Hanging Out Between the Pages

Originally published July 2017

Have you ever wished you could jump into a book? Wrap yourself between the pages and cozy up to one of the characters?

As part of my blogging community’s monthly freeform writing exercise, we were asked tonight, “What fictional character (or characters) would you most like to spend time with and what would you do together?”

One may think this writing prompt is a no-brainer for me. Books are my thing. But to choose one, or even several, is downright overwhelming. So many characters, so little time.

So I thought about it in context to my relationship with books, going back to as close to the beginning as I can without faking it. Over the course of time, there are or would have been any number of characters I would have loved to hang out with, but these are the ones that stand out:

In my tweens, I would have taken comfort in befriending Meg in “A Wrinkle in Time.” Having lost my biological father at a young age, I can imagine we could have bonded over the missing men in our lives, and maybe I could have joined her and Charles Wallace in their race to save their dad.

smmosquitoland

In my teens, I think I would have enjoyed moving next door to Jude and Noah in Jandy Nelson’s “I’ll Give You the Sun.” A complicated duo with problems much larger than mine, I could have found some much-needed perspective in surviving adolescence. That said, running away with Walt, Mim and Beck in David Arnold’s “Mosquitoland” would have made for exciting adventure and distraction from my own life.

smlittlelife

My college years and early 20s belong to the crew in Hanya Yanagihara’s “A Little Life.” Oh my God for a circle of friends that exciting and eccentric and so there for each other even when lost in their own egos and selfishness. I would plop down on a couch next to Jude (no relation to my previous Jude, wait, do I have a thing for lost souls named Jude?) and hug him and tell him how amazing he is and keep all the sharp objects away from him forever. (P.S. I love my college friends, I just wish I saw them more.)

My 30s would have been scintillating with any of Liane Moriarty’s ladies, either from “Big Little Lies” or “The Husband’s Secret.” Neighborhood gossip along with a glass of wine and good friends was never in short order, but it also wasn’t as mysterious and sexy and dangerous.

smnix

Into my 40s, family dysfunction has been vastly entertaining to read about, so saddling up to a family like the one depicted in Jonathan Tropper’s “This is Where I Leave You” or Nathan Hill’s “The Nix” would have been interesting to say the least. I want to be Wendy (aka Tina Fey)’s best friend that she can confess about Horry to, or hang out with Faye as she tries to explain her misguided anarchist self to her son.

If you are ever in need of a friend, a confidant, a sister soul that helps you through the more harrowing phases of life, there’s sure to be one found between the pages of a favorite book. It’s one of the many reasons I love to read and am grateful for the abundance of creativity in fiction. Here’s to the crazy ones that get us through.

I blather about books. I am also on Facebook, trolling for friends. If you’re new to my blog, you might want to check out my annual post covering everything I read in 2016.

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