Every year I like to list the interesting characters that I have met through my readings in fiction. I’m a little surprised, after reviewing my list of readings of this year, that not too many characters stand out in my memory. These made the short list:
Xiomara Batista in The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Xiomara is memorable because she is a deep-thinking teen who is up against a lot, especially a strict mother who doesn’t get her. Yet, Xiomara triumphs.
Eleanor Oliphant in Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. She is not a totally believable character but Eleanor is a thoroughly unique one. She struggles, with the help of a wonderful support team, with mental issues.
Queenie in Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams. Queenie is a damaged, self-destructive, young woman who makes things worse for herself by engaging in abusive relationships. Though I found her behavior and actions frustrating, I couldn’t help rooting for her to stand up for herself.
Arthur Less in Less by Andrew Sean Greer. This guy has everything–good looks, a successful writing career, good connections–but is depressed because he is turning 50 and isn’t in a satisfying relationship. I didn’t find Arthur Less likable nor did I care much about his personal problems. He’s too shallow and self-involved. But, he’s witty and self-deprecating… he’s memorable.