Luke and Astrid

Philip.Belben at Philip.Belben at
Tue Jul 11 13:32:18 EDT 2000

Jacob, this time:

> I have a kind of odd theory about the whole sadness comment.  I just reread
> the book in light of the conversation here and I think there might actually
> be something that we haven't thought of.
> First, ages.  David's age is never given.  We know he's taller than Cousin
> Ronald and that none of the family has kept track of his age.  That means to
> me that he could be anywhere from 12 to 16.  I think that his family treats
> him younger than he actually is and that he plays to that a little if only
> to avoid the inevitable conflict.  I'd put him at an immaturish 15 or so
> just because that supports my theory better.  Personally, I grew three
> inches my junior year (17?) so I know a little about late growth spurts and
> tend to give David a little more credit for age than seems to be the general
> assumption.

Yes, but I don't think he's 15 yet.  Would he still be that proud of bowling his
games master out by that age?  Also, when he and Astrid talk about running away,
Astrid says she would if she had any money, and David says "I'd go if I was old
enough", money or not.  If he was 15 he'd have gone, I am quite sure.

Also, when Wedding offers him a way out, daydreams of living alone with just a
dog feel younger to me.

> I think another person whose age is flexible is Astrid.  David remembers her
> introduction to the house and how she used to be nicer and more joyful, and
> he just didn't notice.  It *seems* that this could reasonably be three or
> four years in the past.  Frankly, her conversation puts her kind of young,
> too.  Say she married Cousin Ronald young--likely as I'll get to later--then
> she could be as young as early twenties still.

I agree with that, certainly.

> You can probably see where I'm going with this.  At one point, David so much
> as *says* they are not related by blood (he's relieved--I would be too,
> given his blood relations), though he doesn't see the possible implications
> of them living together.

[beginning to laugh behind hand]

> I see Astrid's quote of sadness at the end as a comment on her marriage to
> Ronald.  She must have been happy, at least for a small time, or she
> wouldn't have married him.  She's sad now, so she's wondering if her earlier
> happiness makes up for how sad everything turned out.  That she would
> express this to David indicates to me that they are beginning to deal with
> each other on an equal footing.  It strikes me that she is regretting a
> youthful impetuous decision.  That's why I would think that she married
> rather young.

True as far as it goes, except that I doubt she was happy with Ronald.  Not
happy enough for her even to consider that it might make up for later sadness, I

> We've just discussed on this list romances that happen with an eight year
> difference.  Give David four years and there could be a budding romance with
> Astrid.  Get over the ick factor there and I think it could happen.

And more... and it came from this thread...

Yes, it could.  Quite independently of whether Astrid has her fling with Luke
(an idea I quite like, actually).  But I don't think it will...

Oh well, I'll have to read the book again really soon now.  There seem to be
loads of possibilities I'd never even considered...


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