Top Ten Characters I Relate To

“I don’t want to go to heaven with a headache, I’d be all cross and wouldn’t enjoy it!”

Arthur Dent

  1. Lirael – Lirael, Garth Nix. Lirael is bookish and shy and determined to work things out for herself. Her story, her finding a new destiny for herself, is *mutters embarrassedly* quite inspiring.
  2. FuschiaTitus Groan, Mervyn Peake. Gauche, passionate, her heart as easily broken as won. I love that she resists the traditional Gothic female role: she is not elegant or polite or accepting of her lot; she is complex and true.
  3. Blue van Meer – Special Topics in Calamity Physics, Marisha Pessl. Blue (an unreliable narrator) frames her life in books, piecing the strangenesses of existence together with evidence gleaned from her extensive and voracious reading. Relatable? Oh, yes.
  4. Linden AveryThe Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Stephen Donaldson. Unlike Covenant (who is, let’s face it, a wimp), Linden, thrown into the wounded Land without much of a clue about anything and emotional problems of her own, just gets on with stuff, with what she does best. She makes decisions and that’s awesome.
  5. Meggie FolchartInkheart, Cornelia Funke. Meggie was probably the main fictional character who influenced me when I was younger. I haven’t read Inkheart for a while, but she sleeps with a book under her pillow and meets actual fictional characters and always has a book with her and, well, Funke just gets books.
  6. Anne Elliot – Persuasion, Jane Austen. Anne is a very autumnal character – often overlooked, and in the habit of quoting poetry to herself. But she’s also sassy as hell when she needs to be: “Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story…the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.” #burn
  7. Catherine Morland – Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen. Catherine is in the habit of taking books just a little too literally, which, yes, is a thing I have occasionally been guilty of.
  8. Arthur Dent – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams. I think Arthur is probably the archetypal Relatable Character, at least for a British person – stumbling through life, politely puzzled, trying not to get eaten or stomped on or swamped by the strangeness of it all. He once broke a spaceship because he was trying to get it to make tea. A man with his priorities straight.
  9. Hermione Granger – the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling. “When in doubt, go to the library.”
  10. Bridget Jones – Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding. I have said it before: I think everyone (everyone female, at the very least) relates a little to Bridget, who, like Arthur Dent, stumbles through life, often drunk and usually confused, but usually manages to muddle through in the end.

(The theme for this post was suggested by the Broke and the Bookish’s weekly meme Top Ten Tuesday.)

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