I have a lot of favorite literary characters, but for some reason Dolores Price is coming to mind. Remember Dolores from Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone? For the record, I loved her before she was discovered by Oprah. Okay, just so we’re clear.
I think what did it for me was her humor and her innocence, but then when her innocence is lost, as a reader I can’t abandon her because I need to know she’s going to be okay (I know, this is American fiction which tends to have a HEA – happily ever after – but I was watching a lot of foreign films at the time and just had to be sure).
The book was written in the first person, so immediately I bonded with Dolores. The story opens with her narrating at age 13, and I, for one, was hooked.
Mine is a story of craving; an unreliable account of lusts and troubles that began, somehow, in 1956 on the day our free television was delivered.
You see? I didn’t have a choice. Before the end of the first sentence, I was already cancelling all remaining appointments for the week and getting ready to call in sick. And here’s an excerpt from Chapter 3:
I was on the brown plaid sofa, watching TV and scotch-taping my bangs to my forehead because Jeanette said that kept them from drying frizzy. Across the room on the Barcalounger, my mother was having her nervous breakdown.
How can you not want to know more? Especially since Dolores herself doesn’t know what’s to come … in fact, at first glance you might even cringe as the reader, seeing tragedy before Dolores does, and desperately hoping she’ll get through it while at the same time rubber-necking with strange detachment as the details unfold.
I’m sure you’ve probably read it, and if so, tell me your favorite part. But if not, you’re going to want to add this book to your reading pile and Dolores Price to your list of characters you’re going to love.
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