Looks in Fire and Hemlock

Rowland, Jennifer A B jennifer.rowland at ic.ac.uk
Thu Feb 7 06:19:06 EST 2002


I just picked F+H up this morning to see if I felt like taking it to read on
the tube (so of course I started reading it for long enough that I was
late), and noticed a couple of things that reminded me of the thread on it,
and I've looked at all the messages I could find but I can't see the ones I
was thinking of. Hence a new one. I noticed the descriptions of how people
look much more than I had before. I think this has more descriptions than
some of her books, but even so it has the typical dwj thing where we don't
get a full description of a person, but a single very vivid impression-
(First Impressions, maybe?) Mr Morton with black poached eyes! And Tom as a
tortoise. (And then the next time Polly meets him she notices that she has
been remembering him as a tortoise, but actually he looks like a reasonable
person.) 
But the one that jumped out at me was raised by someone who said, how could
Laurel be mistaken for Nina? 
I had previously thought it might be a bit of glamour from Laurel- a "you
like me" spell on her all the time, that Polly gets the edge of and makes
her think Laurel *is* someone she likes. But Polly pretty much instantly
takes against Laurel. It's explained at first that Polly and Nina have
dressed up in black, and Polly, not knowing that there is a funeral going
on, sees a glimpse of a black skirt going round a door into Hunsdon House
and thinks it must be Nina- but also when she meets Laurel she thinks she is
"plump and pretty". 
So Laurel's elegance isn't the sort of thin spiky elegance I had been
picturing. This also made me wonder if she's plump at the funeral because
she's just absorbed the life of the woman who died, or something nasty like
that.
Oh, and all the little touches, clues you just don't pick up on until you
know the ending, like Granny knowing the funeral was a woman without asking-
she must have been keeping track since her husband was taken. And Seb
telling Polly that "You ate nothing and drank nothing and turned the Nowhere
vases round." Spookily good book.
Jennifer
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