5 Must Read Coming Of Age Novels
Do you love reading? Do you love getting to know your characters? Do you want to be there for the pivotal moments in their life? Here are my top five coming of age classics that every literary lover should experience:
1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Who, when and where – Little Women follows the four March sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy in 19th century Concord Massachusetts as they learn what it is to be a sister and a woman.
Why you will love it – Sisterly bonds, relatable characters, romance, heartbreak and kittens. How anyone could dislike this is beyond me.
When to read it – Perfect when you are in your teens and still figuring things out, but can honestly be read at any time of life when some clarity and comfort is needed.
2. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Who, when and where – I Capture the Castle is written in journal form from our wonderful protagonist, Cassandra Mortman. Set in 1930s rural England in (as the title would imply) a castle.
Why you will love it – Did I mention there was a castle? I did? Well there’s also Cassandra’s father, a famous author suffering from decades long writer’s block, a couple of handsome Americans ready to sweep Cassandra and her sister Rose off their feet as well as a case of mistaken identity involving a fur coat. How can you not be intrigued?
When to read it – Another wonderful book for teens but the writing is good enough and Cassandra’s character is sweet enough to make I Capture the Castle a treat no matter your time of life.
3. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
Who, when and where – How Green Was My Valley follows the youth of Hew Morgan in a rural mining village in Wales during the reign of Queen Victoria.
Why you will love it – Small town politics coupled with family drama set to the backdrop of a young boy learning about himself, and the world. Take all that and add some fantastic Welsh names like Gwilym and Angharad and you have got a keeper.
When to read it – Perfect for more mature readers looking for a little personal insight by way of someone else’s family.
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Who, when and where – A Tree Grows In Brooklyn follows little book worm, Francie Nolan as she grows up in early 20th Century Brooklyn.
Why you will love it – Wonderful relationships, literary references and overcoming adversity with a focus on education. Every literature lover will fall just a little bit in love with Francie and her beautiful story.
When to read it – When you are in need of a friend. Francie Nolan can always be relied upon.
5. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Who, when and where – Young tomboy, Scout is growing up in rural Alabama in the 1930s, a place where poverty and racism run rampant, but with the help of her moral and educated father, Atticus, she finds understanding and compassion.
Why you will love it – Rich, memorable characters and plot coupled with universal themes and simple but beautiful prose. This is a story that lingers.
When to read it -When you are a child, in your teens and certainly as an adult. This book has something for everyone. There is no one who couldn’t benefit from this beautifully touching tale.