This week’s Inheritance Books are from the lovely South African author, Inge Saunders. Hi Inge, welcome to the Inheritance Books sofa. (I’m still getting used to the sofa, personally. In a good way). Can I get you a cup of tea?
While the tea’s brewing, please tell us a bit about yourself.
Top Gear? Riiight. Moving swiftly on. Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
My grandmother was an avid reader. At age ten or so, I asked her what she was reading one day and she showed me the book. An Afrikaans romance novel, Van Tinkie, Met Liefde by Ella Van Der Mescht. She gave the book to me and it`s the first romance novel I ever read.
I still remember all the details of the story although the book itself had gotten lost as we moved to our new home. I had reread it so many times. It was my go-to book when I was bored, sad, or just wanted an escape from the everyday. This spunky heroine who travelled on her horse from one small town to the next because her father`s former childhood friend had invited her for a visit, meanwhile the two were planning on getting her married to the friend`s son! *laughs* It`s brilliant in its simplicity. Needless to say, the two end up together. But not before the sparks fly, a current money-grabbing fiancé provides problems and the two, themselves, are as apposite as night and day.
The book was the start of many sessions of reading with my grandmother and a shared love for books. She unfortunately died before I could share my first novel with her. I know that where she is, she`s only read it but wrote it with me.
Which book would you like to leave to future generations? Why?
It`s no secret to those who know me. I adore Jane Austin`s work. Therefore, I do firmly believe future generations would benefit from reading Pride & Prejudice.
I’ve often asked myself, what did a twenty-first century teenage girl from South Africa have in common with a woman who lived a completely different life on another continent and time, why did her love story impact my world? Why did Elizabeth Bennet make me root for her, laugh with her, get angry for/with her, and become completely besotted by Mr. Darcy with her? When viewed like this it doesn`t make sense!
Yet, Jane (because we`re cool like that *wink*) managed to draw me in. Elizabeth`s vivacious, strong-willed, kind, compassionate, passionate, and terribly wrong when she`s wrong and remorseful. She recognizes her position in the world and instead of letting her family`s circumstances get her down, she enjoys her life, appreciate what they have and doesn`t dwell on what she can`t have. And she`s extremely intelligent. It makes her a bit formidable. She doesn`t have to suck up to anyone to gain their approval, because she`s content with her life. And a bit arrogant about it *laughs*
Pride & Prejudice serves as a mirror. It`s hard pressed not to find a character with elements of yourself in there. But most of all, it`s a fun read. It`s romantic. It`s a commentary on class. It`s a view of the role of women, what`s acceptable or not. And funnily enough those things are still relevant today. My teenage self had these things in common with Elizabeth Bennet and I still do, which makes this book relevant and timeless.
It certainly is timeless. The dialogue is as fresh today as it would have been back in the day. Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Inge. All the best with the new book. Come by again soon.
Inge’s next book Falling for Mr Unexpected is published by Decadent Publishing and is available to buy now. You can find out more about Inge on her blog, Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads or Twitter (@IngeUlrike).