|Image from The Broke and the Bookish|
Today, I’m participating in “Top Ten Tuesday”, listing ten of my top friendship books. There are several important friendships that feature in Across the River, and my own friends are an important and treasured part of my life. Therefore, this seemed like the perfect Top Ten to participate in!
In no particular order, my picks for top ten friendship books are…
1. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
Here is a perfect example of friendship. The entire series of events is based on the friendships of Christopher Robin with the animals and the animals with each other. Pooh Bear and Piglet’s friendship is especially noteworthy.
“‘We’ll be Friends Forever, won’t we, Pooh?’ asked Piglet.
‘Even longer,’ Pooh answered.”
2. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Wind in the Willows explores the world of animal friendships, not as toys as in Winnie the Pooh, but as characters in their own right. It’s touching, funny and appreciated at any age. I didn’t read it until I was in my twenties. Ratty and Mole are steadfast friends and Toad illustrates that even if friends aren’t always the most reliable and get into trouble, they’re still beloved friends.
3. Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
The companion to Code Name Verity, Rose Under Fire rips into you. Rose, a young American pilot, is captured and suffers along with a myriad of European girls in a concentration camp. In their struggles, the girls form ironclad friendships. What’s so remarkable is that, in any other circumstance they would have just been teenage girls. Singing “Make New Friends”, a Girl Scout song, conjures the more innocent gatherings they might have enjoyed if they were not captive.
“We’d stand in line swapping camp songs in French and English under our breath, and when we discovered we knew some of the same tunes, ‘Tallis Canon’ and ‘By the Light of the Moon’, our delight wasn’t desperate- it was real. We should have had a chance to be friends.”
4. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Celia and Marco, both groomed for magic and a competition of dueling senior magicians, have a hauntingly beautiful friendship among the thrilling backdrop of Le Cirque des Rêves. How could anyone resist wanting to eat chocolate mice with them or their cinnamon confections or walk among the ice gardens?
5. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
This was the first book that I read by Neil Gaiman and he paints a very interesting story, which mixes magic, metaphor and childhood yearning. At the heart of that story is the friendship of Lettie and the un-named boy protagonist. The best literary friendships show the effects that people have on each other and Lettie certainly leaves the narrator changed.
6. The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill
This story features the friendship of Hannah Price (based on the scientist Maria Mitchell) and Isaac Martin. Their friendship defies the boundaries of color and societal limitations that have been placed on each of them. It is also, though, the story of Hannah’s first love: comets. Hannah has a fascinating friendship with the night sky and her pursuit of it.
7. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Perhaps, two of the greatest known literary friends are Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. They have stood the test of time for a reason. They are compelling characters, whose strengths and weaknesses complement the other and who are a stronger team because of their friendship.
8. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
As previously illustrated through animals, there is no need for literary friends to be humans. In this captivating story told at the turn of the nineteenth century to the twentieth, two cultures and two magical beings unite in friendship, in understanding, in confusion and in adventure. Chava, the golem, and Ahmad, the jinni, do not naturally fit into the world of New York City. It is because of that other-worldliness- that they can understand in each other, that their friendship is all the stronger.
9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
Friends need not be in the same location for their friendship to grow. This is beautifully illustrated through the letters of Juliet and the whole town that she befriends, on the isle of Guernsey, especially Dawsey. Literary friends uniting over literature? Yes, please!
10. Dear Enemy by Jack Cavanaugh
A favorite author of mine, since I was a teenager, Jack Cavanaugh’s Dear Enemy is a poignant tale of unlikely friends: those pitted on opposing sides during WWII. The story explores what happens when all the rules of war are broken and the enemy becomes not only dear to you, but a friend.
Those are a few of my top literary friendship picks. What are yours?
My best to you all,