Lemons Into Lemonade or Lemon Meringue?
How is it that some authors can take a character, put them in difficult situations, and find ways the character becomes stronger and not a sour lemon? No, I am not talking about Joanne Flute and her cozy mysteries and all the yummy dishes she learns to create (although they are so fun!). I am talking about characters who are involved in a difficult situation and either become stronger individuals or turn their predicament it into a positive memory.
In Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson, a group of teens are involved in group disputes and drugs between Vermont to New York City. It does not help that their parents are fallouts of the 60’s Hippie Generation and still doping and rebelling. Jude, Teddy, and Eliza in one night become a threesome in search of revenge and a good time. Teddy dies that night of an overdose. Eliza becomes pregnant with Teddy’s child, and Jude is sent to NYC to live with his Dad to escape violence from another teen group. Johnny, who is Teddy’s step brother, steps in to remedy their predicament.
This story and the characters could end right there as some real-life stories do. However, Eleanor Henderson gives you a ride through these teen’s thoughts and events, as if touring with their rock band through 1988’s history of eastside NYC and a multitude of fanatics and cultures of the time. Pick the book up and take a ride through the late 1980s history. Sometimes heroes and strong personalities do not create the most positive life. If you read the book, who impressed you or made lemonade?
Caroline Gill is another character that becomes lemonade from a sour lemon situation. Kim Edwards, through her book, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, poses a situation, a question, or a debate. How does a physical or mental disability affect a family or a parent’s decisions? The story begins with a doctor delivering his own set of twins during a blizzard. The first child is healthy. The second child shows downs syndrome characteristics. As memories of his sister’s failing health come to him, the doctor hands his daughter to the attending nurse, Caroline Gill, to take her away to a special home. The family now has secrets that build bigger and bigger walls. How would you feel if you were Caroline? David, the father and doctor? Norah, the mother who was told she had one healthy baby and one child that died? Paul, the healthy first born of the twins? Is the situation really lemonade? Or is it in how you drink the lemonade?
Have a character from a story that amazes you? Let us know! Or let us know what you think of these characters above. Or, What ‘cha Reading?!