[DWJ] Monthly Read-Along - Charmed Life

Ellen Willcox eawil3 at email.wm.edu
Sat Nov 3 20:02:27 EDT 2012

Ah, Charmed Life.  I love it.  It's one of my favorite Chrestomanci
books.  Oddly, two of my friends who read it don't like it much
because they feel Cat is too passive - both prefer The Lives of
Christopher Chant.  I guess I can see Cat being sort of passive, but
it doesn't bother me.

What has always impressed me about Charmed Life is that Gwendolyn
really is that bad.  I've always liked reading about close sibling
relationships - maybe because my brother and I are close - and I think
I tend to assume more affection between siblings than is on the page.
When Cat and Gwendolyn have just arrived at Chrestomanci Castle, and
Cat is anxious that evening, Gwendolyn plays cards with him - she's
even the one to suggest it, though she's a bit scornful when she does.
 So I'd been assuming that she was kind of mean, but that she loved
her brother deep down.  So that moment where she tells her minions
offhandedly that they'll have to kill Cat more than once both shocked
me and gave me chills.

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