(The Inklings Series is a monthly series featuring the works of my two favorites, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, or books about them. But I don’t want it to be just me chatting about these books, so that’s where y’all come in! I’ll announce the book at least four weeks in advance of when the discussion post will go live, so you have plenty of time to get the book and read it. Then, the following month, I’ll post a discussion post and let the fun begin!!)
Death as death was preferable to death mimicking a foolish life.
Well this book gets filed under “stories that turned out to be not at all what I expected.” Early on I wasn’t at all sure what to think. In my mind this story was going to be like Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow style. I have no basis for this assumption except that All Hallows’ Eve reminds me of Fall and that story usually is told around Halloween.
By chapter two I wasn’t sure what I had gotten myself into and terrible memories of Kafka’s Metamorphosis came rushing back (Blame bugs and people morphing). I was at a loss, but as the story unfolded, I was able to look back and appreciate what was going on in the scene and the meaning of the painting and each character. Some fabulous writing.
I also wasn’t expecting Betty to play such a key role. Again, I don’t know where I got any of my assumptions (since I didn’t know about this story until only recently), but it threw me off because I kept expecting the story to be solely about Lester and Richard and how their love transcended even death. I realize in that last part I was right, but once I got over my unfounded expectations of the storyline, I was able to appreciate the other characters.
I really was a fan of the theme of love defeating all. I give William’s props for developing such a unique story that reveals that in such a way. Both in friendship and romantic love. I’m sure I missed like 97% of the symbolism in this book (Most of the time I did not feel smart reading this book #INeededCliffNotes), but I did like that Jonathan was an artist and there was meaning in that.
And who would have thought a dead woman could have such character development? Evelyn on the other hand…what a terrible human being/ghost.
I’m all for clever and clear battles between good and evil, so while I can appreciate Williams’ skill and talent, my boys are still top in my book. 🙂
Since this was a new author to the Inklings series, I’m leaving it open ended for discussion….or maybe just a few prompts. 🙂
- What did you think of the characters? Did you have a favorite?
- Any thoughts to share on the symbolism throughout the novel?
- What’s your impression of Charles after reading this?
Looking forward to hearing from y’all!