I sat in work the other day (yes I do work sometimes!) and I got to thinking about some of my favourite fictional characters from the last few years and these are the ones I thought of.
How about you, who are your favourites?
Patroclus from Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles.
Awkward young prince, lover of Achilles, noble, loyal and in my humble reading opinion, the perfect character. His passion and bravery, how he acknowledged Achilles failings and yet loved him beyond reason, will mean he will always have a special place in my heart.
Ellis, Michael and Annie from Tin Man by Sarah Winman.
“It begins with a painting won in a raffle: fifteen sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things.“
Oh that line, it gets me like a blow to the chest every single time. I should hate Annie, for coming between Ellis and Michael, but I cannot, she is the third point of a triangle, in a tale of love, longing and loss that will haunt me forever. Ellis and Michael are two of the greatest loves of my life and I know fellow readers will understand this and Annie is intrinsic to their story.
Gustav Perle and Anton Zwiebel from The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
In this remarkable and moving study about the fine line between love and friendship, Gustav Perle and Anton Zwiebel are close friends from childhood, but their connection grows deeper. Both became as entwined in my mind as they were in the pages of the book and I felt a connection to them brought about by both the beauty of the writing and Rose Tremain’s intrinsic understanding of human emotion. As in Sarah Winman’s Tin Man she showcases the fact that men and boys are capable of beautiful things, if freed from the prejudice, stigma and discrimination of society in general and sometimes their own internalised fear of being ostracized by those around them.
Margery Benson and Enid Pretty from Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce
Oh Margery Benson and Enid Pretty, what can I say other than they are rare characters in fiction even in 2020. Two amazing, heart warming women, so easy to love, holding their own in an adventure story for adults, a genre so often dominated by male characters! Margery is a dreamer, who throws down the shackles that bind her to the past and dares to cross the seas to find a beetle that may not exist. Enid, her damaged, yet formidable companion is also searching for a new life. Unlikely companions they maybe, yet they are the perfect example of finely drawn, perfectly shaped characters and leaving them behind as I read the final pages was heart breaking.
The Skelf’s Family from Dark Matter and The Big Chill by Doug Johnston
When I picked up Dark matter to read, I knew intrinsically that it would be good, having read Doug Johnston’s books before! However, what sets this apart from an already exceptional back catalogue for me were Dorothy, Hannah and Jenny who run the family funeral home and a private investigator business. The three generations of women, Dorothy (Grandmother and Mother), Jenny (daughter and mother) and Hannah (granddaughter and daughter) form a formidable family unit. They bind the stories within this novel and the follow-up with the force and depth of their personalities.