November 26, 2012
Characters in some books are so compelling that they become almost like people you know and like. Once the story ends, I miss these characters very much. It's almost as if a friend moved away, not leaving a forwarding address. I call it book grief.
The only cure for this malady is another great story. Being a fickle reader, I make friends with the next character set and so on. But some haunt my memory. Deborah Knott, created by Margaret Maron, seems to actually inhabit North Carolina. Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes smokes his pipe in some London drawing room. Harper Lee's Scout Finch still climbs into her father's lap and talks about life. James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux goes fishing in the bayou with his good friend Batist.
It's better to have read and lost than never to have read at all. I hope everyone has the good fortune to experience "book grief" over and over in their lives.
Mary Beth H.