Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Ashley Herring Blake

Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a special, month-long series on Pop! Goes The Reader in which we celebrate the literary female role models whose stories have inspired and empowered us since time immemorial. From Harriet M. Welsch to Anne Shirley, Becky Bloomwood to Hermione Granger, Her Story: Ladies In Literature is a series created for women, by women as thirty-three authors answer the question: “Who’s your heroine?” You can find a complete list of the participants and their scheduled guest post dates Here!


About Ashley Herring Blake

Ashley Herring Blake is a reader, writer, and mom to two boisterous boys. She holds a Master’s degree in teaching and loves coffee, arranging her books by color, and cold weather. She is the author of the young adult novels Suffer Love, How To Make A Wish, and Girl Made Of Stars (HMH), as well as the middle grade novel Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter To The World (Little, Brown).

Author Links: WebsiteTwitterInstagramTumblrGoodreads

I don’t like talking.

No, really, I don’t like it at all.

I’m married and have small kids, so I’m not often alone, but when I am, it can take days, weeks, and probably months if I had them, for loneliness to set in. I feel foolish when I talk about my problems to friends, absolutely despise crying in front of people, and find it generally easier to brood silently and let it all coagulate into a giant tangles of knots in the center of my chest.

If I’m being honest, over the past several years, ever since my mom died, withdrawal feels much more natural to me.

Healthy, I know. I’m working on it. It’s hard to let people in. It’s hard, sometimes, to feel like you matter to those around you. It’s hard to put this into words, even as I write this post.

But one girl who helped me feel a little less alone with this baffling solitude in which I stuff myself sometimes is Marin from Nina LaCour’s We Are Okay.

Marin is grieving. Marin is without any family, quite literally. Marin finds it a lot easier to stay quiet, tuck herself away from those who know her, let relationships that mean a great deal to her disintegrate because she doesn’t know how to reconcile the girl she was with the girl she is now.

I’ve been there. Hell, I am there.

But when Marin’s best friend and former girlfriend, Mabel, bursts into her solitude, a funny thing happens.

She starts to talk. She starts to share what happened to her, how she feels about, not because she really wants to, but because she needs to. Silence is easier, but not always better. For Marin, she could either let her hungry heart swallow her whole or let it break.

Sometimes, the breaking is what saves us.

That’s a hard lesson. I don’t like to break. I don’t like to face down my own hurting heart because then, I’ll have to figure out exactly how to fix it.

Except it doesn’t mean that at all.

What is so beautiful about Marin’s story is that she didn’t find all the answers. She didn’t fix her heart. She didn’t stop hurting. She didn’t even get her damn girlfriend back.

But none of that is what she needed.

What she needed was her friend. What she needed was an ear to absorb her voice. What she needed what another human being to show her that she still mattered, that she was loved.

It hurt to admit that she was lost.

But only in admitting that can Marin –

No. Wait. Let me rephrase that.

But only in admitting that can I start edging my way back to being found.

Title How To Make A Wish
Author Ashley Herring Blake
Pages 336 Pages
Intended Target Audience Young Adult
Genre & Keywords Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Published May 2nd, 2017 by HMH Books for Young Readers
Find It On GoodreadsAmazon.comChaptersThe Book Depository

Grace, tough and wise, has nearly given up on wishes, thanks to a childhood spent with her unpredictable, larger-than-life mother. But this summer, Grace meets Eva, a girl who believes in dreams, despite her own difficult circumstances.

One fateful evening, Eva climbs through a window in Grace’s room, setting off a chain of stolen nights on the beach. When Eva tells Grace that she likes girls, Grace’s world opens up and she begins to believe in happiness again.

How To Make A Wish is an emotionally charged portrait of a mother and daughter’s relationship and a heartfelt story about two girls who find each other at the exact right time.

One response to “Her Story: Ladies In Literature with Ashley Herring Blake”

  1. I LOVED How to Make a Wish <3

    From one silent girl to another *hugs*

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