Yesterday, I wrote about how interesting it’s been for me to listen to reader’s reactions to Sima, who they tend to love or hate.
As for Lev, Sima’s husband, the reaction is more consistent: for the most part, readers adore him.
Personally, I don’t always buy it. I mean, don’t get me wrong: of course I like Lev—I wrote him, after all. But their ardour has a protective, maternal consistency to it, and sometimes I wonder: you love him on paper, but wouldn’t he drive you just a little nuts in real life?
I often got asked how I came to write Sima and Lev’s marriage. At the opening of the novel we’re told they’ve been married 46 years. Readers wonder, fair enough, how I had the insight—some might say chutzpah—to write that kind of relationship given that I’m, well, young enough to be their daughter, with change to spare.
There were many, many aspects of the novel that developed as I wrote, the plot driven by where the characters forced it to go.
This wasn’t one of them.
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