‘Old truths have been forgot. Land sakes, people, you threw away what was real and ran to embrace cotton-candy whimsy instead. This island’s bones are cemented over and y’all were happy to let it happen. That’ll cost you mighty dear.’
Aufwader’s Thoughts: Whenever I remember that Cherry Cerise is based on a real person I feel as bright as Lil’s knitted creations. Of course, the fictional Cherry has a bit of Robiny magic in her to blend her with the setting, but there are people we meet in our everyday lives who have other kinds of magic in them, who instantly snazz-up your day (as Cherry might put it) and make you think ‘which story have you stepped out of?’
Having said that, I like that Lil isn’t immediately comfortable around her, and that Cherry is blunt and rude, rather than a Miss Honey-like mentor figure. Miss Boston was rather short-tempered and grating too, at times, but she was officially Ben and Jennet’s guardian and they were lumbered with her. Lil, on the other hand, already has parents, and I like that she stands up for them even despite the peculiar upbringing they foisted upon her.
Speaking of Miss Boston, I love the recreation of that scene at the start of The Whitby Witches where she and her new charges huddle in the selfsame graveyard – probably even sitting near Lil’s bench – and have their first heart-to-heart. You can really feel history overlapping. I’ve never been to Whitby, but I’ve often felt that certain very ancient sites hold some memory of the happenings they’ve seen, and the scene between Lil and Cherry in the cemetery evokes that feeling.
I have to laugh when Cherry says of Scaur Annie’s head, ‘Word is, the skull’s gone AWOL’. Matt already made the joke about Annie having a second job as Robin’s book-tour accomplice, but it’s pretty hilarious to imagine her being late to haunt Lil’s mirror with the excuse, ‘I have a life, you know.’
Matt’s Thoughts: Who would have thought that the Morgawrus and his filthy tear-pool would get a second look in? (It is a great concept, though, so I’m glad to see it back again.)
Also, what sort of Canadians has Robin met in his lifetime? I go to an international conference every few years and I always found that Americans were good for the enthusiasm and hype, people from the UK were good for a night at the pub and Candians were good when you wanted to calm down a bit. They’re normally so mild-mannered!
But Cherry, with her wild colours and slightly obnoxious manner (which cleverly mask the depths of her personality) is quite a character!