Common Threads

Common Threads

In a series of books, the main characters may return for new adventures, or their offspring or other relatives may appear in their stead. And devotees of series enjoy seeing heroes and heroines grow and change as their lives unfold.

Some writers include secondary characters that crop up again and again from one book to another to bedevil or support main characters. These may provide pathos or comic relief or just add a sense of continuity.

Many tales of Highland Scots, such as those of Paula Quinn, follow members of a clan from generation to generation and connect cousins and siblings and relations by marriage. Across the pond, Diana Palmer sets many of her tales in a modern Texas town where characters that play a minor role in one story are featured prominently in another, to become the main characters later on. Part of the charm of such common threads is the sense of family or community generated when we get a close look at the lives and loves, emotions and motivations of these players. In another genre, Tom Clancy follows the ups and downs of Jack Ryan and his family, and along the way many of Ryan’s friends and colleagues reappear to support him or to have separate adventures of their own.

Do you enjoy following characters from book to book?

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