Monday, October 7, 2013

I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett Read Along Part 1

If you haven't read the book, or the whole series, why not join in and read along with the rest of us? This week the links to the other posts can be found at Over The Effing Rainbow.

This week we read through to the end of Chapter 6.

1. So Roland is engaged! ... And being a bit of a 'Baron' towards Tiffany. Oh dear. What do you think of this awkward turn in their 'friendship' in this book?

I suppose it would have been far too fairytale for Tiffany and Roland to end up together with a Happy Ever After, so I was not all that surprised by this turn of events. However, it does seem a shame for Tiffany that he has dumped her for someone who is her total opposite, so I despise Letitia on principal and want to slap Roland quite a few times! Of course, this might be the ‘Hurdle That They Must Overcome’ in their Romance, so we might still see them together by the end . . .

2. "Rough music..." Even more so than with Wintersmith, it seems this book is tackling darker/more adult issues. What did you think of the way Tiffany handled Mr Petty, and is this darker side a welcome development?

Wow! That was so much darker than I was expecting, especially the miscarried baby.

I guess that Wintersmith followed Tiffany as she passed through puberty and now she really is an adult. However, dealing with this situation seemed so much more tragic and ‘grown up’ than births and deaths from natural causes. I was stunned by the direct way in which it was handled, and the fact that Mr Petty’s treatment of his wife and daughter were common knowledge. For some reason, the inclusion of this all too common behavior in the Fantasy of Discworld was much more shocking than if I had read it another world because it was so unexpected. It is a difficult subject to read and including it in a book for Young Adults is a bold move, which I truly appreciate.

I thought that Tiffany handled Mr Petty with great restraint and understanding. Her cool response to his changing emotions was amazing and showed her great wisdom and depth of understanding of human nature. I have a friend who works with victims of sexual assault, and I have always wondered how she could separate herself emotionally from what her clients have been through: now I think I have a better understanding of how she copes. She and Tiffany are both strong, amazing women and I have great respect for both of them.

3. The Feegles are back, and this time we see more of Jeannie, their Kelda. She takes in the Pettys' daughter, Amber, after Tiffany deals with Mr Petty. Is this a good idea, or do you think it'll just bring trouble? And what do you make of Jeannie's prediction that more trouble is coming Tiffany's way?

It seems that Jeannie can see into the future a little, so I imagine she saw that Amber would thrive with the Feegles and that she would find her destiny by visiting their mound. I sincerely doubt that anything bad could come from some time spent with the Feegles, especially as everyone already thinks that Amber is somewhat simple, so if she starts talking about seeing tiny blue men people will simply ignore it.

I am worried about the Cunning Man and what he has to do with Tiffany. He seems like another force of nature for her to defeat, although we do not know much about him or his link to Tiffany at the moment. However, I doubt that he is trying to offer her a gingerbread house with all mod cons and an attached milking parlor.

4. Speaking of Amber, there's something interesting going on with her ... Do you think we might see Amber become a witch? And what do you make of her ability to 'understand' animals?

I am not at all sure what to make of this, as witches all seem to be very astute, intelligent women, whilst Amber seems a little removed from the real world at the moment. Her talent makes me think of Rainman and his ability for numbers, so perhaps she has always been able to do this kind of thing but nobody has taken the time to notice her. The hare seems to be very significant, so perhaps she will help Tiffany communicate with it at some point, but I cannot really see her becoming a witch.

5. Tiffany vs. Miss Spruce ... It seems Tiffany is having to deal much more with people's negative views of witchcraft, and her use of it. Do you think we'll see Miss Spruce become more of a problem for Tiffany later?

Yes, unfortunately, I do.

Tiffany made a massive mistake when she was very rude to Miss Spruce in front of the guards about her preference for praying rather than cleaning. To a self-righteous person, this is simply intolerable and I am quite sure that Miss Spruce will do everything in her power to see Tiffany punished for her ‘demonic behavior’. Perhaps the persecution of witches will be the theme of the book, in which case things might get a little hot for Tiffany in the near future,

6. On the other hand, there is the Baron, may he rest in peace ... What did you think of his first and last real conversation with Tiffany?

I thought this was quite touching. He seemed very clear headed and aware of all she had done for him to make him comfortable during his illness. I liked the mischievous tone of their banter and the respect that he gave to her, even though she is only young. I presume we will finally get to learn the meaning of his vision, but he was so vivid that I could forgive Sir Terry for forgetting to explain its significance.

Other Thoughts

I cannot post this without adding a note about Horace the cheese and his rather belligerent performance in the cheese rolling competition. The whole scene was hilarious, but Horace’s presence pushed into the sublime! :D



  1. You have a good point about Letitia being the total opposite of Tiffany. I think that's why it just struck me as wrong. If he lost interest in Tiffany, and then took up with a girl that was in some way similar, I think it would seem more natural. I feel like there's got to be more there than meets the eye with Roland's situation.

    I have to admit, I kind of forgot about the Cunning Man and the flaming hare when I was writing my responses. I guess Tiffany was kind of like, "I don't have time to deal with this," and I felt similarly :D. I bet they will both be significant in the future.

  2. Sorry to be like a week & a half late on this one. Life. It happens. And sometimes, keeps happening....

    Anyhoo - yeah, I don't really care for Letitia, even tho I know so little abut her at this point in the story. I thought Roland appreciated the 'get it done for yourself' attitude that Tiffany has - practical, self-sufficient, no whining - but alas, he's gone for meek and water colors.

    Attached milking parlor! From the Cunning Man - Ha! Luckily, I was not drinking my hot tea when I read that.

    Rolling tartaned cheese! Yes, Horace made me laugh yet again. Daft Wullie's Perhaps Wullie is Horace's pet.


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