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Tessa Afshar | Captivated by Orphan Characters
Author Guest / July 21, 2021

Why do they capture our hearts? From Cinderella to Heidi to Pip in Great Expectations or my personal favorite, Jane Eyre, orphan characters have a way of grabbing our affections and not letting go. My own recent novel, Jewel of the Nile, features an orphaned main character, although Chariline is grown up by the time we meet her. But her heart is still living like an orphan, abandoned and unwanted. For me, this perennial fascination with orphans finds its taproots in the third chapter of the book of Genesis. Overnight, humans go from being cherished by the perfect Father to living orphaned lives. We are reduced from flawless belonging to a life of loneliness. From the outset of the loss, God begins to weave the warp and weft of his plan for our restoration into our ailing history. Nonetheless, we have lost that perfect connection with our Father. Eden is gone. Hence the appeal of the orphan. We may have been born to good parents, lived with loving families. Yet deep in every soul, a hazy memory of Eden’s bone-deep attachment still remains. In this fallen world, every attachment falls short of that uninterrupted sense of belonging, and the heart…