23 of Fiction’s Most Memorable Small Town Dreamers

Cherry Money Baby John M. Cusick CoverCherry Kerrigan loves her simple life, her family’s tiny trailer, even working at Burrito Barn. Forget college – she’s marrying her sweetheart from next door. But here comes Ardelia Deen, a glamorous starlet who sweeps Cherry into a world of fast cars and penthouse parties. Now Cherry’s small-town life just seems so…small. When Ardelia drops a bomb of an offer – one involving a baby – Cherry knows her life will change forever, no matter what she decides.

Fiction is full of small-town people with big dreams. In this giveaway sponsored by Cherry Money Baby by John M. Cusick, we wanted to know about your favorites.  The answers ranged from classic characters to a heroine that is hot at the box office – or will be when she catches fire.

Sorry. I couldn’t resist.



Check out these small town dreamers: 

Scout and Dill from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*

Mark Twain’s loveable scamps Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn* 

Bilbo and Frodo Baggins of Bag End, The Shire,  and creations of J.R.R. Tolkein*

Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Ponyboy from The Outsiders S.E. Hinton

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Bennett from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice 

Jane Eyre from Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre: An Autobiography (as it was originally titled)

Emma Bovary from Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary 

Dorothy from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Lenny from John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men

Billy Pilgrim from Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

Anastasia Krupnik from the series by Lois Lowry

Cassandra from Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle

Margo Roth Spiegelman from Paper Towns by John Green

Andrea Sachs from The Devil Wears Prada Laura Weisberger

Puck Connolly from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races

Novalee Nation in Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

Amir in The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Santiago from The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Dolores Price in Wally Lamb’s She’s Come Undone

Julia Shumway from Stephen King’s Under the Dome 

Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games trilogy  


Francie Nolan from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

because, as one reader wrote:

I know Brooklyn was never a small town in size, but Betty’s Smith’s depiction of its provinciality 100 years ago convinces me that Francie is spiritually connected to “small town dreamers.”

I’m convinced.


*Yes, there are two people listed here, but I’m counting them as one because they so clearly go together. 


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