Character Connection: Ivy Rowe

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Character Connection

Don’t you just love larger-than-life characters? The ones who jump off the page and grab you? Whether you love them or hate them, you can’t be indifferent to them.

I would love to know about the characters who just won’t leave you! Most of you will probably post about how much you love (or loathe) each character, but this is a great place for the more creative ones among you to let go and have fun! Write yourself into a scene with Anne and Diana. Write a love poem in elvish for Aragorn. Draw a picture of Harry obliterating Voldemort. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to post the book’s title and author, and be very careful not to give away spoilers while talking about how much you love your characters.

Mr. Linky will be posted here on The Introverted Reader every Thursday.

I keep thinking about Ivy Rowe, from Fair and Tender Ladies by Lee Smith, and I keep deciding not to write about her. I love her too much.  The book is one of my all-time favorites because of Ivy herself.  I will never capture her in a blog post when Lee Smith gave us a whole book of a gloriously eager, flawed, human character. Ivy feels like family.

But it’s time for me to try.

Ivy. I think her name and I see a beautiful red-headed young woman reaching out with both arms and grasping life. She grabs so much life that she leaps off the page and into my heart. She has come to embody the earlier, unknown generations of women in my family to me.

Fair and Tender Ladies

Ivy is an Appalachian mountain girl. The Appalachians (which I call home) might not be a very wild or remote chain, but progress was still late coming to them. Girls growing up here in the past got less of a chance than most.

Ivy is intelligent and lively and funny and beautiful. Others around her recognize it. She’s setting out to “better” herself. For a few reasons, she winds up staying in the mountains she calls home. But she lives such a full life there.

To quote from my review: “She’s spunky, she makes mistakes, she loves, she lives, she’s stubborn, she’s wrong sometimes; in short, she just feels real to me in a way that very few characters do….There’s a whole progression of wide-eyed optimism to teenage carelessness and invincibility to repentance to more carelessness to acceptance and reflection. I live a whole other lifetime when I read this book.”

I’ve re-read this multiple times, and I always start out wanting so much for Ivy. I don’t think that anyone who loves her would choose for her the life that she lives. But she wouldn’t be Ivy if she had made different choices. She takes her life and wrings everything she can out of it.

I have no idea how readers who don’t make such a personal connection to this character and this setting feel about her.  But you know you’re curious about her.  Go pick up a copy.

Who did you connect with this week? Link your post on Mr. Linky, then be sure to go check out the other Character Connections!

I have an affiliate relationship with Malaprop’s, my local independent bookstore, and Better World Books. I will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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