Skip to content

Charlie read “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend”

Charlie read “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend” last week.

He began reading it at school after checking out a copy from the library.

We have copies of the book here at home, of course, but the fact that he found the book in his school library is kind of amazing to me.

The book was originally written for adults, so the fact that it can be found in my children’s school library and is part of their curriculum is even more astounding to me.

When Clara read “Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend”¬†back in 2020, she was so sad about the ending of the book that she couldn’t bring herself to discuss it with me for a while. She may have even been a little angry at me for ending the book the way I did.

Like I had a choice. Like I have any say over what happens in my novels.

I’m not kidding.

Charlie’s reaction was very different. He came downstairs the next morning asking me lots of questions.

How did I come up with the idea for the book?

Did I know how it would end when I started writing?

How did I think up certain characters and certain situations?

Did I draw anything from real life?

Unlike his sister, who becomes deeply, and emotionally connected with characters and stories, Charlie is an analyst. He views the world as something in need of deciphering and solving. He looks at the world through the lens of a scientist and military tactician.

He also loved the book and talked to me about how it made him feel, but more importantly, he wanted to know how it happened.

How did you make that thing?

He also told me that he was proud of me for writing something so good, which was probably the best thing he could’ve said to me about anything I’ve written.

“Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend” is dedicated to Clara. “The Other Mother” is dedicated to Charlie. That book features a teenage protagonist, so I told Charlie that he could read it next if he wanted.

“But there are a lot of swears in the book,” I warned him. “The protagonist is a teenage boy and talks like one.”

“Maybe when I’m a little older,” Charlie said.

I understood. The boy despises swearing of any kind.