Fire and Hemlock - my first breathless thoughts...

Neil Ward neilward at
Sun Jul 23 06:22:21 EDT 2000

**I wrote:

>Having met her, by accident, at a funeral, Thomas Lynn attempts to maintain
>a link with Polly, throughout her late childhood, in order to loosen the
>clutches of the evil Laurel, a sort of soul-sucking vamp.

**Hallie replied:

I wouldn't have thought Tom was originally trying to maintain the link with
Polly to escape Laurel.  And I think it's an important element in the story
that _Polly_ is trying to hold on to Tom.

I agree that it was important that Polly hung on to Tom ['you were doing
that for five years, but you stopped' he tells her], but, initially, he has
to *make* her do that of her own accord.  At the funeral at Hunsdon House he
drags Polly into the garden and, once she has told him about her fantasies,
pumps her for information.  Later, he gives her the charmed Fire & Hemlock
picture, and later still sends her that first letter, on different sizes of
paper, with the Tom Piper story. After that, she *is* hanging on to him, but
as Tom admits to Polly near the end of the book, 'I had to keep sending you
things, because you were my only chance'.

Thanks for your comments, and further recommendations. "Hexwood" sounds


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