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?