The Book That Changed My Life. Read on to discover yours – by Rowena House


OK, so this is a thought exercise, an attempt to funnel life’s complexity into a bookish article, because – surely – no one work deserves the title of The Book That Changed My Life.

That was certainly my conclusion when I tried to shoehorn Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own into the box labelled The Book That Changed My Life for the sake of ticking this blog off my to-do list.

Ms Woolf inspired me, yes. She influenced me, certainly. But in the end I didn’t retreat to a Bloomsbury apartment, with the modern equivalent of 3% net return on capital, to write great literature as a result of reading her oeuvre.


Putting her back on the shelf, I wondered if there was an approximation to be found, a book whose influence was sufficiently profound that I’d be happy to have it quoted back at me.

At first…

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Author: Rowena House

ROWENA HOUSE spent years as a foreign correspondent in France, Africa and then again in Europe before turning to fiction. Her debut novel, a First World War coming-of-age quest called THE GOOSE ROAD, is published by Walker Books (2018). Her fascination with the Great War, the trenches, and the appalling artillery battles of the Somme and Verdun began at school when studying the war poets, Wilfred Owen in particular. As an adult, she experienced war first-hand as a Reuter’s reporter in Ethiopia, and saw its terrible impact on civilians. Now settled in the English countryside with her husband and son, she holds a Master’s degree in rural economics and another in creative writing, and mentors fiction writers alongside her journalism and storytelling.

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