My absolute favorite place in anything I've ever read is the Murry's kitchen in A Wrinkle in Time. There is something so warm and inviting about that kitchen. From the very first time we go there, with Meg, to have hot cocoa with Charles Wallace and her mother. The way the family gathers there, the way they--and we--all know that Mrs. Murry always has dinner cooking on a bunsen burner in her lab next door, the way that adventure also begins there. For we first meet Mrs. Whatsit in that kitchen, too. It's a comforting oasis in the middle of a dark and stormy night.
There are a lot of other places I love in literature, too. Thinking about all of them, I've realized that they generally have two things in common. Either they are the places where the characters gather with their friends and loved ones, or they are the places where they go to be free and entirely themselves. As a kid, I definitely had a soft spot for any story in which the character had a place of his or her own--a place no one else knew about and was completely his or hers. It seemed so . . . luxurious, and even a little illicit.
My list of favorite places:
* The Murry's kitchen, from Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time
* Mary's secret garden, from, well, Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden
* Mandy's cottage, from Julie Andrews Edwards's Mandy
* Miss Honey's cottage, from Roald Dahl's Matilda
* the room with the wardrobe and Mr. Tumnus's house, from C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
* the Garland's house in Bloomsbury, from Philip Pullman's The Ruby in the Smoke and The Shadow in the North (which made the end of the latter heartbreaking for so many reasons!)
* Gryffindor common room, from J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books
* the Dancing Dove, from Tamora Pierce's Alanna books
* Terabitha, from Katherine Paterson's A Bridge to Terabithia
* the truck in Lynne Rae Perkins's Criss Cross
* Beauty's room, from Robin McKinley's Beauty
What are yours?