Guest Post: Bookish BFFs

I’m on vacation! While I’m away, I thought it would be fun to hear from some of the products of this search firsthand. Here, my new friend Jillian reflects on her favorite literary BFFships.

I wanted to be Rachel’s friend because she openly admitted in an article to the entire universe that she thought about making friends in bookstores based on the books that they carried.  This woman, I smartly thought, is amazing.  I didn’t know they made them like her.  And when we met for our first friend date and our first conversation was about our unabashed love of Harry Potter, I knew a lifelong friendship was in the making.

So, as I hunted for inspiration for this blog post, I thought back to our original meeting and some of my favorite MWF blogs.  My husband often says that he thinks that there are books that make us love each other better and more.  We stumble across characters that feel like actual kindred spirits, or storylines that are moments of recognition.  Well, I think there are books and stories of friendship that make us love our BFFs better and more.  Here is a list of my five favorites.

1) Anne and Diana in L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables

When Anne meets Diana, she makes her swear to be her best friend for “as long as the sun and moon shall endure.”  Diana then tells Anne that she is “a queer girl…but I believe that I am going to like you real well.”  And a best friendship is made…and girls everywhere are taught that it is okay to be as weird as you are…and you can find a BFF anyway!

2) Morgan and Jimmy in Julie Reece Deaver’s Say Goodnight, Gracie

In this much undiscovered YA novel, Morgan (girl) and Jimmy (boy) are BFFs from prenatal times.  What I love so much about their friendship is that it’s a story of an intimate, I- know-you-like-I-know-my-favorite-pair-of-blue-jeans-and-can-finish-your-sentences friendship between a girl and boy.  Needless to say, when I was 13, I wanted that kind of friendship too.

3) Harry, Ron, and Hermione in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series

Best friends can come in trios, and you can meet them in the most unlikely places.  Ron and Harry meet in an opportune moment while boarding the train to Hogwarts and when they first meet Hermione, they don’t even like her!  Rowling’s tales have something to say about holding out past the first impression and being open to all friendship possibilities.

4) Lucy and Ann in Ann Patchett’s Truth & Beauty

In this amazing memoir of friendship, Patchett describes meeting Lucy and how she believed that “Lucy Grealy was way too cool for the likes of me.”  On the same page, she says, “I do not remember our love unfolding, that we got to know each other…[only that] it was there, huge and permanent.”  There are some friends that we find because we are in awe of, have crushes on and fall madly in love with them…and hooray for this.

5) Ruth and Ann in Elizabeth Berg’s Talk Before Sleep

In this story of death and friendship, Berg shines a light on the painful beauty of sharing suffering and pain with another human being.  I have read this book many times since I was a teenager and have given it as a gift to those I love best because when I read it, I am reminded of them.

What are the stories of friendship that stay with you, inspiring you to find those you have yet to find and reminding you of those you have already met and love lots?

12 Comments

Filed under The Search

12 responses to “Guest Post: Bookish BFFs

  1. Oh, I love Anne and Diana’s friendship. Truly one for the ages. And Harry, Ron and Hermione…wonderful. (I haven’t read these other stories, but will have to check them out!)

    I also love the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books…those girls are the real deal, and they love each other fiercely. And Betsy, Tacy and Tib (in the series by Maud Hart Lovelace) are also the best kind of friends.

    Great post!

  2. Oh, wow – these are all so fabulous. Anne of Green Gables was my companion as a child, and my best friend was Diana … Truth & Beauty is one of my favorite books; my favorite line is when Ann refers to Lucy as a “native speaker” – she hadn’t realized, until she spoke to Lucy, that anyone else spoke to same language she did, fluently and without any translational difficulties. Beautiful. And there are quotes from Talk Before Sleep about female friendship that I still pull out and send to people when they find the waters of tragedy closing over their heads. What a great list. Thank you!

  3. I am a huge fan of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. The stories and movies came out at the perfect time for me and my friends and I loved seeing them grow apart while still remaining friends as best as possible – and ultimately strengthening their friendships in the end. I think it’s something that is inspiring and something that definitely happens and has to be dealt with.

    I also love Harry, Ron and Hermione in Harry Potter. I yearn for friends like that still – and I’m 24.

  4. Such a fun post!

    I’m not much of a fantasy reader, but the friendship between Frodo and Sam in The Lord of the Rings trilogy has stayed with me as an example of loyalty, bravery, and love.

  5. Kim

    Betsy and Tacy from the series by Maud Hart Lovelace. I would have followed them anywhere.

  6. Anonymous

    LOVE this post. I squealed aloud at the mention of Say Goodnight, Gracie, which I haven’t read since middle school — so thank you for that unexpected memory jog!

  7. Becky

    Becky and Sara, from “A Little Princess;” Mary, Colin, and Dickon from “The Secret Garden;” Minny and Abilene from “The Help;” when Scarlett realizes how much Melanie means to her in “Gone With the Wind;” Evelyn and Ninny in “Fried Green Tomatoes;” Charlotte and WIlbur in “Charlotte’s Web;” the list could go on and on….

  8. alison

    Anne and Diana, of course!

  9. All I wanted growing up was a BFF like Anne Shirley from Anne of Green Gables! I also want to put in a vote for the ladies in Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood – true friends together through thick and thin.

  10. Everything is very open with a really clar description of the issues.
    It was really informative. Your site iis useful.
    Thank you for sharing!

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