stack of 3 books plus open book with pen. Title: Top Ten Tuesday

#TopTenTuesday   10 Unlikable Characters I Couldn’t Help but Like


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Here’s how it works: Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic for each Tuesday. If you check this link, you’ll find she’s assigned topics for several future weeks so you can plan ahead. She adds, “create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list . . . Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you!”

Each week Jana posts a Linky on her blog where you can (if you want) share a link to your post and check out other bloggers’ posts.


I present this list with minimal explanations to avoid spoiling the stories for you.

1. Robbie Feaver in Personal Injuries by Scott Turow

I was amazed at how Turow was able to make me appreciate this shady lawyer.

2. & 3. Patty Watts and Rose Gold Watts in Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel

This novel presents two deeply flawed human beings, but the author made me sympathize with both by demonstrating how each became the person she is. 

4. John Keller in Hit Man and subsequent novels by Lawrence Block

Keller is, after all, a hit man, but in many ways he’s also an ordinary guy.

5. Billy Summers in Billy Summers by Stephen King

Another hit man, but one with a conscience.

6. Evelyn Hugo in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This famous actress did what she had to do to succeed, and she tells her story unapologetically.

7. Henry Lamb in The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell

Because we know the childhood trauma Henry lived through, we don’t blame him for wanting and trying to be somebody else.

8. Frank Guidry in November Road by Lou Berney

Guidry is a low-level cog in an organized-crime machine who, in the end, redeems himself through a selfless act. 

9. & 10. Korede and Ayoola, the sisters in My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Here are two more characters whose author made me sympathize with them by allowing me to understand their world.

© 2022 by Mary Daniels Brown

11 thoughts on “#TopTenTuesday   10 Unlikable Characters I Couldn’t Help but Like”

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      I enjoyed your list, too, Lydia. And I encourage you to finish Evelyn Hugo. The ending (her reason for telling her story to this particular writer) is important in developing our sympathy toward her. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    1. Mary Daniels Brown

      I agree completely, Deb. There’s something very compelling about characters we can’t really like but come to feel for and understand. I have a special spot in my heart for novelists who can do this well.

I'd love to hear from you!

Scroll to Top
%d bloggers like this: