Character Guest Post: Emma from A Breath of Eyre by Eve Marie Mont

Hey readers! I am lucky enough to be able to have Class of 2k12 author Eve Marie Mont here for a guest post. Eve Marie Mont has handed over her guest post responsibilities to Emma Townsend, the protagonist of her debut novel, A Breath of Eyre

Here, Emma discusses why fictional men are better than real boys:

I tend to get obsessed with the men in books. Not every fictional man, mind you, but the ones whose personalities are a combination of strength, honor, humor, sex appeal—maybe throw in an element of forbidden love or danger?—yeah, those men. The problem, of course, is that they aren’t real, so there’s very little possibility of them returning my affections.

The thing is, I like real boys too, but they just don’t compare. Let me give you an example. If I’m a heroine in a Victorian novel, and say I slip on a patch of ice and fall, nine out of ten romantic heroes are going to rush to my aid. There might be one guy—like that jerk Heathcliff—who will stare disdainfully at me while I brush myself off, thinking that his rude behavior somehow makes him more edgy and mysterious. But the vast majority will behave like gentlemen, taking me back to their estates where they’ll make me tea and let me warm myself by their fire. Deep, meaningful conversation will ensue, and over the next few  ays/weeks/months, this man will find reasons to cross my path until it’s so obvious we’re meant for each other that he simply must propose.

That’s how it happens.

Now replay the entire scenario with a modern guy, and I’ll give you three guesses what he’d do. That’s right, he’d laugh his ass off. Okay, maybe one guy out of ten might come over to see if I’m okay and help me to my feet. But that’s the guy who already has a girlfriend who could double as a Victoria’s Secret model.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m not saying I’m some damsel in distress who’s just waiting for a guy dressed in a poet’s shirt and breeches to rescue me on his white steed. I’m a modern girl fully capable of taking care of myself. But it’s common decency to help a girl when she’s down—to help anyone, really.

Speaking of which, my favorite hero from literature is Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre. Jane actually helps him up when his horse slips on a patch of ice. In fact, Jane rescues Rochester more than a few times in the novel. Rochester’s past haunts him, so he’s kind of a messed up guy in need of Jane’s help. And Jane is able to look past Rochester’s flaws to see the good man underneath, one who is kind, funny, sexy, loyal, and who totally understands and appreciates Jane even though she’s not his conventional beauty queen type.

Those are the qualities I’m looking for in a real boy, but I gotta tell you, they’re hard to come by. If you know of anyone who fits this description, please let me know. I might be too shy to talk to him, but maybe I can slip on a patch of ice while he’s around. If he has a gorgeous girlfriend, I’m going back to my fictional men.

Thanks for your insight, Emma! I completely agree with you about the scenario involving modern guys; what a shame that it's such a contrast.

Who is your favorite hero from literature? Go to Eve’s website and take the quiz to find your literary soulmate!
Eve Marie Mont

Eve teaches high school English and Creative Writing in the Philadelphia suburbs and sponsors her school’s literary magazine. When not grading papers or writing, Eve can be found watching the Phillies with her husband, playing with her shelter pup, or daydreaming about her next story.

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A breath of Eyre book cover
A Breath of Eyre is in stores now! 
Emma Townsend has always believed in stories—the ones she reads voraciously, and the ones she creates in her head. Perhaps it’s because she feels like an outsider at her exclusive prep school, or because her stepmother doesn’t come close to filling the void left by her mother’s death. And her only romantic prospect—apart from a crush on her English teacher—is Gray Newman, a long-time friend who just adds to Emma’s confusion. But escape soon arrives in an old leather-bound copy of Jane Eyre…

Reading of Jane’s isolation sparks a deep sense of kinship. Then fate takes things a leap further when a lightning storm catapults Emma right into Jane’s body and her nineteenth-century world. As governess at Thornfield, Emma has a sense of belonging she’s never known—and an attraction to the brooding Mr. Rochester. Now, moving between her two realities and uncovering secrets in both, Emma must decide whether her destiny lies in the pages of Jane’s story, or in the unwritten chapters of her own…
See the book trailer here.

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