Top Five Tuesday was originally created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, but is now hosted by Meeghan @ Meeghan Reads. For a list of September topics you can click here. To participate, link your post back to Meeghan’s blog or leave a comment on her weekly post.
This month, Meeghan is doing an Alphabet Themed T5T!
(Back to School, anyone?)
This week (September 15) the topic is:
Favorite Characters with names (first or last) that begin with the letters: K, L, M, N, O.
This is actually the first time I’m participating in a Top Five Tuesday, but I really liked this alphabet/character name idea, and there are some fantastic characters with these letters on my list! So, without any further ado….
K is for Kate Warne
For those of you who don’t know who Kate Warne was, she was the first female private investigator hired by the Pinkerton’s Detective Agency, and she is the protagonist in Greer Macallister’s amazing second novel, “Girl in Disguise“! As I noted in my review, Allan Pinkerton started a detective agency in Chicago in 1856. Not long after that, he hired Kate Warne as his first female detective. While that sounds easy, it probably wasn’t. However, there is very little information left about Warne and her true-life escapades. This allowed Macallister to weave a story of intrigue and mystery into this amazing biographical, historical fiction novel (where rumor had it that she was instrumental in saving Abraham Lincoln from being murdered before he could take the oath of office as President!).
L is for Esme Lennox
Of course, I’m talking about “The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox” by Maggie O’Farrell. This was the first book of hers that I read, and until she published her latest novel, “Hamnet” it was my favorite of all her novels, with an unequivocal 5/5 stars, and making me a life-long fan. After reading this book, I succeeded in catching up on her back-list, and then went on to read everything she published afterwards. This book is about Euphemia Esme Lennox and the mental institution that housed her since she was 16 is closing down. After over 60 years being there, Esme has almost no relatives who could help. The one person they find is her great-niece, Iris Lockheart (another L name). The problem is that Iris didn’t even know Esme existed, so she has a double dilemma – what to do with her elderly great-aunt, and how can she find out why the family never mention her.
M is for Margery Benson
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a Rachel Joyce addict, and her newest novel “Miss Benson’s Beetle” just fed my habit even more! There is something very special about how Joyce devises her characters, and there’s so much to love about Margery, despite her curmudgeonly character. Furthermore, the idea that a middle-aged woman would just suddenly leave her life behind to do something totally out of character is a theme that Joyce has visited before. The fact is, while on the surface Margery seems like she’s suddenly gone crazy, the truth is she’s had this dream her whole life, which the opening line to this novel clearly suggests. That is, “When Margery was ten, she fell in love with a beetle.”
N is for Nina Markova
Although not technically the main protagonist in Kate Quinn’s novel, “The Huntress,” Quinn paints Nina to absolute perfection, even going as far as giving imperfect English when she appears in scenes with the other main characters, but sounding grammatically correct when she’s speaking in Russian while telling her own story. I seriously read the former passages with a Russian accent in my head, it was that convincing! Add to this the fact that I know very little about female Russian combat flyers, and Quinn’s research into this facet of WWII became something for which I was eager to learn more. This alone might have been enough for me to love Nina, but Quinn made her just feisty enough, just passionate enough, and just troubled enough to make her totally believable, and ultimately the most compelling character of the book.
O is for Ove
Fredrik Backman’s debut novel in English was, of course, “A Man Called Ove,” which made him an “overnight sensation” across the globe (he’d been very popular and famous in his home Sweden before then, but you know…). They don’t make men like Ove anymore. He’s just a man who worked at his job and loved his wife. Now at 59, forced into early retirement not long after his wife died, there nothing left to live for. That’s when Ove decides to do something about it, but one thing or another keeps gets in his way. What’s he trying to do? Well, kill himself, of course! I was lucky enough to be one of the early readers of this translation, and I said back then that Backman would be an author to watch, and I have been proven right every single year since then! This is probably why I’ll always keep a special place in my heart for dear, grumpy, Ove! (I just reviewed his newest novel “Anxious People,” by the way.)
How about you?
Do you have favorite characters whose names (first or last) begin with these letters?