Good morning, and happy Friday! Before we get down to business, we have a winner for the signed copy of Pink X: Debra Callaway. Debra, if you will email your address to firstname.lastname@example.org, I will get your prize in the mail to you. Thanks to all of you for sharing your favorite Miss Gwen moments! And speaking of our heroine, I will let Paige take over from here with her Pink recap.
Hello again, everyone! I suspect you might have found this week’s reading as captivating as I did. There was so much that happened in chapters 6-12! I found myself doing most of my reading for this section on my Kindle, and I found myself doing a lot of highlighting.
I have always enjoyed the modern Colin and Eloise story. I particularly like how the Colin and Eloise storyline continues throughout the series and also how it frames the historical storylines. I am quite attached to them and feel a vested interest in their relationship. Eloise has just had the unpleasant realization that Colin may have some neuroses, and she may be helping to reinforce them. Eloise and Colin spend a lot of time and attention on Colin’s family history. Now that Colin’s Aunt, Mrs. Selwick-Alderly, has pointed out that Colin can’t make Selwick Hall a tribute to his father, Eloise considers what her inadvertent role might have been in keeping Colin tied to Selwick Hall. Furthermore, Colin and Eloise have still not meaningfully discussed what will happen with their relationship once Eloise leaves England to go back to America in two months. Mrs. Selwick-Alderly has now manipulated the situation so that Jeremy will not only be driving Colin and Eloise back to Selwick Hall, but he will be staying there with them while they join forces and cooperate on finding the legendary lost jewels of Berar. With Jeremy around, who knows when they will ever get a chance to have a meaningful discussion?
Speaking of Mrs. Selwick-Alderly, I continue to find her fascinating. Eloise refers to her as a fairy godmother Obviously, she was instrumental in not only giving Eloise access to the family archives so that she could continue her Pink Carnation research, but also in doing some matchmaking for Colin and Eloise. Additionally, she always seems to know more than she reveals. I think of her as being like the sassy Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella fairy godmother. Sometimes, I think she is a bit like Miss Gwen. She has something in her voice that quells even Jeremy, and she says things majestically, similar to Miss Gwen. Then again, Eloise observes that she is “always at her most dangerous when she was at her most serene,” which reminds me of Jane. Whatever the case may be, she is clearly a kind, shrewd, and strong woman. I was secretly hoping that she was going to be the leader of some modern day espionage ring. Similar to Eloise, I now see a spy in every Selwick!
Mrs. Selwick-Alderly revealed that Colonel Reid’s youngest daughter married Richard’s son! Can you even begin to imagine that wedding and reception? Or the family events and occasions throughout the years? Another piece of key information she imparted was that the clue to the missing jewels was in Miss Gwen’s book, The Convent of Orsino, which had originally been titled The Perils of Plumeria. Finally, Eloise knows who Plumeria was! We left off with Colin and Jamie, I mean Jeremy, beginning to at least speak with each other. I really want Coln and Eloise to talk and get things all out in the open, how about you?
Back in 1805, things have gotten intense with Miss Gwen and Colonel Reid. During the five days that Miss Gwen spends tending Colonel Reid’s wound and nursing him back to health, they become William and Gwen to each other. William is delirious with fever and in his hallucinations he thinks Gwen is Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty and good fortune. I thought that the dream sections were a clever way to both show some of their deeper character attributes as well as some more of their backstories. I also thought it was a feasible way for them to end up cuddling on the same bed one night. Did this work well as a story element for you? What about the next morning, when Miss Gwen is horrified to wake up next to a “naked” man with his arm around her and tries to reconcile that action with her image of herself? They go back to being The Colonel .and Miss Gwen to each other, which I found heartbreaking, although understandable considering the information that we now know about Gwen’s past and her emotional defense mechanisms. She believes that the only thing constant about the male sex is their inconstancy. When in doubt, she resorts to sarcasm, and right now Miss Gwen is starting to have many doubts about who she is, I think. The girl she thought was long gone, the girl she tells herself is long gone, is starting to show herself. Miss Gwen wants to comfort Colonel Reid, but she stifles the urge and convinces herself that she cannot afford to be incautious. We know better, don’t we?
The Chevalier de la Tour d’Argent is causing some confusion for Miss Gwen as well as for me. What is going on with Jane and The Chevalier? He is flirting with her, and she appears to be flirting back. Miss Gwen is convinced that this flirting is beyond what Jane has typically done in the past as part of the Pink Carnation duties. Jane only admits to wanting to keep her enemy close. At this point in the story, I am not feeling confident of that. Miss Gwen has worked with Jane closely for the previous two years and has known her for most of her life; the two of them have a special bond. Wouldn’t Miss Gwen know if something was unusual about Jane’s actions? Why does she have a “slight sense of impending doom?” I know that I don’t like or trust the Chevalier. I am glad that Jane is suggesting that they invite Colonel Reid to also accompany them to the opera. Let’s let Miss Gwen pretend that the only reason she wants him to be invited is so he can keep an eye on Jane while Miss Gwen checks Fiorila’s dressing room.
My favorite quote during this section was Jane telling Miss Gwen, “You yourself once told me to keep one’s enemies close enough to poke with a parasol.” I like that. Did any quotes stick out to you this week? What about the chapters would you like to discuss?
Have a wonderful Friday and a fabulous weekend!