Happy Thanksgiving, Canadian readers! I’m enjoying a nice, quiet Thanksgiving this year while also wondering what it would be like to celebrate this holiday with characters from some of my favourite books.
If I could, I’d sure love to share this holiday with the following people:
1. Anne Shirley from the L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series.
She’d be welcomed to bring her legal guardians, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert, along as well. As someone who is almost always quiet, I’d love to listen to her chatter about whatever it was that had happened to her recently.
It would also be interesting to get more details about her life before she was adopted if she was willing to share them.Some of my favourite scenes in this series were the ones that showed how they all enriched each other’s lives.
2. Afsan from Robert J. Sawyer’s Far-Seer trilogy.
Not only would it be cool to see what a Tyrannosaurs would want to eat for Thanksgiving, I’d love to talk to this character about his impressions of human customs in general. (His species was sentient and quite intelligent in this series). He’d almost certainly be as horrified and/or amused by some of the things we do as we would be by certain Tyrannosaurs customs.
3. Starr Carter from Angie Thomas’ The Hate U Give.
Starr was such an easy character to love. My sympathy for her only grew stronger after she watched a police officer kill her best friend in one of the earliest scenes of her story. I’d want to fix her a big plate of food and offer her any comfort I could over the holidays.
4. Anna from Claire Cameron’s The Bear.
Anna was a six-year-old girl whose family went on a camping trip in a remote section of a national park. After her parents were killed by a bear, she had to figure out how to get her younger brother and herself to safety.
This was one of the most intense things I’ve ever read. I wish it were possible to catch up with characters years later to see how they’re doing. She was so young when the attack happened that she didn’t understand what was going on. While I would never ask about the deaths of her parents specifically, I’d love to know what her life was like after the events of the final scene.
5. Patricia Cowan from Jo Walton’s My Real Children.
Patricia might have lived in one of two different timelines during the course of this book depending on which memories of hers you tend to believe are the genuine ones.
Not only did the course of her life take radically different turns in each timeline, the course of human history did as well. I can’t say much else without giving away spoilers, but I’d sure like to talk to this character so I could find out which version of the events she remembered actually took place.
6. Hattie Shepherd and her descendants from Ayana Mathis’ The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.
The first chapter of this tale showed Hattie desperately attempting to save her first two children, a set of twins who were dying from pneumonia in 1923 when such a disease was much harder to treat than it is today. The rest of the storyline showed what happened to this woman and the nine other children she had after the deaths of her first two babies.
Her extended family as a whole wasn’t a particularly emotionally healthy one. I believe that Hattie would have been diagnosable if she’d lived in a time and place where seeing the doctor for mental health concerns was socially acceptable. As it was, her undiagnosed illness damaged her relationships with all of her surviving children and their families.
Sometimes dysfunctional ways of interacting with the world can be passed down for generations when people either can’t recognize the harmful patterns in their family or aren’t willing to try to change them. I’ve seen it happen both in real life and in fiction. It’s as sad as it is fascinating. I’d love to invite different combinations of people from this family to various dinners to see if I could figure out how they’ve changed over the years.
Which character would you invite to your Thanksgiving dinner?