This is the question my mother-in-law asked about The Hunger Games. Now, she didn’t ask in a harsh judgmental way, but in a true mystified way.
My first thought was, “A person like me.”
She’s never read anything I’ve written, and I’m afraid if I ever get published and she reads my work, she will be just as baffled.
That she went to see the film surprised me. She knew nothing about the book and she doesn’t like fantastical, impossible things. She went to see what all the fuss was about, but she didn’t understand it at all. She had no reference points for the story. The story wasn’t good or bad because there wasn’t anything she could relate to.
She likes stories about things that can really happen.
When I talked about the book, she said nodded. “That helps me understand the film more.” And she liked Katniss, a strong female lead.
Dystopian novels aren’t for everyone–I’m not a huge fan of bleak futures either. But I’m always curious about why certain types of people only like “real” stories.
What does it say about individuals who love fantasy, sci-fi, magical realism, and such? Why can one person get lost in these stories, and others can’t. Others spend the whole time knowing this is impossible, not real, no way. Why do some people have a great ability to suspend belief?
I can think of the good and bad things that might say about the person. Since I love those fantastical stories, I focus on the good points…
My in-laws have no idea what I write. Should they ever read anything, well, they’re under no obligation to understand it.