comfort reads

There are books I turn to again and again as old friends.  As I mentioned in the comments over the weekend, several of Rosamunde Pilcher’s novels serve this purpose:  The Shell Seekers, where a woman reflects on the life she’s lived and the opportunities she’s missed; Coming Home, a girl’s search for identity and belonging during the tumult of World War II; September, the coming together of a family to confront the ghosts of the past as they celebrate each other; and Winter Solstice, the story of near-strangers finding solace in each other as coicidence brings them together.   Pilcher’s novels are decidedly character-driven; it is who the characters are and how they interact more than any decisive actions or events that make these books worth reading again and again — and Pilcher’s talent in transporting the reader to the English coast or a Scottish village certainly adds to the appeal.

And it is that sense of familiar characters that repeatedly draws me to other books I consider to be sources of comfort: 

  • The Little House series – I enjoy the earlier books, but it is the later ones, particularly The Long Winter and These Happy Golden Years, that are my favorites.
  • Little Women and Little Men – Alcott put so much love and humanity into her characters that it’s impossible to pick up these books without feeling like you’ve stepped into their worlds.
  • Jacob Have I Loved – Another case of being transported to a different time and place; this time, Chesapeake Bay in the 1940s.
  • Ballet Shoes – A wonderful children’s novel about three adopted sisters who attend a school for stage training; particularly apt for those of us who know just how different sisters can be.
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary – Just a fun read. 
  • And, of course, Harry Potter – A world I will never retire of returning to.
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~ by Molly on January 26, 2009.

One Response to “comfort reads”

  1. The Little House Series and Little Women are two big comfort reads, as well as Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom, lesser known Alcott books. All Cretures Great and Small by James Herroit does it for me,too.

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