Wicked Wednesday: The Families We Make

Happy December! This month our Wicked Wednesdays are all about family, community, and holidays. To start, let’s talk about the families people make, not the ones they are born with. In each of our series, our protagonists have created “families” of their close friends, co-workers, supporters. Of those folks, Wickeds, which of your fictional surrogate family members is your favorite?

Jessie: I love this question, Edith! My protagonists, Beryl and Edwina have made a family with each other to a large extent. Simpkins, Edwina’s jobbing gardener, has added to the mix and is one of my favorites.

Edith/Maddie: Thanks, Jessie! I like Simpkins a lot. In my Cozy Capers Book Group series, Mac is close to the family she was born with, but the book group members are definitely her “made” family. Norland helps out in the bike shop when she’s shorthanded, Gin is Mac’s sounding board, and head librarian Flo can find the answer to any research question. I’m writing book three (Murder at the Lobstah Shack), and the whole group helps out owner and book group member Tulia.

Liz: Such a fun question. In the Cat Cafe series, Maddie is close to her biological family, but pretty much all of the permanent residents of Daybreak Island are Maddie’s family. Personally, I like Leopard Man the best.

Barb: In the Maine Clambake Mysteries, Julia Snowden speaks of her mother’s across-the-street neighbors, Fiona and Viola Snugg–Fee and Vee– as honorary great-aunts. They, along with Gus and Mrs. Gus, are my favorite Snowden honorary family members.

Sherry: I love Fee and Vee — they truly are characters and I can picture them in my head so clearly. As a former military spouse Sarah has spent her entire adult life creating families as they moved from base to base. She’s done that with her friends in Ellington and always goes to DiNapoli’s Roast Beef and Pizza to talk with the owners, Angelo and Rosalie, when she’s down.

Julie: I love the DeNapolis, Sherry. Every time Sarah goes to their restaurant I get a hankering for Italian food and wine in a sippy cup. The entire Garden Squad are chosen family. I love how close Tamara and Lilly are, and how intertwined their lives have become over time. They are family. Delia is also a wonderful surrogate daughter for Lilly. I do love exploring these relationships–they’re what make these books such a great place to visit.

Readers: Who is your non-birth family member of choice? What family have you created out of choice?

19 Thoughts

  1. Instead of me adopting people as family members of choice, I seem to be the one that has been adopted instead. I get invited to Thanksgiving and Christmas from a family friend and when I say thanks for the invitation on Facebook, one of the family members responds “No invitation necessary, you are family.”

    Beyond that, I’m not sure that I have anyone that I’ve adopted as family members. I have friends, but I’m not sure that I’m THAT close to any of them that I’d call them family. Maybe my friend Ann, but that’s about it.

  2. I, like Sarah, was a military wife, and we made “families” everywhere we were stationed. The ones that are considered real family were Barb and Ernie, from when we were stationed at Ft. Benning, GA. We were there for the birth of their two boys and many dinners and bridge nights over the years. We still get together whenever we can – all our kids’ weddings and vacations when we can make our schedules work! I don’t have a sister, so Barb is the one I can always talk to. We used to talk until the wee hours of the morning when we got together – not so late now that we are older!

  3. Without a doubt it would be Janice – my sister by choice.

    A friend is one that is there for you when you don’t even realize you needed someone. That would be Janice. Although we live states apart, having met her years ago was the best blessing. We communicate every day and share each others lives – both good and bad. When I was full time caregiver for Mom, when others including blood relatives seemed to disappear into the woodwork, Janice stayed by my side lifting me up, cheering me up and encouraging me when I was down.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  4. Having always been a part of a very small family (everyone seems to be only children), I cherish the many non-related families I’ve accumulated over time, especially since I’ve “retired”. I have my AA family, my book club family, a on-line forum of wonderful ladies from around the country whom I feel closer to than most people I see on a regular basis, my BFF back in Boston who has been the closest thing to a sister I’ll ever have (we’ve know each other for 42 years), and, of course, all the Wickeds who share their lives with us. I am blessed with a huge family and don’t have to fix holiday dinners for any of them! Now, that is a real blessing!! 😉

  5. I definitely had made families over the years, but then they move away from me. I seem to be in a bit of a transition in that department again right now.

  6. I love my neighbor’s grown son, Mark. She has agreed that I can “co-parent” him. We love his girlfriend also, so we’ll co-in-law if the time comes. My nieces’ friends call me Aunt Mary, and my sister and I have adopted many sisters, a habit begun when we felt outnumbered by brothers <3

  7. My mom worked with a woman a few years younger than I am. She didn’t have any family in the area so she got adopted into ours. Now she lives with one of her stepsons who’s single so we include him too.

  8. Our avid mystery reading customers have become “families of our heart…even if it’s just for the day but hopefully longer for our regulars. Sharing new life experiences, latest reads (including new releases from the magnificent Wickeds) makes for special connections during any given week.

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