Our 50 Book Pledge Featured Read for the week of January 11th is Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley!
Warning: This post contains a lot of fangirling.
Once in a while a book will come along and check off all of your readerly boxes. Lena Coakley’s Worlds of Ink and Shadow was such a book for me. Like, (please excuse the casual tone – I love this book too much to be formal about it) I feel like this book was tailor-made for me: it’s a little magical, it’s about sibling relationships, and it’s about the Brontës.
The Brontës’ lives have always fascinated me but I never got around to reading any in-depth biographies. That’s why I appreciated Worlds of Ink and Shadow so much. It’s still considered fiction (especially when you get to the more magical parts), but Coakley draws inspiration from real events experienced by the family, making it almost like an intro course to the Brontës. Of course, readers should take the biographical details in the novel with a grain of salt, but I found that the book did teach me things about the family that I didn’t know before.
Aside from the biographical details of the Brontës, Worlds of Ink and Shadow is really just a well-written, well-plotted book, so even if you’re not specifically interested in the Brontë family, I think you’ll still enjoy the story. In the book, readers learn that Charlotte and Branwell have tried to resist the lure of writing but have failed, and it is only until later that you start to suspect that there may be a reason for it. Coakley expertly blends the in-universe reality with the stories the characters write, making the readers question what is real and what is not. This is a story about the price of art, but it’s also a story of family, and how far we would go to save one another.
If what I’ve said so far appeals to you, then you should definitely read Worlds of Ink and Shadow. (I really, seriously, cannot love this book enough.)
Add it to your 50 Book Pledge shelf now if you’re a fan of literary biographies with a fictional twist, you are a Brontë fan like me, you want to lose yourself in an imaginative story with well-developed characters that you’ll grow to love.
Already read Worlds of Ink and Shadow? Try these:
Follow me on Twitter @karenfma