literary friends

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I met my young friend at the children's section at Green Apple Books when she was trying to pick a Nancy Drew novel. I told her I read all of them when I was in my early teens, she said she just started reading them last month, and soon we were gushing about the series like the book nerds that we are. Ah, I love talking to young readers, their enthusiasm is such a wonderful thing.

It's true, before I 'knew' Elizabeth Bennet, Jo March, or Jane Eyre, I was reading all about Nancy Drew, Heidi, and Anne Shirley, and I thought of these girls as my 'friends'. I also learned the word kindred from Anne and decided that it was the most beautiful word in the English language, then later I dreamed of going to Prince Edward Island and visiting the Green Gables House.

And oh, while most of my friends were swooning over Hollywood stars, I was definitely crushing on Gilbert Blythe. In fact, I don't think any other male literary character has made such an impact on me in a romantic way, Captain Wentworth and Mr. Darcy came close, but it's still Gil whom I loved the most. He had me from the moment he pulled Anne's pigtails and called her "carrots", and he pretty much owned my heart in Anne of the Island.

How about you, who were your favorite literary characters (and crushes)? I've asked this question before and I'd love to know what kind of books you loved to read when you were growing up.  Please share in the comment below or in your blog so we can all geek out collectively.

Photo by me, via iPhone

10 comments:

  1. Oh, Anne. Gilbert. Diana. Sigh.

    I'm with you, Anne of Green Gables was my crush. I wanted to be kindred spirits with Anne and Gilbert to pull my hair (well, you know).

    I remember watching the movie for the first time (one of the best book-to-movie adaptations ever) and falling head over heels, then I read the books. To me, Megan Follows IS Anne. I watched the movie and the sequel only a few weeks ago and it's still just as good. And I still can't watch the scene where Matthew dies in the field without howling.

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    1. annelise, so true. i once found out that this guy i had a huge crush on loved the movie so much that it made him read the books. my friend then said, "that's it Odessa, you're gonna have to marry him." :D

      and oh, dear sweet matthew. it broke my heart too, when he died.

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  2. I grew up on Anne - I felt like we were one in the same...displaced redheads with tempers and overactive imaginations...

    I remember sobbing when Matthew died in the book...and when, in I believe it is, Anne's House of Dreams she loses her first child and there's that certain graveness that settles on her...when I went through my own first grown up heartbreak I remembered that scene and was somehow comforted. Anne's life was beautiful afterwards, so could mine.

    They are, along with a few other precious books, my soul wrapped up in words, the books I come to again and again.

    I will always use the Bishop from Les Miserables as my moral compass, too. LM Montgomery shaped my life but Victor Hugo refined and changed it for the better.

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    1. Elizabeth, I know what you mean about certain books shaping our lives. It sure feels that way, especially when I was still a teenager living in a sleepy coastal town. Books definitely opened new worlds and let my imagination take over. Oh, and you just reminded me that I really need to read Les Miserables.

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  3. my preteen books were enid blyton ones. all the ones with adventures in them. secret seven, famous five. loved!

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    1. monica, i am not familiar with these books but if they are adventure ones then i'm sure they are wonderful! :)

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  4. I adore this post, Odessa. It makes me so nostalgic for my pre-teen reading days, and I was such a prolific reader back then.
    Unfortunately, I never read Anne of Green Gables ( is this a crime? I feel like it may be one ), but instead, I filled my time with Princess Cimorene, of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, and Encyclopedia Brown, the latter being my first literary crush. I wanted to a guy with the brains and wits of Leroy. ^^

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    1. xixia, its never to late to read Anne of Green Gables (smiles). i don't know any of these books but yay for a hero with brains and wits. :)

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  5. Nancy Drew! You take me back. No one this side of the pond has heard of her so I enjoyed the reminisce! Julie Andrew's 'Mandy' also stuck with me. I always loved the idea of finding my own little place to make my own! Loved the Phantom Tollbooth and Wolves of Willoughby Chase sent shivers down my spine!
    I'll admit to never reading Anne of Green Gables. Sounds like I have some catching up to do!

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    1. Oh, any book that send shivers down one's spine is always good. I have teenage nieces and often their parents ask me for recommendations and would love to check our these books. Thanks!

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