A Few of my Favorite Fictional Husbands
I love a good "themed" read.
By that, I mean I love to read a good book that is set in the current season, or one that takes place around a holiday while I am experiencing that same holiday, or one that coincides with the calendar, or one that...I think you get the point.
I love a good "themed" read.
These are, obviously, more easily achieved when we're talking about the big wigs on the calendar - Christmas stories in December, Black History Month in February, Beach Reads during the Summer, Creepy Classics in October...
Last year I was excited to learn about a new-to-me bookish theme during the month of April - something I termed LOL Books - in recognition of National Humor Month + Drop Everything and Read Month. (If you're up for a good laugh, check out the Mother Lode of Funny Fiction that I compiled last year here.)
This year I discovered an entirely new themed read category, and I could not wait to share it with you, my #PLeeps. It is Husband Appreciation Day, which falls on the 3rd Saturday in April.
We love this little-known holiday dedicated to the men in our lives who show up for us in bold and subtle ways every day of the year. Its fun-loving spirit gives us lucky spouses an opportunity to be creative and thoughtful in how we show our appreciation to our partners.*
With so many stories that focus on getting the girl, or snaring a husband, I thought it would be great to detour from the norm and instead focus on life after the I do's have been said; you know, that point when the rubber starts meeting the road in relationships.
So, in recognition of Husband Appreciation Day (as well as my own stellar husband whom many of you know and appreciate as Simon the I.T. Guy), I scoured my shelves this week for a few of my own titles that brilliantly showcase hard-working husbands - the sacrificial givers, the heroes of everyday life, the men that set the standard.
Grab a cuppa your favorite caffeine and get comfortable while I share with you just A Few of my Favorite Fictional Husbands.
James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser
Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
Jamie definitely makes the list because he is kind of the entire package. He's got the brains and the brawn. He is loyal and faithful. He is a gentle giant. He not only says the right things at the right times, but he also backs up those words with action. He loves deeply with his deeds. He is a man's man. One quality that I especially love about Jamie from the first novel in the series is that he is inexperienced (if you catch my drift - wink, wink) and unashamed that he saved himself for marriage. (Ancillary kudos to Jamie's Dad, Brian, for teaching the lad that last one, too!)
Mitford Series by Jan Karon
Tim makes my list because he's teachable. Father Tim's marriage to his neighbor, Cynthia, breathes new life into the whole idea of being able to teach an old dog new tricks. Marrying for the first time in his 60s, Mitford's sacrificing, lovable, plain talking priest discovers a new dimension to life when he adds husband to his resume in book 3 of the series. Learning to live with someone after a lifetime of building solitary habits isn't easy, but Tim is a faithful student. Incorporating a lot of the maturity that comes with 60+ years of life, many of those living in the service of others, catapults Tim into one of the most teachable husbands in literature.
The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
The Unnamed Narrator makes my list because he is still romancing his wife - after the I do's. We first meet the Unnamed Narrator as he shares a nighttime stroll with his wife. He star-gazes with her, shares tidbits of trivia on the celestial stars overhead, lives in the moment with her. The two spend time reconnecting after the day, exercising, talking about nothing and everything. We join the couple as they sit down to dinner together and (keeping his beloved in the forefront of his thinking) when the Unnamed Narrator notices the effect his talk of the rather alarming Martian invasion has on his wife abruptly decides to change to a more encouraging line of thought - for her benefit. When inevitably you-know-what breaks loose (I mean, the title is kind of a spoiler, so I don't think I am giving anything away.) and the couple is separated, the Unnamed Narrator spends the rest of the book ceaselessly striving to keep his promise and return to his wife.
(Last year's The War of the Worlds Book Box was my very first unboxing. Check it out here.)
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Ove makes my list because he is a "ride or die" man. We meet socially awkward, hard-working Ove as a curmudgeonly old man who is stuck, whose current life consists of maintaining strict order & decorum in his small neighborhood. When new neighbors move in across the street, Ove's otherwise monotonous existence is disrupted. We do not meet Ove while he is married, but the author gives the reader glimpses into Ove's past via flashbacks - including the selfless and truly epic love he shared with his recently deceased and emphatically loved wife, Sonja. Ove embodies everything a wife wishes for in a husband when life does not turn out how you'd planned. His care and love of Sonja in the past are what ultimately help get him unstuck in the wake of the ghastly loss of her so that he can take a tentative next step into the future.
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Kevin Franklin makes my list because he is faithful. Like, really & truly in the most extreme & dire & unbelievable of circumstances kind of faithful. When the newlyweds inadvertently time-travel back (and forth, several times) to the early 1800s South - and slavery, Kevin not only believes his wife (and let's face it, that would be a hard tale to buy!), he also sought to help her in every conceivable way possible. Without giving away spoilers, Kevin went through the wringer, remained faithful to his wife, and rightly deserves Book Husband of the Year (whichever century he is in currently).
The Winners by Fredrik Backman
Johnny made my list because he is fiercely protective. He is a big, burly fireman hopelessly devoted to his midwife wife (and their family). He is loyal. He is dependable. He is passionate. He is one of the "helpers" that Mr. Rogers told us to look for, always busy working in the background on the news when scary things are happening. Johnny reads like modern-day Scotsman, Jamie Fraser (see the first book husband listed above), if Jamie had been a former hockey player and lived his whole life in a small town in frozen Northern Europe. A top-notch secondary character that ends up stealing the novel, Johnny is the one you'd trust to have your back. Always.
Who are your Favorite Fictional Husbands?
Take a moment to look over your shelves, too. Which fictional husband is your favorite? I hope you'll add yours to this list by naming him (and the title of the book he's from) in the comments so we can keep this list growing.
*Quote from NationalToday.com
What, no Rhett Butler? Endlessly patient in the face of endless provocation Rhett?
I applaud wholeheartedly some of the picks you listed above and for the same reasons! Jamie Fraser ❤️ (‘nuff said!), Father Tim (it was so much fun being allowed inside his brain and thought processes as he falls in love with and learns to be husband to his beloved Cynthia !). I really rooted for the Unknown Narrator as he navigated his way through truly horrifying circumstances in his attempts to be reunited with his wife.
I have two other fine examples of fictional husbands I would like to offer: Cork O’Connor of the series named after this character, written by William Kent Krueger, and Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of author Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache series.
Cork is former sheriff and now a private investigator in the very northern reaches of Minnesota and very well prepared to face all the challenges inherent in this beautiful and treacherous area. He is protective, a wonderful provider, and someone with the ability to examine himself honestly in order to be the man his loved ones need him to be; he willingly sacrifices of himself and although he knows of his strengths and abilities he is extremely humble.
Armand Gamache is Chief Inspector of the
Surete du Quebec and is one of the most honorable, honest, empathetic, understanding, loving, intelligent, self-sacrificing fictional men I have ever come across. His love for his wife Reine-Marie is a beautiful example of respect, admiration, and companionship. She, and through her, their family, is his reason for everything he does.
Both of these men are wonderful examples of devotion and heroism; maybe because they remind me of my own husband of 33 years ❤️.
I definitely agree with your first two choices! Jamie and Fr Tim both embody the elements that a woman needs and wants. I haven’t read the other books so can’t comment.