The Thirteenth Tale: Beginnings (SPOILERS)
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I will be back with more comments after I finish the section.
I also am totally creeped out by Charlie...and Isabelle too (Roland's death from pneumonia seems awfully suspicious to me)! ...and I can't help but wonder who Emmeline & Adeline's father really is :o.
Will check back in after I read some more. Type of book that keeps calling to me to continue
I have finished 'Beginnings' - I couldn't help but giggle in delight at Margaret's encounter with Aurelius in the 'Friendly Giant' chapter - it added a brightness, almost 'Alice in Wonderland' feel to the story. I do hope we encounter Aurelius again further into the book.
I am really enjoying this book, and love the overall gothic, period piece feel of the story. So far I have more questions than answers - Why is Charlie's death listed in the almanac as a legal decree of decease? What happened to the twins after that unfortunate incident when the doctor's wife visited Angelfield? Where did they take Isabelle? What is Vida dying from?
Lori, you have captured my thoughts perfectly.
Feral is exactly right for the twins. Stealing bits of food here and there, creeping into people's homes, their glowing green eyes in the shade....
Aurelius was rather fantastical. I want his recipe. I've got a hankering for cake now.
Yes, I do wonder about Charlie and Isabelle.Will they appear again later on? How did the Angelfield fire come about?
Most strikingly is the important role that books play in both Margaret and Miss Winter’s lives. I think Margaret considers books as a way to immortality, especially for those who write these books. According to Margaret, “People disappear when they die. Their voice, their language, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living memory of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continue to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humor, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.” To me it seems like her desire to connect with those who have died through her reading and her career as a biographer, is somehow linked to her connection with her twin sister…I personally think books are an awesome way to time travel, getting to know those shadows of the past as well as what is possibly to come.
Margaret also sees books as a great way of getting to know another person. When she is first summoned to meet Vida Winter, she arrives in her library early so she had time to explore. She says “and for me, what better way to get to know someone than through her choice and treatment of books.” This made me wonder what Margaret would make of me, with my eclectic choice of books in my library! ;)
As far as Vida goes, the books she reads and writes have all mixed together with her life experiences to fuel her imagination. She uses the “life in compost” metaphor to describe this which I think is kind of cool. I also think that Vida has used her writing as a means of escape from herself…from her own past. But I need to read farther to further understand the life she is escaping.
On another note, I’ve been thinking about how Emmeline & Adeline ravages John-the-Dig’s beloved garden. Why do you think they did that? I was also disturbed by the perambulator incident…both scared & curious about what the twins will do next!
It's hard to believe this is a debut novel, she writes so well. Took me a little bit to get into, but once Vida started in with her story - well, from there I find it hard to put down.