Worlds of Ink and Shadow
By Lena Coakley, HarperCollins, 352 pages, $19.99
Some will see that this book is about the Bronte siblings and assume it has only niche appeal to fans. But don’t pass this one by. Your Bronte knowledge doesn’t need to be even at the Jeopardy $100 question level to enjoy it. Toronto author Lena Coakley has imbued the young Brontes with the fantastical power to enter their own stories, assume the roles of characters and essentially do anything they please (yes, Branwell Bronte does consider conjuring a brothel) – think the postpubescent Pevensie children being able to pull the strings in Narnia. It is a luscious, indulgent read about the addictive escapism of writing fiction, with Coakley making inventive and crafty use of her source material. This is part BBC miniseries and part literary Minecraft for the bookiest book lover.