I love Ellen Foster.
She's a wonderful invention of Kaye Gibbons.
Ellen is, without question, my favorite literary heroine of all times. And I've just revisited her after purchasing Ellen Foster and The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster as a birthday present for a special friend who is experiencing some major transition in her own life. Before giving my friend the books, I sat up for 3 late nights in a row re-reading both books, savoring every line like fine chocolate, piece by delicious piece, falling in love all over again with this sassy, strong, spunky little girl. The second time around, Ellen was no less inspiring, and I wrote down a passage that I think I will fold up and carry in my wallet forever, right next to my tattered, well-loved copy of Marge Piercy's "For Strong Women".
From The Life All Around Me:
"With no regrets or grudges against the tin and timber real life around you, let it be time to bring every memory inside like wood you put in a fireplace, piece by piece, wish by wish. The old need that wasn't met, the wants misunderstood, what you absolutely knew and guessed. What you dreamed or half invented. Saw and heard outright or saw and heard in words you read and adored. What was done to you and calls for revenge you let burn away. Each thing is of the same good use, and burning together, continually, the light the bundle makes belongs to you, your love and your work, what you see, how you're seen. By December, I understood the deeper the dreams and beliefs, the brighter and warmer you and the rooms you walk through are, and you're safe now passing through old places, not dark now, more than sufficiently kept lit by you."