Looks in Fire and Hemlock

Hallie O'Donovan hallieod at indigo.ie
Thu Feb 7 17:05:02 EST 2002


Jennifer:

>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".


Could it possibly be that they were dressing up and being High 
Priestesses, and Polly, with her gift, sees this aspect of Laurel? 
Polly does say HPs walk in processions (the funeral) and sacrifice 
humans.

>
>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.

YARGH!  It makes a lot of sense, in a sick kind of way.  This sent me 
searching for the other descriptions of Laurel, but I couldn't find 
any which describe her type of looks specifically.

<Later> - I found it!  I feel like Polly fetching it out.  It's the 
part where she re-meets Seb.  "Laurel was beautiful.  Polly saw that 
now, where she had not seen it when she was ten.  With her 
pearly-pale face, big eyes, and dark eyebrows in the clouded pale 
hair, she was quite staggering.  She looked young and slender too. 
She could have been the same age as Nina."

Nina again, but *slender*.  Very meaningful, I'm sure, if we could 
just sort it all out...

>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.


Definitely!

Hallie.


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