I EXPECTED motherhood to challenge me physically. And emotionally. I suspected it would try my patience, test my courage and ruin my cleavage. But I never imagined it would affect my taste in literature.Source: It's bye-bye Bronte, hello bloodsucker
At uni I was on a strict diet of Bronte and Baynton, Hardy and Huxley. I could proudly display the dust jacket of my chosen read, knowing that I looked the picture of literary sophistication.
That was until Edward Cullen entered my life.
My relationship with the heroic vampire of Stephanie Meyer's Twilight series began on a strictly need-to-know basis. I needed to know what was keeping my daughter occupied in her room for endless hours.
"Do you think we should let her read it?" I pondered to my beloved, moments after Miss Ten had revealed she had demolished half the book.
"It's probably a little late for that," he offered.
So I did what any responsible parent who had made an iffy call would do. I made a flat white and hoped the issue would vanish without parental intervention.
"You're letting her what?!" inquired my librarian mother-in-law over Christmas Day cold cuts and bon bons.
I laughed nervously, "It's not like I can censor her reading material."
"I've heard it's very sexual," she replied.
Discovering what my 10-year-old had been exposed to was the only noble solution. I would have to join the unwashed mass of readers - 40 million of them - and endure a spot of teen vampire romance. I was prepared to suffer what was necessary to pay penance for my crimes against motherhood.
Predictably, I too ended up yearning for Mr Cullen. I took him to bed with me, in to the car and just about any place the opportunity for a little quality time might arise. The text burned so little cognitive energy that I could read a chapter or two in the presence of Miss Three.
And I couldn't get enough. "I'm just reading it to supervise my 10-year-old," I said whenever sprung without the War And Peace dust jacket to cover my dirty secret. I rolled my eyes in mock irritation but the only irritation was being distracted from my bloodsucker.
Several months and four books later, I've conceded defeat. I'm lumping my bestseller bias into the same heap of inevitability as my lacklustre cleavage. I'll put Bronte on the back burner until the kids move out.
May 5, 2009
Trading Bronte for Bloodsuckers
Kate Wattus's all-too familiar tale of being a sane adult getting sucked into the Twilight phenomena: