When I say:
What characters immediately come to mind?
Okay, that was a really long word, but that aside I'm going to make a bet that many of you immediately thought of these two:
And you wouldn't be alone. I count myself among the myriad of fans surrounding Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe and their pursuit of the elusive Happily Ever After. Come on. How could you not fall in love with the outspoken Anne (with an E) that very first time she slams her slate over Gilbert's self-assured head? I'm telling you, he deserved it. And just like Anne, my heart might have skipped a beat or two when little Davy calmly asked her years later "Say, Anne, did you know Gilbert Blythe is dying?" Worst. Words. Ever. But there is so much to smile about with these two. They challenge each other, they support one another during those hard moments, and most of all, they know how to kick back and just enjoy being friends together. Lovely.
Now that I've waxed poetic, I'd like to move onto my other favorite couple from YA fiction. Any guesses? Well, hands-down this one has to go to the independent Katherine (Kit) Tyler and the young sailor Nat Eaton of Elizabeth George Speare's classic The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
My copy of The Witch of Blackbird Pond is literally falling apart. It's got my name scrawled in what must be a ten-year-old's handwriting inside the front cover and over time, has become the book I read and reread several times a year. The Hubby has offered to buy me a new copy after watching me painstakingly retape the cover numerous times, but each time I hold my book close and politely decline. I'm not even going to mention how much I want to travel to the Barbados to see the white sands and blue ocean Kit so lovingly describes. I WILL go there one day. I'm just sayin' is all.
Nat & Kit are one of the most splendiferous couples ever in my humble opinion. Both stick out like sore thumbs in the restrained climate of Puritan Connecticut and even end up turning to the same source of comfort - the outcast Quaker Hannah - when life becomes too oppressive. Thrust into such a rigid, unfamiliar culture, Kit constantly faces censure due to her free thinking and outspoken ways. But Nat loves that about her - even if she sometimes frustrates him to no end. Like the gentleman he is, Nat continues to rescue Kit time and again from sticky social situations and hostile individuals; he even tries to save her from drowning - though she doesn't exactly need it. And although there are many special scenes I always gravitate to in The Witch of Blackbird Pond, the following exchange never fails to leave me with a silly grin on my face. You know the one:
"Have you noticed her name?"Oooooh. For that passage alone, I'm thinking it might be time for a reread. Again.
Kit leaned sideways to see the letters painted jauntily on the transom. "The WITCH! How did you dare? Does Hannah know?"
"Oh, she's not named after Hannah. I hadn't gone ten miles down the river that day before I knew I'd left the real witch behind."
"I want to see the ketch. Please, Nat, before we go! I can't wait any longer to see my namesake!"
"No," he said again, leading her firmly toward the road. "That ketch has a mind of her own. She's contrary as a very witch herself. All the way up the river she's been holding back somehow, waiting. Now you'll both have to wait. I'm not going to disappoint her, Kit. When I take you aboard the Witch, it's going to be for keeps."
Who are your favorite couples from young adult literature? Only a couple of more days to nominate your favorite Literary Love couple here or in the comments after this post!