Monday, June 1, 2015

Love, Actually: Childhood Sweethearts & The Gal or Guy Next Door

Last month I kicked off a new Supernatural Underground post series, looking at different aspects of romantic love, including examples from my own fiction where appropriate.

I started with that universal crowd pleaser, "star-crossed love" and "might have been's." This month, I'm checking out "childhood sweethearts" and "the gal, or guy, next door."

When it comes to the gal and guy next door, it's hard to go past Patricia Briggs' Mercy Thompson and Adam Hauptmann, where motor mechanic Mercy likes to pull cars to bits and leave the result on her back field 'where it was clearly visible from Adam’s bedroom window.'

 Another fictional gal from next door, or at least just across the fields, is Rosie Cotton, the focus of Sam Gamgee's long unspoken admiration in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings:
Rosie & Sam

'But as he started off, Rosie ran down the steps. "I think you look fine, Sam," she said. "Go on now! But take care of yourself, and come straight back as soon as you have settled the ruffians!"'

A speculative fiction couple who tick both the "childhood sweethearts" and "the gal/guy next door" boxes are David Strorm and Rosalind Morton from John Wyndham's post-apocalyptic classic, The Chrysalids. 

'Quite when it was that we had known we were going to marry one another, neither of us had been able to remember. It was one of those things that seemed ordained, in such proper accord with the law of nature and our own desires, that we felt we had always known it.

Anne & Gil
When it comes to fictional childhood sweethearts, it's hard to go past Anne of Green Gables and Gilbert Blyth. Because despite Anne's long-held grudge against Gil, you somehow know that they're going to grow up and be together.

In The Gathering Of The Lost, the herald pair, Jehane Mor and Tarathan of Ar, also turn out to have been together since their cradles:

'Another, clearer vision slipped through...of a youthful warrior, his hair a twisting of chestnut braids, on his knees before a white-clad girl with his face buried in her lap. ... Her hands turned his face up to meet her gaze. “I have always trusted your true judgment and truer heart.” Her expression grew resolute. “And if there is a price to be paid, we will pay it together.”

“You see us as we were long ago.” Tarathan spoke quietly...'

But what about you? Do you have a favorite pair of fictional childhood sweethearts, or a gal or boy next door that you particularly 'heart'?


Supernatural Underground regular, Helen Lowe, is a novelist, poet and interviewer whose work has been published, broadcast and anthologized internationally. Her first novel, Thornspell, was published to critical praise in 2008, and her second, The Heir of Night (The Wall Of Night Series, Book One) won the Gemmell Morningstar Award 2012. The sequel, The Gathering Of The Lost, was shortlisted for the Gemmell Legend Award in 2013. Helen posts regularly on her Helen Lowe on Anything, Really blog, occasionally on SF Signal, and is also active on Twitter: @helenl0we

No comments: