As I mentioned in my blog post about Esme, it’s so utterly cool when your characters assume a life of their own. Asen has had a complicated past. His family is just surviving above the poverty line, his mother has run away and his father died unexpectedly. His uncle is trying to recruit him into the “family business” - which a shady at best. Asen has big dreams though, and nothing is going to stop him from trying all he can to realize his dreams.
Here are three things you might not know about him!
Asen Has Always Wanted to See The World
Asen grew up in a small village in Bulgaria. As he mentions in the book, though the people in his world may not have lots of material wealth, they are quite happy, living for the day and not tomorrow. Who knows if tomorrow will even come? It’s clear in the book that he has a special healing talent and would like to be a vet one day, helping little creatures that can’t help themselves. Who doesn’t love an animal lover? But what you might not know is that he has a deep-seated yearning to travel the world. When he and Esme meet and finds out she is from New York, he mentions “the big apple” with a wistful tone. Will he ever see much more than his own small town? So when Kurkle asks him along for the summer, it isn’t just an opportunity to get away, it is the beginning of his quest to experience the big, wide world around him. In his heart he is hoping this is only the start of global adventures - little does he know!
Asen Has A Plan To Find His Mother
In The Color of Music when we meet Asen his mother has run away in the middle of the night. She was struggling with depression after having her two twin daughters. She didn’t seem to dislike her husband or family, but she was a tortured soul who could find no rest at home. Asen talks about her kindly and even bravely, but he is saddened by her disappearance. She loved him deeply, and believed in him, telling him that he had healing in his hands. Though he hasn’t said anything to his family, he plans to go looking for his mother when he is old enough to venture out on his own. He wants to find her and make sure she is ok. Ideally, he wants to bring her home, but more than anything he wants to understand what drove her away. One of the reasons he wants to venture out to see the world is to find his mother.
Asen Has A Sense Of Humor
The fact that Asen has a sense of humor doesn’t always come out in obvious ways, but he definitely has one. You can see it when he interacts with Esme. He loves to poke fun at her, but not in a mean way. She tickles him, you can tell, and he likes to tease her a bit to make her a little uncomfortable. He knows that holding her hand makes her nervous, so when she pulls back he leans in, trying to push her buttons. It’s not meant to make her mad, but to create a little fun between them. When she’s being serious, deep in conversation, he’ll ask her questions just to get a rise out of her. He’s often smiling at her because she brings him joy. He thinks she’s cute - in every way.