Relatable Characters (review)

I just finished reading The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, by Margaret Dilloway. I read it because I’m part of BlogHer’s book club, to be frank. And I must tell you– participating in that program has been one of the greatest blessings I’ve given myself as a blogger. I’m not sure how much YOU all enjoy these posts (though I appreciate how you put up with me!), but it’s been a beautiful thing for me…

 

You see, while I have NEVER been one of those people to claim I “don’t have time to read” (because I think everyone has the time– we just have different priorities), the fact of the matter is this: I would feel guilty if I took a half-hour in the quiet afternoon to read. I felt justified to read a bit before going to sleep but, reading during the day? That felt self-indulgent.

 

As part of BlogHer’s book club, I can claim it’s my job. And how awesome is that??? So, anyway…

 

I read The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns. It’s a good, quick-moving read. There’s not time to go into a thorough recap, but I wanted to have a little conversation with you all about one little aspect which, for whatever reason, stuck out at me.

 

The main character of this story, a woman named Galilee, is the same age as me. She’s a teacher. She is ill. She is unmarried and has no children.

 

Now, there’s nothing particularly rare or odd about any of those things. But, to be honest, I struggled to relate to her character. I could better relate to her teenaged niece than I could her. I’m guessing this is because I, too, went through the teen girl years. But I’ve never been an unmarried thirty-something with no kids. I’ve also never dealt with chronic illness. I can’t even imagine that life because it’s so far removed from the path I chose.

 

So that got me wondering… do I prefer to read stories of women whose lives more closely mimic my own? I never thought so, but it could be. Do I relate more to younger women on the cusp of starting their lives than to those who have veered off on a much different trajectory? It’s interesting to think about!

 

Tell me: What types of characters engage you the most? Do you love stories of people who are like you? Or would you rather escape with the tale of someone with an entirely different life experience?

 

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.
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