What books you’ve read have really left their mark: imprinted themselves on your memory?
I’m talking here about fiction, though I guess on reflection, without that qualification, this type of book is more likely to stand out anyway, due to its strong likelihood of emotional impact.
Today, I asked my husband Ron, the creator of the Sydney Opera House Grand Organ, this question. His answer: detective novels, particularly Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, which he described as ‘terrifying’.
Looking back over my own life, my first tight connection with a character, and hence her fortunes, was Beth March from ‘Little Women’. I guess the reason identified with her so well because she had similar interests and characteristics to me, particularly her love of music and her perseverance. Her life events, particularly her misfortunes, touched me as though she were a real person, a best friend or closer.
For different reasons entirely, I remember Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’. The plot and the characters enthralled me, though the events described were more than disturbing.
The volumes of James Herriot are well imprinted on me. Although some stories were sad, even quite disturbing, those with ‘happy endings’ or of very humorous flavour blended together to make the entire volume an enjoyable one.
In my own writing, I empathize with Bob, the central character in ‘First Impressions’, a tale from the short story collection entitled ‘A Taste of Life and Love in Australia’. His struggle between his desire for peer acceptance goes up against an even greater goal: to find love.
I could go on and on, but I hope I’ve made my point, and have got you thinking.
What books have stuck with you for years and years?