Dalemark Quartet

Robyn Starkey rohina at shaw.ca
Wed Jul 28 16:27:54 EDT 2004

>I read Spellcoats, Drowned Ammet and Crown for the first time, but I also
>reread Cart and Cwidder, which is one of my "early" DWJ books I read as a
>kid. I remember that I thought it was very sad, and that the "feel" reminded
>my of Power of Three. Upon rereading I think I liked it best, and certainly
>better than I had remebered it. It is sad, I think, and also in parts
>disturbing: The way Lenina reacts to the death of her husband, and also that
>her children are quite ready to leave her in turn is something I may have
>"overlooked" as a child, but I do think it made me uneasy.

I agree that this whole incident is disturbing, but I think it is a 
brilliant comment on what happens to a lot of families when parents get 
divorced. If there is acrimony between parents, often children don't get to 
see one or other of them for a long period of time -- sometimes it seems to 
the kids like the parent dumped them. This happened in my extended family; 
the mother forbade the father to see the kids, but they didn't know the 
circumstances, and so they assumed for years that he had lost interest and 
dumped them. In C&C it's the kids who do the dumping, but you can see how 
the issues of abandonment are at play.

Lenina is an interesting character, I think; she is very loyal to her 
husband while he is alive, but as soon as he dies, all her bottled up 
resentment and regret  get full sway. She is not loyal beyond death, which 
is the difference between her and the children. I also like the way the 
situation isn't the result of deliberate malice -- each family member 
chooses what he/she thinks is right.


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