"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 17
Do you know the only thing that's creepier than Church the cat? The cover I share with you today. You're probably not even reading this introduction because your retinas have been damaged by all the pink that undoubtedly caught your eye as this page loaded . . .
"I believe that we go on," he told his daughter slowly. "But as to what it's like, I have no opinion. It may be that it's different for different people. It may be that you get what you believed all your life. But I believe we go on, and I believe that Mrs. Crandall is probably someplace where she can be happy."
"You have faith in that," Ellie said. It was not a question. She sounded awed . . . "Do you think animals go on?"
"Yes," he said without thinking. And for a moment, he almost added, Especially cats . . .
. . . "I was really silly about Church that day, wasn't I? Crying like that . . . If he died now, I could take it."
I usually don't mind updated covers that emphasise style over sensationalism . . . but whoever thought this palette would be good for Pet Sematary probably never read the book.
Chapters 28 to 35
There are two more deaths to report, but I'm not calling our tally a body count. Death is part of a Horror novel, but it's also a part of life.
And really, it is normalcy that jumps out at me from these chapters. If you didn't know that the family pet was an undead cat, the Creeds would be just like any other family. And Stephen King does write about them beautifully: Chapter 34, in particular, reads like music.
The reason this post is late and (as usual) backdated is that I couldn't think of anything deep to say about these eight chapters. I just wanted to go on and on about King as a writer. He nails the emotion of Norma Crandall's death and funeral, and steers Ellie through this crucial stage of her development as if he is guiding her in a dance. Then he expertly weaves together the innocent and the sinister in the Creed family's Christmas Eve: they're not the perfect family, but they do love each other. And as sappy as it sounds, that's all that matters. Well, except for that cat. Church never lets Louis forget that night at the Micmac burying ground.
But Louis isn't the only one with something to hide. Rachel has been tormented by her older sister Zelda's death for decades--not just the death itself, but also the way her family treated Zelda's spinal meningitis like their "dirty little secret." Louis is enraged at what Rachel had to go through, likely forgetting that he is lobbing stones from his own glass home. Does anyone else wonder what price his daughter might have to pay for his own dirty little secret?
It's not Ellie, however, whom we are told to be worried about. King says explicitly that it is Gage who is going to die: it's not foreshadowed as much as fore-yelled-from-the-rooftops. Since this is one of the few things I remember from the movie, I wasn't expecting a shock . . . only to be shocked, anyway, at how King is leading up to it. Not only does he tell us how long Gage has left to live, he also reveals that an Orinco truck will cause his death. It's as if he wants us to brace ourselves.
Or as if he doesn't want to have his own dirty little secret. =P
And I guess I have a "deep" theme for this readalong post, after all . . .
What are your thoughts on Chapters 28 to 35?
1. Is anyone else surprised that Louis hasn't tried to kill Church a second time?
2. Do you think Louis should tell Rachel the truth about Church? If your answer is no, is it only because of Zelda?
3. Since one dark power of the Micmac burying ground is that it makes those who have used it simultaneously want to hide what they know from the world and to share the secret with someone else, do you think the secret should become common knowledge? Would it still have this power in the clear-headed light of day?
Image Source: Pet Sematary by Stephen King