It’s National Siblings Day!
In the moments when I haven’t been posting embarrassing adorable pictures of my brother (and myself, fair’s fair) on Facebook, I’ve been thinking a lot about the best siblings in literature. There are so many, from Outlander’s Jamie and Jenny to Beverly Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona, and I could probably spend an entire day talking about them all. To me, though, I always, always go back to my favorite fictional sisters, the ones who convey everything that is wonderful, frustrating and unique about siblinghood: the March girls.
If you’ve ever read this blog, you’ll know just how much I love Louisa May Alcott and her Little Women. There is so much to adore about this story—the romances, the pains and joys of growing up—but the thing that holds it all together, the thing that makes it the true classic that it is, is the love and friendship between Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy.
The four sisters could not be more different. Meg is the good-hearted lady. Jo is the fiery tomboy. Beth is the shy homebody, and Amy is—well—awesome, snobby Amy. They fight. Jo won’t let Amy go to the theater with her. Amy burns Jo’s manuscript. (NOT COOL, AMY!) But at the end of the day, they are always each other’s best friends, because there are certain things only your siblings can understand. Like the Pickwick Club. You can’t form a club like that and write a family newspaper and take on personas like Snodgrass and Winkle with just anyone. (Honorary siblings like Laurie are totally acceptable, though.) The girls are sisters by birth, but friends by choice, and no matter how wonderful John Brooke and Teddy Laurie Laurence and Friedrich Bhaer (oh, Bhaer!) are, the true love story here is the one between our four, thick as thieves heroines. Life may take them in different directions (Bethie, why did you have to visit the Hummels?), but they will always be a family.
Thanks to Louisa May Alcott’s perfect storytelling (based on her real life experiences), we readers can feel like we are a part of the March family, too. We’ve been with them long enough to feel that Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are our sisters. We know their every secret. We sometimes get angry with them. (Amy, you know Jo always wanted to go to France!) We’ve cried with them, laughed with them, loved with them and grieved with them. And any time we need them, they’re right there on our bookshelves.
Do you have a set of favorite fictional siblings? Share your thoughts in the comments!