Sunday, December 30, 2012

On The Home Stretch

2013 signals the end of a fascinating story.  The Southern Vampire Series by Charlaine Harris  is coming to an end at book thirteen.  I have followed this story with interest and the characters are my absolute favorites, I love the main protagonist Sookie Stackhouse.    Usually I don't hold much truck with series (lets face it there are so many out there now and some of them are so long winded that they have lost my interest before completion...Wheel of Time anyone?), and  there are the series that will just not ever end! (I shrink in horror from those).

Sookie Stackhouse's story is a hard one, and I have been impressed (for the most part) with how she has dealt with adversity.  Harris wrote her characters very well, I have a strong sense of what it's like to be a well brought up southern woman, complete with good manners, a strong backbone, and a determination to present a certain front to the rest of the world which has it's own 'old world' kind of charm.  I have always liked a story that has presented a strong southern woman as I admire them immensely (Steel Magnolias and Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe).  I imagine that  Harris has inserted her own personal strength into her female characters, that makes them strong even after suffering as they have (and with a sense of humor too).  After reading all of her other books, and her blog, Harris impresses me with her  strength and intelligence. 

This next year I will be re-reading the whole series as part of my reading challenge for 2013 completeing them all in time for May 5th when the last Sookie Stackhouse story will be published.  I am a little sad to see her go, but at the same time it's a good thing that the story is ending (that line from the movie Fried Green Tomatoes "A lady always knows when to leave..." comes to mind).
I don't know how it will end, every book has been a surprise for me.  Sookie has had a few relationships which have caused her some pain (though she has always become stronger because of it), There's Bill who was her first lover, Sam who is her boss (he's on the list though they have never been together), Eric the Viking Vamp and the weretiger Quinn.   I know what I hope for, and it has actually been biasing what I have read so far this week.  I hope that Sookie will live happily ever after with Sam who can protect her, give her children, and grow old with her.  Not that these are his only good qualities, he has been in love with her for years, has supported her through all of her troubles, and consistently treated her with the greatest respect (and has always spoken his mind if he hasn't liked something she's done), which to me are the ingredients of a good marriage, and with the way that the last book Deadlocked ended, I am optimistic that Sam just might be Sookie's Happily Ever After.  Of course, Harris might have other ideas which is why this series has been so very good from start to almost finished.
I have just finished Dead Until Dark, my introduction to Sookie and her life in Bon Temps.  I have been thoroughly scrutinising every word because I don't plan on reading this series for a good long while and I want to savor every page.   There's interesting little tidbits everywhere which I have forgotten (or perhaps not noticed first time through because I am usually in a rush to find out what's happened), which incidentally support my Sam theories (it has been flavoring my opinions, but don't worry though... I know that Harris could easily go a whole 'nother way).

One influence that I do find rather annoying is the tv show.  I will state right now that I really don't like what they have done in True Blood.  This is not my picture of Sookie's life.   It is overdone, overblown and makes Sookie out to be a bit stupid and crass (which she certainly isn't), and the town of Bon Temps and the characters in it are over the top (waaaay over that top!).  I stopped watching it after the second season, realizing that the focus was on all of the bad stuff and the small stuff (like the sex etc.,).  And some of the characters from the book have had awful treatments and alterations which add an ugly bias of their own and take away from what has always been prevalent in Harris' books which is Sookie's tolerance and acceptance of everybody, no matter what type of person they are, whatever supernatural leaning or level of intelligence. Sadly, I have lost the picture in my mind of what I thought the characters used to look like  and the True Blood actors have imposed themselves in their place.  While I realize that certain story lines are impossible to put to screen, most of these embellishments are not necessary and frankly take away from what is, in my mind, the most important thing in the story, Sookie Stackhouse.

I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of the series and will try to contain my excitement until May.  No matter what Harris decides to do in the end, whichever way she decides to go, I know that I am just going to love it!

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