As an avid reader from the age of three and a sucker for a good love story, I confess I’ve fallen in love with more fictional men than real ones in my lifetime. Most are transitory infatuations that last only as long as it takes for me to finish a novel or until they do or say something that annoys me, whichever comes first. I don’t remember their names a month later.
Some remain with me, luring me back to their pages so I can again experience that heady rush. I don’t always get it. At nineteen, I loved Emily Bronte’s Heathcliff. Twenty years later, I wonder why. My opinion about Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie Fraser has not changed since 1992, however. I’m sure I’ll feel much the same about Cathy Marie Buchanan’s Tom Cole and Stephanie Cowell’s imagined version of Claude Monet.
I met my first literary love at twelve, when my mother gave me my first copy of Jane Eyre. Ever since, Edward Rochester is like the bad boy ex-boyfriend I’d take back in a heartbeat, damn the consequences. I forgive him the moodiness, the mind games, and even the mad wife imprisoned in the attic. Each time a movie version comes out, I’m at the theater and praying that the actor in that role fits the image in my mind. He never does, though Toby Stephens was my favorite.
How about you? Who are your literary crushes?