When I wrote my Literary Moms post last month I said that I would tackle the fathers next. I thought this might be a little easier (even though, as with my mom, no fictional father can come close to the awesomeness that is my dad). It wasn't though. Again I thought of several that were good "types", but again not very many that actually stirred me enough to place the label favorite on them. (Charles Ingalls and Mr. Quimby fall into this category for me.) Here are the ones that I have grown attached to enough to truly care about:
The Minister of War
Funny that a character who doesn't even have a name, just a title, was the first to pop into my head. He is, of course, written by Megan Whalen Turner who can make you want to know every detail of a character she mentions in one paragraph. As this is the father of her amazingly awesome hero he doesn't actually need a name to make him well loved. The MoW gets awesome points for being Gen's father and surviving to his son's adulthood with his sanity intact. Then there are all the little details given in both The Thief and The Queen of Attolia that show how much he cares for his son and wants what is best for him (even when they disagree over what that is). Like most father/son relationships this one is fraught with tension at times, but there is so much evident love and respect between the two of them despite not completely understanding each other.
Martin Penderwick is absent minded and, at times, in over his head with four daughters. However, that he loves them more than anything on the earth is clearly evident. He allows them a great deal of freedom, but I think this is a good thing. He does not stifle them and does not try to make their lives easier. When they do something they shouldn't, he disciplines them well and shows them he loves them at the same time. He is also admits to his own faults and has conversations with the girls that are priceless.
I don't care that he wasn't Anne's "real" father, he totally counts! Matthew was as strong as a rock, and as gentle as a lamb. The way he loves Anne unconditionally and silently encourages her from the first time the meet until is death is wonderful.
He doesn't come off in the best of lights at times because Saving Francesca is from Francesca's point of view and she is angry. He becomes the target of her anger as she would feel guilty throwing it at her mom. If you read between the lines of Francesca's hurt and frustration you get the picture of an amazing man though, one who has weaknesses like any other, but whose strengths more than make up for it. Their conversation toward the end is just the icing on the cake. Every time I read this book I tear up when I get to the, "Just tell me where you are" part. Sniff.
You will notice that while Mrs. Murry made my list of moms, Mr. Murry did not make this one. For some reason I've always been able to dismiss him easily. He falls into the same category as Mr. Ingalls and Mr. Quimby. Charlotte from Charlotte's Library has written a fascinating post on both Murry parents and the other parental figures in A Wrinkle in Time that is worth a read if you haven't seen it yet.
I want to know who would be on your list!