bookish posts

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Friendships

This is a post for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can find out more and follow along there!

This week, we are supposed to pick an older topic that we might have missed. As it just so happens, Rachel Neumeier had a post recently about relationships, both romantic and non-romantic. I found that I couldn’t name as many fictional friendships as I thought I ought to, so here is a list that’s at least a start. For the purposes of this list, I have only included friendships, not family relationships, even though those are also something I value a lot in books. So, in chronological order:

1. Frog and Toad from Arnold Lobel’s Frog and Toad series. (I am Toad, for the record. I have even been known to mutter darkly, in moments of stress, “The whole world is covered in buttons, and not one of them is mine.”)

2.Betsy, Tacy, and Tib from Maud Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series. I love this series, and its three friends; I love Betsy Ray and her writing and acting; I love Tib and her fluffy curls; I love Tacy’s shyness; I love the chocolate-colored house and Deep Valley.

3. Anne Shirley and Diana Berry from L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series. Are they really suited to be friends? Maybe not, but they are, and I love how they show such different ways of approaching life.

4. Costis and Gen from The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner: I could have put a number of relationships from this series on the list–Eddis and Attolia, Sophos and Gen, Gen and the magus–but the slow-growing, hesitant friendship between Costis and Gen is the relationship that drives the entire third book.

5. Taylor and Raffaela from Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: I love how at the beginning of the book they don’t even seem like friends, and yet by the end of the story they’re clearly so important to each other. I love their shared history and the way they look out for each other.

6. Janet, Molly, and Tina from Pamela Dean’s retelling of Tam Lin: Janet is the main character and usually the most sympathetic, but I found this portrayal of being friends in college really rang true. I liked the way Dean shows the shifting stages of friendship, the ways that the relationship between the three changes over time.

7. Mae and Sin from The Demon’s Surrender by Sarah Rees Brennan: SRB did a very interesting thing with these two–she made them explicitly rivals, not over a boy, but over a Market. It’s something they both really care about, and yet they want to be friends and they have to find a way around that. It’s so neat.

8. Queenie and Maddie from Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: Do I need to explain this? Oh, okay: “It’s a little like falling in love, finding your best friend.”

9. Rose, Roza, and Irina from Rose Under Fire, also by Elizabeth Wein: When I read RUF for the first time, I got to the line in Rose’s narrative about Roza and Irina being more than sisters, and I didn’t buy it. But by the time I got to that perfect, beautiful ending, I did.

10. Otter, Cricket, and Kestrel from Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow: One of the many things that Sorrow’s Knot did brilliantly was show a complex friendship, that’s in many ways the most important relationship in the whole book. These three are woven together so tightly; I have trouble thinking of one without the other two.

Honorable mention: Eileen and Polly from Connie Willis’s Blackout/All Clear

So what are your favorite friendships? What am I missing?

(I accidentally published a draft version of this yesterday–hit publish instead of save draft and then screamed, “NOOOOO!” at my laptop in a very dramatic fashion.)

By Maureen LaFerney

My name is Maureen. I currently work as a library assistant in a public library in the Indianapolis area, and also just so happen to be a voracious reader. I frequently end up under a cat.

19 replies on “Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Friendships”

>(I accidentally published a draft version of this yesterday–hit >publish instead of save draft and then screamed, >“NOOOOO!” at my laptop in a very dramatic fashion.)

That never happens to me. Uh uh. Never.

My six-year-old has a love/hate relationship with Betsy-Tacy and Tib, because she loves the stories, but it makes her really sad that she doesn’t have a best friend like that. I don’t have the heart to tell her, with as often as we have to move, she’s never going to have a friendship exactly like theirs. (And that, quite frankly, even if we lived in one place our entire lives, the odds of having a friendship as beautiful as theirs are really, really slim.)

Hmm, I hadn’t thought about that. I suppose I partly care about friendships a lot because I haven’t always had them, and have felt their lack.

What a great idea for a list! The only books from your list that I’ve read are the Frog and Toad books, and the Anne of Green Gables books. I’m going to have to think about friendships in the books I’ve read.

Betsy-Tacy and Tib are the first I’d have thought of!

Kate and Emily, from Jean Little’s ‘Look Through My Window’ and ‘Kate.’
Reuven and Danny, from Chaim Potok’s ‘The Chosen’ and ‘The Promise’

OH MAN! I didn’t think anyone else had ever read Look Through My Window–trying to remember now if I read Kate too. I think I did but maybe didn’t like at as well? It’s been years, but I was just thinking about that the other day.

And yes, Reuven and Danny–also books I loved but haven’t read for years.

So many of my faves are on this list too. I really appreciate the Taylor/Raffaela friendship because Raffaela stuck by her for so long, even when Taylor was trying to push her away. She never gave up on Taylor.

Yes, exactly! I really liked not having them be BFFs at the beginning of the book–it made their relationship so interesting.

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