Fun Friday: 5 Novels and 5 Movies on Facing Fear and Finding Courage

by | Sep 27, 2013 | Facing Fear

“You are daring to imagine that you could have a different life.” ~ Birdie Conrad (Jean Stapleton) in You’ve Got Mail

That’s one of my favorite movie lines. The main character, Kathleen, is learning to let go of some of her lifelong dreams — cherished dreams that have died — to find new and better ones!

I guess I relate because I, too, have suffered the death of cherished dreams. And faced a future full of question marks. What now?

But as hard as it is to grieve the loss, and as scary as change can be — I’ve learned to dream new dreams, to imagine I could have a different life. And to find hope in that. Joy in that. Peace in that. Jesus — in that.

For I know the plans I have for you

For Fun Friday, here are 5 novels and 5 movies all about facing fear, finding courage, daring to dream. I decided NOT to make this an epic, for-the-ages list, featuring great men and women of Scripture or history — though those are wonderful, of course! Today my choices are a little more light-hearted, a little quirkier (for a list like this). Who couldn’t use a little encouragement and inspiration and — let’s face it — escape ?

5 Novels Featuring Women Who Face Their Fears, Find Courage, and Dare to Dream!

1. The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables) This is a much more grown-up romance!

Valancy Stirling lives with her overbearing mother and meddlesome aunt, daydreaming of the Blue Castle—a place where she can be who she truly wants to be. Then Valancy receives news about her health that causes her to throw caution to the wind and make a fresh start.She soon discovers a surprising new world, full of love and adventures far beyond her most secret dreams. 

2. Persuasion by Jane Austen ~ The book is incredible and the movie version with Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds is pretty amazing, too!

Anne Elliot fell deeply in love with the handsome young naval officer at the age of nineteen. But with neither fortune nor rank to recommend him Anne was persuaded to break off her engagement. Eight years later Anne has lived to regret her decision. 

3. Marcia Schuyler by Grace Livingston Hill ~ I’ve read 50 or 60 GLH’s. I think this is one of her absolute best.

Two sisters as different as night and day–and inexplicably linked by the man they both desire. Kate Schuyler lives only for what pleases her, while Marcia Schuyler sacrifices her youth to marry her sister’s jilted fiance. Can Marcia endure living in borrowed clothes and a borrowed home with a borrowed husband? Is there hope to win her husband’s love when Kate returns, spinning a web of deceit?

4. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett ~ One of my childhood favorites. When I grow up, I want to be as brave as Sara!

When Sara Crewe is sent to boarding school, she enters as a wealthy, well-loved, intelligent girl; never knowing the future she will face. After learning that her father has died, her charmed life abruptly ends at the hands of the jealous headmistress. Plunged into poverty, Sara relies on her inner strength and creativity to find happiness and friendship in the most unlikely places.

5. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy ~ If you’ve only seen the movie, you’re missing out! The back cover makes it sound like it’s all about the hero — but the novel is written almost entirely from Marguerite’s perspective. It’s really her story.

This timeless historical adventure recalls the terror following the French Revolution, when mobs ruled the streets of Paris and hundreds of royals were condemned to face the guillotine daily. The only hope of many was a courageous leader who spirited aristocrats across the Channel to England and safety.

Fun Friday 5 Novels and 5 Movies

5 Movies Featuring Characters Who Face Their Fears, Find Courage, and Dare to Dream!

Note: With the exception of Sound of Music, these aren’t family movies. They have more grown-up themes and some objectionable content. But overall, I find the stories redemptive and uplifting.

1. You’ve Got Mail ~ I started the post with this one…

2. The Sound of Music ~ “I’ve got confidence in sunshine!” Sing it with Maria and me…

3. Strictly Ballroom ~ Okay, this one is super-campy but it has a great message: “A life lived in fear is a life half lived.”

4. The King’s Speech ~ The courage it took for this man to find his voice!

5. The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down A Mountain ~ It’s amazing what a tiny village of tremendously determined people can accomplish. They can even build mountains!

So these are my 5 and 5. I’d love to hear from you: What books or movies would you add? Which courageous stories inspire you?