…as in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor is one of my few adult female fictional characters. She might be the only one who is not part of a series. I was hesitant to read the book. Belonging to a number of reading groups online, I had read some mixed reviews. Finally I gave in and read it out of curiosity and mostly because the people who loved the book seemed to really love it.
And I really loved it too.
Why do I love Eleanor? Who better than Eleanor herself to show you-
- “If someone asks you how you are, you are meant to say FINE. You are not meant to say that you cried yourself to sleep last night because you hadn’t spoken to another person for two consecutive days. FINE is what you say.”
- “I felt like a newly laid egg, all swishy and gloopy inside, and so fragile that the slightest pressure could break me.”
- “I took one of my hands in the other, tried to imagine what it would feel like if it was another person’s hand holding mine. There have been times where I felt that I might die of loneliness.”
- “I’d tried to cope alone for far too long, and it hadn’t done me any good at all. Sometimes you simply needed someone kind to sit with you while you dealt with things.”
- “…when you took a moment to see what was around you, noticed all the little things, it made you feel….lighter.”
If you haven’t read the book, you should give it a try!
“NANCY DREW, an attractive girl of eighteen, was driving home along a country road in her new, dark-blue convertible. She had just delivered some legal papers for her father.”
― The Secret of the Old Clock
When we outgrew playing Laura and Mary, my sister and I progressed into being Nancy Drew. We devoured her books and only dreamed of being as cool as she was! I think we felt more like Bess and George at times but we both wanted to be Nancy. We solved mysteries after searching for clues everywhere we went. Yes, we were that nerdy.
N is also for Not going to complete the A to Z Challenge on time!
How could I not choose Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans? Mischievous, passionate and lovable Madeline. And of course, she joins the list of redheaded girls who make my list of favorite fictional characters.
My favorite is Madeline and the Gypsies. Madeline and Pepito join a circus. Miss Clavel, with all her little girls in tow rushes to save them, while they are hidden in a lion costume. Even as an adult reading these books to my grandson, I still get a kick out of Madeline’s adventures.
‘No, I don’t suffer from freckles,’ said Pippi.
Then the lady understood, but she took one look at Pippi and burst out, ‘But, my dear child, your whole face is covered with freckles!’
‘I know that,’ said Pippi, ‘but I don’t suffer from them. I love them. Good morning.’
She turned to leave, but when she got to the door she looked back and cried, ‘But if you should happen to get in any salve that gives people more freckles, then you can send me seven or eight jars.’
-Astrid Lingren, Pippi Longstocking
Being a freckle face myself, I’ve always felt a kinship with Pippi Longstocking. I loved reading about her antics and what kid didn’t want to live in a house with unlimited funds and no parental supervision! I found some younger kid friendly versions of Pippi’s stories to read to Beej and he gets a kick out everything she does.
Have a great day!
Karen Killilea* was born in 1940. Being premature, she developed cerebral palsy as an infant. In the 40’s doctors advised parents to institutionalize their children. Karen’s parents refused to accept that as the right thing to do for their daughter. They searched until they found a doctor who recommended something unheard of at that time- physical therapy. They learned to do it at home and took care of Karen themselves. Because of her parents’ commitment to giving her a chance at a better life and years of hard work, Karen was able to have that life. She beat the odds and all expectations that people had of children with cerebral palsy at that time.
Karen, written by Marie Killilea, influenced the way I looked at people with disabilities. Throughout my childhood I had limited experiences with people who were different than I was and most of my knowledge came from reading. This book had a major impact on how I viewed other people. Karen was a real person. And she was an inspiration. Her mother, Marie, made an impact too. I was raised by a mother who loved me and did everything she could for me, without spoiling me. I didn’t require the level of care and time and energy that Marie put into raising Karen but I knew that if I did, my own mom would do it.
If Karen was born much later, her story would have been vastly different. But for a child growing up in the 1940’s, her story is inspirational.
“I can walk, I can talk. I can read. I can write. I can do anything.” -Karen
*My theme is Female Fictional Characters but I’m making an exception for Karen.