I love a book which takes me to the heart of a family. Better still was creating my own fictional family in the novels Walking Apart and Walking Alone. Helen, David, Lizzie and Lottie emerged effortlessly and I knew exactly where things would end up for these characters I became so fond of.
Here are three of my favourite fictional families.
The March Family in Little Women
By Louisa May Alcott
Readers love the kind and thoughtful Marmee and her four daughters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. As they grow from childhood to adulthood, the sisters come up against a number of heart breaking events which they must overcome together. The March women act like a real family for despite their disagreements, their love for one another will always be more important.
The Joads in The Grapes of Wrath
By John Steinbeck
Ma is at the heart of the Joad family as they are forced to leave their farm in Oklahoma for the promise of a better life in California. From Grandma and Grampa to little Winfield, this extended family face terrible hardships. The Grapes of Wrath shows how important the family unit can be in the face of adversity.
The Bennets in Pride and Prejudice
By Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is not about a family pulling together. Mrs Bennet, to the complete indifference of her husband, is intent on finding good marriages for her five daughters. Jane and Elizabeth, the older, more sensible girls, share a strong friendship. Mary, the third daughter is plain and bookish and as for Kitty and Lydia, Mr Bennet declares they must be two of the silliest girls in the county. Jane Austen’s witty prose exposes the absurd manners and societal expectations of the age, but she also ensures that there is a happy ending for Jane and Elizabeth.
There is something quite fascinating about peeping behind the curtain to see how other families function, even if they are only fictional. If you have any favourites, do let us know!