical realms but they never forget one core fact- The greatest magic lies in the human heart .
Broken is Ivy Logan’s debut novel, and is available to buy here. It’s free to read on Kindle Unlimited. The prequel, a short story to Broken, titled Origins- The Legend of Ava, is available to download for free on Ivy’s website here.
The dark shadow cast by an ancient prophecy shatters an innocent family, but all that is broken is not lost.
Unaware of her supernatural legacy, half blood sorceress Talia has a unique childhood. Although protected by the love of her parents, Talia is instructed in the art of combat by her mother, Caitlin, a powerful sorceress of the Heichi clan.
When Talia’s family’s worst nightmare comes to pass, her protected life spins out of control. Everything she believes in and everyone she loves is cruelly snatched away and Talia is forced to flee the attentions of a mad king.
Choosing a path of retribution devoid of love and friendship, Talia comes to learn that love can be received even if it is not sought.
‘Broken’ chronicles, Talia’s rise from the ashes and how she finds herself again. She loses everything but never gives up on the Happily Ever After.
Set against a background of time travel and supernatural forces, read Talia’s epic saga of love, sacrifice, and discovering the hero within. Broken is thus the coming of age story of a girl who loses everything only to find herself and the courage to avenge her family. It is a tale of magic, mystery, and romance.
Broken is part of 3 book series called The Breach Chronicles and Book Two, titled Metamorphosis is up next.