This week’s Inheritance Books are from Jenny Holiday. I ‘met’ Jenny on Twitter after following her @tropeheroine account. I do recommend you check it out.
Hi Jenny, welcome to Inheritance Books. Biscuit? Great. Please, tell us a bit about yourself.
Hi, I’m Jenny. I write romance novels. My first books were contemporaries, but I have a Regency series starting later this spring, which is a thrill for me because Regencies were my first love as a reader—I call them my romance gateway drug. I grew up in Minnesota, but graduate school brought me to Toronto, Canada, where I still live.
Which book have you inherited from a generation above? Why is it special?
Mary Katharine Reely’s Seatmates (1949) is an account of her life as a girl (“Kate”) in Spring Green, Wisconsin. One of the girls in her class is Tottie, “the girl who had no name.” The story went that Tottie’s parents had not been able to agree on a name for her, so they just used her baby-nickname Tottie, and they were going to let her choose her own name when she was fifteen. The girl who had no name was, in fact, my great-grandmother, and everyone called her Tot her whole life, even though she eventually named herself Margaret. The book was a gift to my sister and me from my aunt. As a girl, I felt famous by extension—I was related to somebody in a book!—and I once took it to show and tell. I still pull it out and read it every couple of years.
Which book would you leave for generations below you? Why?
I am unsentimental about objects and virtually all my reading these days is in ebook format, so I’m afraid I don’t have much that’s heirloom-worthy. I will, of course, pass down Seatmates. I’m also reading a book to my son that came from my childhood—The Fourteen Bears in Summer and Winter (1969), by Evelyn Scott. As you might imagine, it’s a story about fourteen bears. They have the usual bear-ish summertime adventures involving honey farming and swimming in the pond. Hibernation would seem to put an end to all this fun, but not for our bears! The baby of the family wakes up one winter day (so what they’re saying is this whole non-sleeping baby thing is an interspecies truth?), so the whole clan bundles up and heads out to experience winter. It’s a charming book full of details: each bear has her own house furnished to reflect her personality and decorates her own tree for Christmas. It’s been a hoot to watch my son take it all in.
Thank you for sharing your Inheritance Books with us, Jenny. All the best with your books.
Jenny’s latest book Sleeping With Her Enemy is available to buy now. You can find out more about Jenny on her website, Facebook or on Twitter (@jennyholi). Do follow the @tropeheroine account. It’s hilarious.