The Story That Changed My Life by Joanne Boden

Joanne Boden celebrates her debut publication with Choc Lit this week, so I’m sure my blog readers will join me in wishing her all the best for mega sales with Escape to Little Bluewater Bay. Joanne is joining us to talk about the story that changed her life and I loved this post so please read on.

Hello Morton and thank you so much for inviting me on your blog to celebrate the publication of Escape to Little Bluewater Bay, my debut novel with Choc Lit!

The story that changed my life…

Without a shadow of a doubt the book that changed my life from the very moment I finished the final page was Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It was first published in 1868, and I still find that hard to get my head around. Set during the American Civil War, the story focuses on the March family – Marmee and her four daughters, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy

I first read Little Women aged nine or ten, I can’t quite remember, but what I do remember is the profound and life changing impact this story had on me at such a young age. I’d always been an avid reader. I used to help the younger children read at school. I received books as gifts for Christmas and birthdays, devouring stories by Enid Blyton and I particularly remember reading a huge hardback edition of Alice in Wonderland. But Little Women was my mum’s book that she gave to me, although I no longer have that particular edition. I’m not sure what happened to it. I read the story in two short sittings and then I read it, again and again.

Little Women made a huge impact on me. Here I’ll do my best to try and explain why.

Dream big, you can be anything you want to be!

The strongest message I felt after reading this book for the very first time was that I could be anything I wanted to be. Anything was possible. All four sisters are very different and all have their own dreams and wishes and this is okay. Dream big, work hard, and you can achieve anything you want in life. It made me feel invigorated and incredibly grown up.

I found a kindred spirit in Jo March

Jo is fifteen and that seemed incredibly grown up to me at the time. She is boyish, she wants to fight in the war, she doesn’t want to be left at home, she reads books and munches on apples. Her best friend is a boy. This resonated strongly with me. Not only because we are both called Jo, but because she flung off her femininity, preferring to be known as Jo, instead of Josephine. She didn’t care about others’ perceptions of her and I found this incredibly liberating.

Like many young girls I wanted to be like Jo growing up. Jo is a reader and a writer and I was a reader and wanted to be a writer like her. Even now as an adult with children of my own, a tiny part of me still wants to be like Jo. She is flawed but you know what, that’s okay. I learnt at a very young age from this book that you can be a heroine and also have faults. She is clumsy, stubborn and burns her dresses on open fires, but she is also loving and fearless and cuts off her hair to give her mother money. Yep, I still want to be like Jo March.

The feel good factor

Little Women just make you feel good. I remember feeling so happy reading this book and still consider it to be the ultimate comfort book today. I read it at least once a year, and usually at Christmas. There are so many components that make it such a heart-warming and feel good read. We have a loving family, the bond of four very different sisters, the love of a kind elderly man in Mr. Laurence, the friendship between Jo and Laurie and the kindness of strangers.

My first romance

I think that Little Women was my first romantic read and there are many love stories running through the narrative. It is very much a period romance. We have Marmee’s love for her daughters and of course sibling love. There is the blossoming romance between Meg and John Brooke that fascinated me, but the most strongest relationship in the book that completely gripped me was between Laurie and Jo. I still think Jo and Laurie would have made the perfect couple. It’s only as I’ve grown older that I have forgiven her for turning him down. 

Thank you for this lovely post. We could be sisters! I loved Little Women too and remember having a mountain of tissues on the end of my bed after reading the sequel Good Wives. I also read Enid Blyton books avidly. I got so excited reading this post. Mx

About Jo Boden

Joanne lives in Lancashire with her husband and their two sons. When she is not busy writing, she likes to take her boys to the local museums, cafes, and walks in the countryside.

Joanne has published 4 non-fiction works aimed at parenting children on the Autistic spectrum, based upon her experiences as a mother of an autistic son. She has also self published a contemporary romance novel, Picking Up the Pieces.

Joanne writes contemporary romances with gorgeous heroes. Escape to Little Bluewater Bay is her debut novel with Choc Lit.

Social media and website links:-



About Escape to Little Bluewater Bay

Start the new year in Little Bluewater Bay …

New year, new Willow Jenkins? All Willow knows is that she needs an escape. So, she takes an extended break from her PR job and retreats to her grandmother’s cosy cottage by the sea in Little Bluewater Bay, where a limitless supply of hot chocolate will soothe her broken heart and a limited wi-fi connection will prevent her workaholic tendencies.

Willow is soon made to feel welcome by the friendly locals – although grumpy artist Noah Atkinson doesn’t seem to like her very much. Just what is his problem?

But then Willow is asked by her grandmother to approach Noah with a very special commission, only to discover that he hasn’t painted people for a long time – and with good reason. Will he make an exception, and in doing so usher in a hopeful and healing new era for them both?

Book buying links

Amazon –

Choc Lit

Joanne also has a self published book available – Picking Up the Pieces on Amazon kindle –

Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

International Bestseller Summer at Lucerne Lodge published as an eBook, paperback and audio download too – Amazon Check on my Choc Lit author page for other purchasing options here 

International Bestseller Christmas at the Little Beach Cafe published as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and Choc Lit for other options.

Bestseller Sunny Days at the Beach is now available as an eBook, audio and paperback – Amazon KindleApple iBooksKoboNook BooksGoogle Play and at Choc Lit for other options.

Christmas at Borteen Bay is available as both an eBook and audio download – Amazon KindleAudioApple iBooksKobo and Choc Lit for other buying options.

The Truth Lies Buried is available from all eBook platforms – Choc LitAmazon KindleKoboApple iBooks and also as a paperback and audiobook.

The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available as a paperback and from all eBook platforms –Amazon KindleApple iBooksKobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play.

By Morton S. Gray

Author of romantic suspense novels.

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