The Dark Portal | Chapter 5


Warning: Contains Spoilers!

As she stood undisturbed in the moonlight, erect and lovely, it seemed as if the care of years fell away and she was young again.

Aufwader’s Thoughts: Audrey’s mother Gwen is another character who is slightly underappreciated. This is really a crying shame, because her story arc is one of the most touching in the entire Deptford Mice Trilogy.

Though she bears the common sign of the house-mouse as her brass, Gwen shows uncommon resilience and fortitude, and it’s easy to see where Audrey gets her inner strength from.  The little scene between Gwen and Arthur as they grieve for Albert is incredibly moving even in its simplicity; we feel their sorrow, but overshadowing it is a layer of worry for Audrey, who still refuses to accept the truth about her father.

Between Albert’s sudden death, Piccadilly’s arrival, the awkwardness between he and Audrey, and Audrey’s missing mousebrass, things are burgeoning into a veritable mousey soap-opera, but it’s the melodrama that makes this story so engaging. One can’t help but be swept along.

Twit’s eagerness to return to the sewers on Audrey’s behalf is very touching even if he ends up staying behind, and the fact that Oswald gamely offers to venture into danger shows that he possesses an internal moral compass quite as strong as his divining rod. A good thing too, as he’s going to need every ounce of courage and integrity he has in the chapters to come.


Matt’s Thoughts: Aww …this chapter was a lot more sad than what I remember last time I read it. The scene with Gwen stoically remembering the past in the moonlight really got to me this time.

I don’t have a lot to comment on in this chapter except that I love the fact that Oswald is getting braver, and I’ve always liked the visual image – even though no illustration exists for this – of him chasing his divining rod through the sewers.

As for the cliffhanger chapter ending, well, what I can say? Beware of the Grill!

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