My favorite novel should be an easy choice, right? It should be a classic piece of literature that everyone has either read or had to read in school, right? Well, wrong on both accounts. Don’t get me wrong, I love the classics: Dickens, Dumas, Shakespeare, Twain, Mitchell, or even Jane Austen. I will admit that I have never read Jane Austen. There, I said it and I’m not ashamed that I haven’t read her books. Maybe I should, but that’s a completely different topic all together and for another time.
My pick is an action/thriller/romance book. Before you sneer and laugh, my choice is one that most people wouldn’t put in a romance category but in my mind it is a romance between a man and his country. The book I’m referring to is “The Hunt for Red October” by Tom Clancy. Yes, that’s my pick. As most people who know me, romance is my top genre of choice to read but what they don’t know is my deep and underlying affection for the character Jack Ryan and his creator Tom Clancy. When the movie version of “The Hunt for Red October” came out, I was giddy about going and seeing a movie with Sean Connery in it. Of course, I saw the movie, loved it but the story and character of Jack Ryan fascinated me. Talking to my dad about the movie, he suggests that I read the book. The book is much more detailed and he thought I would like it. I don’t think my dad realized what he did that particular day with his suggestion to read the book. I completely and totally fell in love with a character and an author that I can talk about with my dad. Jack Ryan is my favorite written character that an author has come up with and shared with the world. He’s loyal, a patriot, a father, a devoted husband, a deep love for his country, his countrymen and the rest of the world.
I would caution you, the reader, that about half the book is very technical and quite boring, really about the workings of a nuclear submarine. The underlying tension between Jack, the sub captain, and ultimately, the captain of the Red October is palpable and you will get a sense of all three men’s love for their respective countries and for their families.
I have since read the other “Jack Ryan” books by Tom Clancy and found them to be just as good. Now, as a woman, you doesn’t want to read about a man that loves his wife, his children, his job and his country and would do anything to keep them safe? I’m still waiting for my dad to finish the two books that star Jack’s son, Jack, Jr. I feel another love affair coming on.