Warning: Contains Spoilers!
‘Imagine all those hearts that will turn to her – will she spurn them and be a cold destroyer of men?’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: The folk band are probably my favourite thing about this novel, and a large part of the reason I always wanted to attend Whitby Folk Week. In spending some time with them, we also get a peek into Jennet’s head, and start to see some of her own personality shine through.
In light of what we learnt about Meta last chapter and what we’ve been told so far about Jennet’s state of mind following the events of the previous book, it would be easy to define Pear and Jennet’s newfound friendship in relation to Nathaniel. The folk band are coven members; Jennet is still haunted by their High Priest’s memory; obviously, they’re out to reel her in. While I’ll be coming back to Crozier and the machinations of his witches later, let’s focus just on Jennet and Pear for the moment.
Paranormal shenanigans or no paranormal shenanigans, Jennet is still an orphan who feels cut off from others her age and longs to escape from the small town that is her home. She’s also on the cusp of adolescence, with all the revelations that brings.
In Chapter 1, it’s mentioned that one of the reasons Jennet feels alienated from her school friends is that they are interested in ‘being chatted up by a group of spotty lads with bad breath who wear too much cheap aftershave’. While it’s possible that Nathaniel’s conditioning might have discouraged Jennet’s curiosity about boys her own age, I think it’s more likely, given her sudden and rapturous devotion to Pear, that Jennet is just now discovering that she likes girls. The giddy nature of their meeting and instant connection, combined with the golden afternoons they spend together can be read – at least from Jennet’s perspective – as a blossoming romance.
As for Pear’s feelings about all of this, we know she has a strong bond with Jennet and is protective of her to a certain extent, but we have yet to see where her loyalties truly lie. I’m sure we’d all love for her to break away from the corrupting influence of Meta, who has been so warped by her obsession with Nathaniel that she cannot even try to be a decent parent. Once again, Jennet and her affections are being manipulated for dark purposes, and I just hope that Pear proves good and true.
Matt’s Thoughts: I don’t have a lot to say about this chapter except that a) I really like the illustration – which I’ll save for the favourite illustrations post – and b) that if Mr Jarvis ever decides to write a book for adults, I think the Werbrides of Crozier back-story would be creepy, unsettling and fascinating.
What were these women in their past before Nathaniel? How did they meet him? What made him select them? There are hints, but I feel like there’s a whole horrific story there waiting to be told.