Have you ever read a story or a series of stories and become so connected to the characters that you feel as if you know them? This was a thought running through my mind recently as a I finished a book where not only did I connect with the characters and fall head over heels in (book) love with the hero, but the hero had brothers! Maybe the premise is to your favorite soap opera. If you don’t currently watch the soaps, I’m sure most of you grew up with parents who did. The twists and turns, the failures and successes, the love and drama, the soaps can pull you in so far that you find yourself speaking about the characters as if they live two doors down from you. As if every other Sunday you’re going to each others house for a cookout.
Some books can do that for us. The women become our friends and we connect with them because we see ourselves in them. We understand the challenges they are facing, whether they are falling in love for the first time, healing a hurt caused by a former lover, or fighting for a life—a love—that is like nothing they’ve ever felt before. We often times cheer for them as they find courage and strength, while at the same time yelling at them to “just give him a chance.”
With these stories, the hero is inevitably someone who epitomizes the type of man, husband, lover, father, we all wish for. While he may have his flaws and failings, they can be forgiven. Why? Because he loves his family more than his own life and he would die to protect them. Because he is strong enough and badass enough to make sure it never comes to that. And when he finds the woman of his heart, he recognizes this and will do whatever it takes to keep her. These are the type of men that draw us in and keep us connected to their life long after the story has ended.
I have a few books in library that impact me this way. I can picture the characters so vividly that I can build a “movie” as I read the story. This is a sign of a great storyteller. Not necessarily someone who is simply good at putting words to paper and writing a book, but a true, blue “storyteller.” They build and weave this other reality and while we all recognize doesn’t really exist, the hopes and dreams of the characters seem real to us and we never want to let them go.
Do you feel the same way? Have you ever felt a bond with a story or character that you felt as if you knew them? Tell us about it.