Can you love a book even when you don’t love the main character? For me, the answer is yes. I ripped through The Memory Thief by Emily Colin despite of the fact that I didn’t agree with decisions made by nearly all of the main characters throughout the entire story.
But perhaps it is because I didn’t feel their choices were ones I would have made is exactly why I loved the story. Isn’t that why we read fiction, after all? To jump out of our own life and into another – to experience a different perspective and a different outcome then the path I myself might have walked?
In The Memory Thief, we meet Maddie Kimble, her husband Aidan, and J.C., her husband’s best friend. Aidan and J.C. are professional climbers, and have both escaped death before. But this time, this climb, Maddie knows something will go wrong, knows that Aidan – no matter his promises to her that everything will be fine – won’t be coming home. When her premonition comes true, Maddie and J.C. are thrown together while they deal with their sorrow, and guilt. Guilt because almost immediately following Aidan’s death, an old attraction between J.C. and Maddie is suddenly made new again and we are taken down a road of grief, love, and loss, and visions of life after death and promises kept – no matter what.
I cried through many a scene between Aidan and his young son, felt my breath tighten in my chest every time we were made to relive Aidan’s final moments, and yes, felt my inner Judge coming out at some of the decisions made by all three main characters.
As a side note, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention another character, Nicholas – his motorcycle accident and memory loss are tied directly to Aidan and Maddie’s story. However, although he is central the plot, his story was very secondary in my mind, and he was yet another character who made decisions I didn’t agree with – especially at the end. Dog-lovers everywhere will cry foul!
But through it all, I couldn’t wait to see how it all would come together, no matter how I felt about each individual character.
Have you ever loved a book even though you didn’t love the main characters?