Today is my husband's birthday. We have a pretty great love story, but I'm biased. I've done the mushy "love you bunches" posts in the past, but there's a time and a place, so today I want to talk about some of my favorite literary loves ... the heroes (or antiheroes, let's be honest) that are so appealing in their own rights that you return to the stories again and again, simply because these fictional men have captured your heart. In no particular order, I give you (just a few of) my literary loves!
Emerson and Ramses, from the Amelia Peabody mysteries - I admit it, it's a little weird to have crushes on both a father and a son, but considering the timespan of the series, it's hard not to! Emerson is irascible, intelligent, thoroughly consumed by Egyptology, and loves his wife so completely, it's hard not to fall for him. I still daydream of seeing my vision of him come alive on the big screen. His son, even more intelligent and nicknamed after the pharaoh for his imposing manner, captured my heart in my later teens. They're quite the pair.
Jean Valjean, from Victor Hugo's epic Les Miserables, may just be the reason that I've read three different abridged versions so many times they've fallen apart, and why I happily "punish" myself by devouring the unabridged version -- French political commentary and all. Who can resist a man sentenced to prison for trying to feed his sister and her son? Or who risked everything and gave up everything in order to raise an orphan? I will probably be the first in line to see Hugh Jackman portray Valjean when the movie comes out. (Yes, the book is magically better than the musical, somehow. Although, the musical is by far my favorite!)
Erik, otherwise known as The Phantom, as portrayed by Susan Kay. She has done a masterful job of retelling the story of The Phantom of the Opera from the phantom's perspective. For the first two thirds of the book, before his descent into madness, I couldn't help but feel my heart captured by Erik's genius and wanting to know what else he had to offer.
Sherlock Holmes, and I'll be honest. Seeing Robert Downey, Jr. portray him doesn't hurt, but Holmes had thoroughly captured my heart long before Hollywood embarked on the series. I love his powers of observation, his thirst for knowledge, and his commitment to justice. (I've got to be honest, a tiny corner of my heart belongs to Moriarty, too. What is it about bad guys?)
Santiago, from The Alchemist, captured my heart from the moment I started reading, and has never fully let it go. I love his drive, his innocence, and his thirst for rightness.
And last, because to me, he's the most important ...
Gilbert Blythe, from the Anne series. I think Gil may have been my very first literary crush, and I dreamed of falling in love one day with one of my dear friends, just like Anne did. Why is he the most important? Because my husband is my Gil. We met twenty years ago, and after years of friendship (although there wasn't nearly a decade of unrequited love), something shifted. I love Gil's goodness, spunk, and steadfastness, his willingness to sacrifice for those around him, and his ability to laugh when some levity is needed. Oddly, those are also things I love about my husband!
Who are some of your favorite literary loves?