I had so so many imaginary friends. I’d say ‘growing up’ but I can’t really bear to think of them ceasing to exist so I haven’t culled them. They’ve probably just moved to a different country… mostly.
But fictional friends are different. These four are the ones I did important parts of life with, shared the journey with. I’ve probably moved on now (to real friends, phew!) but these have still got a special place in my heart.
1. Jo March from Little Women et al
Definitely the first to spring to mind. These days I think I would find her a bit impulsive and annoying, but she would have grown up too, and as a teenager I loved her. I loved that she loved writing, I loved that she loved attics, I never forgave her for not marrying Laurie. She’s great.
2. Cassandra from I Capture the Castle
Proof to me that it is possible to be plain rather than pretty, shy rather than loud and still fall in love and have an interesting life. That writing is a good thing. That magic, in some way, is real. She ventured out into a strange new world at the time when the world was opening out in front of me. I wish I knew what happened to her next!
3. Hermione from The Harry Potter Series
One of my friends at school literally based her character on Hermione for a couple of years. I sat next to her. Her hand was always jabbing the air before the end of the question, her nose always in a book. We got on great! Nevertheless, Hermione herself was always awesome. The brain of the trio and often the heart. Smart and awesome. Go Hermione! Just don’t marry Ron this time. She needed some girl friends.
4. Kestrel Hath from The Windsinger Trilogy
Kestrel was totally different to me. Impulsive, brave, determined, didn’t think about things much. But she probably remained my best heroine for a long time. I think her pairing with her twin Bowman, a more sensitive and thoughtful character, reined her in. But I just thought she was super awesome, and I felt empowered through her.
Who were your favourite characters? Who do you wish you were friends with now?