I’m not gonna lie - the large majority of my favorite books are ones where I see a lot of myself in the protagonist. Call it egotistical, narcissistic, or just plain selfish, but for one reason or another, I love reading about characters that are well... like me! Now, in real-life, I don’t put a lot of stock into the idea of soulmates. I generally think that there are lots of different people we can “click” with at different times of our lives. However, in the literary world, I totally buy into this concept! So, while I am ever-changing and evolving throughout this life of mine, at one time or another, the following characters were like giant figurative mirrors staring right back at me.
Francie Nolan - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Francie Nolan’s difficult and heartbreaking existence really hit home for me. Her mother, very clearly, favored her younger brother and nobody really fully appreciated Francie’s inquisitive mind and intellect. Her family was also extremely poor and the descriptions of the Nolan family’s daily life crushed me. Something about Francie made me want to give her a huge hug and tell her how brilliant she really is.
Ponyboy Curtis - The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
I’ve always had a “thing” for the underdogs, and Ponyboy Curtis definitely qualifies! He is hyper-aware that he, his brothers, and friends are not as fortunate as the preppy socs and despite his tough appearance, he is wise beyond his years.
Adso of Melk - The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
I did not actually choose to read The Name of the Rose, it was required for a job. However, I felt a huge sense of pride upon completing this novel. Protagonist, Adso of Melk, is the obedient and very curious student of William of Baskerville. I connected to Adso because of the respect that he had for his teacher. He wanted to soak up as much knowledge as his teacher was willing to dispense to him and his unending curiosity really resonated with me.
Netti Sayuri - Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
I really like Sayuri because she is confident and insecure all at the same time. She never really seems to fully understand how or why she became such a successful geisha, but she also knows how to get exactly what she wants. Her loyalty and dedication to the chairman throughout her life is also worthy of admiration.
Do you have any literary soulmates? Which characters would you love to chat with over a cup of coffee? Let us know!