Character Connection: Swede Land

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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.

Not-quite-nine-year-old Swede is the youngest in her family, and the only girl.  Found in Leif Enger’s Peace Like a River, she is adorable, described as “dimpled and blond”, and all tomboy. We first meet her when she’s out hunting geese with her dad and two older brothers. When she has a moment of “cowardice,” she later asks her brother Rube, only 11 himself, for forgiveness. She feels so bad for running she just needs a little absolution.

Swede loves old westerns, like those written by Zane Grey, and longs to write her own. In fact, she’s working on writing an epic western ballad. She may be young, but the girl’s got talent. Check this out:

“Now Sundown’s wound is seeping and he’s tilting as he rides;
His eyes are red and gritty as he scans the canyon’s sides.
He hadn’t known the nature of the man whose track he sought,
And it sickened him to death to see the things Valdez had wrought.
One day an upturned stagecoach and its driver’s ghastly hue,
The next a blackened farmhouse and its family blackened too.
So many graves had Sundown dug, his hands were chapped and sore,
And now he prayed to God for strength to live and dig one more.”

As Swede wraps up her poem (or tries to), she also struggles with the nature of evil and right and wrong. Her oldest brother, 16-year-old Davy, is accused of a cold-hearted crime. Swede absolutely believes in his innocence, but some things come to light in his trial that make it hard for her not to question his motives. She doggedly hangs on to her faith, but her doubt creeps into her poem.

Reuben is actually telling this story, but he adores his sister and is close to her, so she plays a large part in everything. It’s impossible not to love her as well. While she’s very much her own character, it’s hard to avoid comparing her to that other literate tomboy, Scout Finch. And if that doesn’t convince you to read this book and let Swede into your heart, I don’t know what will!

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 IndieBound, Book Depository, and Better World Books and will receive a small commission at no cost to you if you purchase books through links on my site.

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  1. I've never heard of this book, Jen, but it sounds fabulous. I love spunky little girls — I have two myself. I have put this on my TBR!

  2. I stopped by your blog today. My larger than life characters are those in the Secret Life of Bees.

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