Monday, February 22, 2010

Dear Book Character, I Miss You

At some point on her blog (and I can't find the post to link to it), author Kristin Cashore wrote about how some of her favorite books involve characters that she feels a physical sense of loss about at the end of the book. At least, I think it was Kristin. There's a possibility that it was Anna of twelve22, or maybe even Valancy-S. Hmm...I read lots of writer-people blogs...

In any case, I started reading the new Audrey Niffenegger, Her Fearful Symmetry, yesterday. A character dies at the very beginning. As in, the first word of the book is her name, the second is "died." The book, unsurprisingly, continues. I found myself missing said dead character by the end of the first chapter, a grand total of two pages later. The book is filled with homesickness, an overwhelming sense of longing, and characters who don't ever seem to be able to connect with each other. (I'm only half way through - they may all resolve into happy little pairs at the end but something tells me it won't.)

It also features what I think may be my favorite literary ghost. Yes, even better than Bob The Skull from the Dresden Files.

I remember this same sense of longing from reading The Time Traveller's Wife - I desperately MISSED both of the protagonists as soon as I finished the last page. While Time Traveller felt to me like the whole book was permeated by an overwhelming sadness, Her Fearful Symmetry doesn't feel that way. There's a definite sense of missing the characters, and it takes place in a rather gloomy London, but there is an overwhelming hopeful sense about it.

I'm actually avoiding reading it at the moment - once I pick it up the pages disappear rather quickly and there's not all that much of it left.

1 comment:

C said...

I did mention missing book characters in my recommendation post, but I don't know if that's what you're thinking of.

Make sure to tell me if you're still in love with the Niffenegger book when you finish it! Time-Traveler's Wife was sooo good, but it totally wrecked me. I need to be prepared if that's going to happen again.