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Please Don't Go

Why do we read novels?

I think it's for moments like this.

Two years ago, I sat at the end of the bar in my neighbourhood pub. A few seats down there was a woman reading. She was nearing the end of a book. She turned to the final page, read some more, placed the book face down, read some more, placed the book face down. She looked around the bar, bewildered. Her eyes fell on me.

"You gonna be O.K.?" I asked.

She nodded.

"I take it it's good," I said, gesturing to the book.

"I don't know that I want to finish it here," she said, not necessarily to me.

"I haven't read it, but people seem to like the protagonist," I offered.

The woman's eyes grew moist. "I'm not ready for her to leave just yet."

That's from Seen Reading, a collection of very cool writing exercises by Julie Wilson that I found on Sarah's Writing Journal.

The book in question was A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews. Kinda makes you want to read it, eh?

I guess this could be one reason why some of us write. We hope that we can get readers to be "not ready for (our characters) to leave just yet."

Scout Finch. Lily Owens. Ian Bedloe. Henry Da Tamble and Clare Abshire. *Sigh*

Who are the characters that you weren't ready to leave as the book was ending?