5/14/2008

:: peace like a river/pages 180-222 - picnic ::

The picnic scene was also vivid in my imagination, and very magical. Yet another reason to love Roxanna - she knew exactly where to have a bountiful picnic in the dead of a North Dakota winter, yet stay warm. That, and her great uncle knew Butch Cassidy (short of quoting the whole story, I had to at least mention it).

Really, though, I adored the writing on pages 198-199:

"....and so we climbed, topping the hill at last to look down at what seemed a garden of fire.

Fire, and rising steam, and specks of light - the specks pooling and runneling then blinking out to be replaced by others. The fire came from a split in the earth that had opened and zigzagged away through the hills. .... No, I didn't think it was the genuine Hell; it was way too pretty. .... No doubt Voltaire had a moment or two of deep regret before departing into that country - I know
I was nervous - but down we went, descending the hillside lit by orange snow.... 'Roxanna,' Dad said, it's a miraculous place. I never saw better.' He was sitting beside her. The firelight had restored his face to healthy color and she, all Frenchbraided, scarf unslung, resembled an opportunity missed by Rembrandt."

And then, that pesky Andreeson showed up, in the midst of all that magic. Talk about a downer. However, it was quite the interesting exchange between he and Jeremiah. And I loved how Roxanna immediately, and silently, took sides with Davy, though she'd never met him. I also loved when Reuben described M. Andreeson as "the king of pukes." [page 204]

But Reuben asked the same questions that formed in my mind: if Andreeson was so close to Davy in the Badlands, why was the putrid fed so desperate for Jeremiah's supernatural help? "Spookism," as the kids called it. Is Andreeson admitting defeat thus far? And why didn't he arrest the Land family? It makes me think he's not all bad, as much as we might like to think. Everyone has to do their job, after all, and Davy did commit murder.

Oh. To backtrack a little.... That blizzard - the one that kept the Land family happily stuck at Roxanna's house - do you think that was one of Jeremiah's miracles? I know that Reuben said it was "the work of providence," [page 187], and I know that early on we distinguished a miracle from an every day, faithful, beautiful act of God, but that blizzard did seem miraculous to me. It hid the Land family from the police's eyes, Roxanna owned a barn big enough to hide the Airstream, she kindly provided rooms & meals for the weary travelers, and she was so much like a Mom to the kids it wasn't even funny. It seemed to me that God hid this family and favored Jeremiah once again. So, miracle, or just another cycle of weather by God's design?

3 comments:

Andrea said...

Perhaps Andreeson wants Jeremiah to be there if they find Davy to help coax him out? It does seem like he's turning out not to be such a bad character afterall.

The blizzard doesn't fit the book's definition of miracle, but "providence" does seem the perfect word for the situation.

Crystal said...

I agree that the blizzard is an example of God working to put the Land's in the right place at the right time.

I think Andreeson has become a believer...if not in God at least in Jeremiah. When a big green car pulling an Airstream trailer becomes invisible for several days it makes you think...even if you are a putrid fed by profession.

jenni said...

Ok, y'all are right. It was God's providence which is no less amazing than a miracle.

Yes, I do believe Jeremiah made Andreeson really think about things. Heck, Jeremiah does that to me.