Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday - Fictional Families for the Holidays

Today's Top Ten Tuesday focus is on Thanksgiving:

November 24: Thanksgiving themed Freebie -- ten books I'm thankful for, authors I'm thankful for, Ten fictional families I'd like to celebrate Thanksgiving with, a personal non-bookish thankful list, etc. etc.

I took the hard one--the top ten fictional families that I would like to spend Thanksgiving with.

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and you can see how others handled the meme here.

This was hard for me because I kept to American and Canadian families since Thanksgiving is a North American holiday, and a lot of the books I read take place in Europe.  Also, most novels are about dysfunctional families, and I really didn't want to do that for my top ten list.

So here goes:

  1. The Wilders of Malone, NY, circa 1860 from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Farmer Boy - hands down, this family knows how to eat well.  Mother is an excellent cook, and all the children will be respectful at the table. Father will say a long prayer before we eat, but that's okay...this one time!
  2. The Ingalls of DeSmet, Dakota Territory, circa 1880, from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little Town on the Prairie - the blizzard is a couple of years in the past, but everyone still remembers how close the town came to starving.  Pa will bring home some pheasants, Laura and Ma and Carrie will make wonderful, simple food, and Pa will play the fiddle while Mary plays the piano and we all will sing.  There will be both onion and sage dressing.
  3. The Frasers of Frasers Ridge, North Carolina, circa 1760, from Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series (The Fiery Cross or Drums of Autumn) - Jamie and Clare will put on a great spread, with all the clan families and various dependents feasting on the bounty of the New World.  Ian will bring some Indian friends, and the homemade hootch will flow freely.  There will be dancing and magic and music and stories after dinner.
  4. Doc and the boys from Monterey, CA, circa 1935, from John Steinbeck's Cannery Row - the boys will plan an elaborate dinner, will beg, borrow or steal from the local store, the girls from Flora's establishment will save the day, using money Doc has slipped to Flora to buy ingredients, and everyone will feast on canned goods and good intentions and enjoy themselves immensely.
  5. The Gilberts of Ingleside, PEI, Canada, circa 1900, from L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Ingleside - Gilbert is a hardworking successful doctor, Anne is a wonderful mother and a superb cook, but she doesn't have to lift a finger because Marilla Cuthbert and Rachel Lynde are visiting and putting together a Thanksgiving feast, Avonlea style, with toothsome cakes and mouseless custards.
  6. The March family of Concord, MA, circa 1861, from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women - a fictional family list wouldn't be a fictional family list without the Marches.  Everyone is still healthy and optimistic that the war will be over soon.  Marmee won't lay a guilt trip on so everyone can actually eat the wonderful meal that Meg has made while Marmee is out doing charity work.  Jo will cajole her sisters into putting on a play after dinner, Beth will play the piano while we all sing, and Amy will draw sketches of the day and the family at play.
  7. The Spencers of Spencers Mountain, Virginia (aka The Waltons), circa 1932, from Earl Hamner, Jr.'s Spencer's Mountain - we're deep in the depression, but Mama has managed to grow and preserve what the family needs for the winter, and Daddy and the boys have gone fishing.  There is plenty to eat, and afterwards everyone gathers around the radio to listen to FDR address the nation.
  8. The Finch family of Maycomb, GA, circa 1935, from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird - Jem's arm is still healing, but Calpurnia produces a wonderful dinner for the family, and Atticus reads aloud after dinner.  Boo Radley leaves a pie on the steps that he has made for the family, and Scout takes him over a plate of food.  He declined to join them for dinner.  Tom Robinson stops by to tell Atticus that he is moving to California, and thanks him for defending him.
  9. The Sawyers of Hannibal, MO, circa 1855, from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - we're talking a good old-fashioned covered dish church supper with loads of pies, cakes, breads, plus turkey and gravy, smoked ham, and fried fish.  Lots of preserves and pickles.  Huck and Tom are there, eating to their hearts content, and everyone is too busy to bother them about minding their manners.
You'll notice that I stopped at nine, stumped to come up with another family that I wanted to be with for Thanksgiving.  Who am I missing?

Best wishes for a happy, safe, stress-free Thanksgiving - I am thankful for books, the time to read them, and the ability to share my thoughts about them with all of you!  I'm especially thankful for you sharing your book recommendations, musings, and thoughts with me.


  1. The Finch's would definitely be a treat!! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Here's my Top Ten Tuesday

  2. I love this list, such a great idea. The Wilders and the Ingalls, and the Sawyers too (maybe my favorite). I smiled to think of Huck and Tom stuffing the food in. :)

    Love that Sat Evening Post graphic too. Happy thanksgiving!

  3. Great topic for this week! I am all about the March Family. Little Women is one of my favorites!

  4. Great List. Missing: Salinger's Glass family? ha, just joking. Hope you have a very happy thanksgiving!

  5. Great list! Yes, Farmer Boy at the top of the list. The Wilders were well off compared to the Ingalls and I remember being enthralled by the “luxury” of their life. In particular I recall wanting to make popcorn over an open fire and string cranberries for Christmas tree decorations.

    You are so right, it is very difficult to think of a book geared towards adults that would suit.

  6. This is a great post! I think I'd add the Ray family, from the Betsy-Tacy books, to round out your excellent list. And if we're not sticking to this solar system, the Vorkosigans from Lois Bujold's space opera series :)

  7. Such great memories: specifically of The Little House books and Little Women. : )

  8. This is a great idea for a meme. I like your list. Though very dysfunctional I might suggest the Bundren's from William Faulkner's As I lay Dying.

    Have a great Thanksgiving!

  9. Great picks! The March family would have been on my list as well. :D

  10. This is a wonderful list, Jane! The fruit of a reading life well spent. Glad your Christmas post led me to this one I had missed!