Oy. This week’s reading—chapters 53-58—are some of the hardest in the series. I may as well admit I wept through most of it. If you need to talk, come find me in the forum.
What I loved about this passage was that it was not only hard, it was healing.
Janner felt a sob rising in his throat. He had spent days and days on the run. He had thought about Tink many times, but always, at the front of his mind, was his quest to reach the Ice Prairies. He had dreamed of his mother’s embrace. He had dreamed of rest and food and safety. Lurking underneath it all was the stark, awful image of Tink in the Black Carriage, eyes wide and full of terror. All that time, Janner had been able to push the guilt away because he wasn’t sure he was much better off.
But now that he was in a soft bed in a warm room with his family so near, it felt unfair. He didn’t deserve such comfort when his brother was—wherever he was. …
“Aha!” said a raspy voice.
Podo burst into the room. … He rushed forward and tackled Janner onto the bed. He smelled of pipe smoke and ale. He poked Janner’s ribs with his gnarled old fingers and laughed, but Janner only lay on his back, motionless.
Podo’s mirth vanished. He plopped down on the bed beside Leeli with a heavy sigh and placed a hand on Janner’s leg. Nia and Oskar appeared in the doorway and took in the situation at once. …
Without a word they crossed the room and sat on the bed so that Janner found himself enclosed by his family. He was in a nest, the walls made of those who loved him. They were silent. Janner stared at the ceiling.
“We love you,” Nia said at last, placing a hand on Janner’s face.
The sob rose in his throat and spilled out.
“I lost him,” he wailed. “I tried to find him, but he was gone. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Tears streamed down his face. He cried so hard he could barely breathe. Over and over again he said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” And over and over again, Nia said, “We love you, we love you.”
Discussion: When have you experienced healing grace from those you love?
Have you ever gone hiking in the mountains? What was it like?
What was your favorite passage from this week’s reading?
In the forum we’re talking about choices and consequences and our hearts’ treachery. You’re also welcome to join in on older conversations, such as this one about trust and betrayal, or to start new discussions about anything at all that struck you as you read. I love hearing your thoughts and getting into deep conversations with you.