Welcome to the Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion!! Over the next ten weeks we will be discussing Beautiful Darkness a few chapters at a time with posts and discussion questions by a variety of guest posters. Posts and discussion questions will go up on Tuesdays and recaps of the discussion question answers will go up on Sundays. For the complete schedule of chapters and dates click here.
Also, as we are the Bookworms and are physically incapable of not hosting a give-away for any major event on this blog, there’s a give-away going on in conjunction with the discussion! WOOT!! Find out all about that here as well.
And now a warning….while we will keep each week’s post spoiler free for those who have only read up to and including the chapters being discussed that week, if you haven’t read the book at all you will find spoilers about the sections of the book being discussed. SO…if you haven’t read the book at all…STOP. GET THE BOOK. READ IT. RETURN. Easy, peasy, extra cheesy, right, Cutie? And in conjunction with that, we do ask that all of you participating in the discussion please keep your responses spoiler free. We know this can be hard but please have a heart for those who are enjoying the read-along aspect of the discussion and do your best. We in turn will do our best to monitor the comments.
And finally….on with this week’s discussion written by Pushy, Danny and Fragile!!!!
5.16 The Call
Ethan starts off this chapter stressing about the latest sign of Lena’s negative attitude, the return of the countdown. Unfortunately for Ethan, when he finally confronts Lena about what she’s counting down to, she claims not to know. Not particularly reassuring.
Added to the tension between Ethan and Lena, Ethan has to deal with his father’s awkward homecoming from Blue Horizons. Ethan clearly needs Lena to stay, he kelts her, “Please,” but she ignores the plea in his voice and leaves after giving him a brief kiss. Ethan follows his family back inside the house to find out his aunt’s cat is missing (this is a bigger deal for Aunt Mercy than it would be for any normal person) and that his father wants to clear the air and offer Ethan some advice about women. *cringe* Poor Ethan! He’s really getting it from every angle.
Later that night, full up on fried chicken and guilt, Ethan goes looking for his Aunt Mercy’s cat with Link. Link broaches the topic of Lena and how much she’s changing as she deals (or rather doesn’t) with Macon’s death. Ethan defends her, telling Link how hard it is for her but his reasoning sounds hollow. And they end their conversation listening to yet another one of Link’s songs inspired by Ridley: The Girl’s Gone Away.
Once Ethan’s at home in his room, he can’t help thinking about what Link has said, and the truth in it.
Link was right. Lena was acting strange. But it had only been a few months. She’d snap out of it, and things would be the way they were before.
While looking for a book on his desk to distract him, Ethan comes upon a package from Marian that Lena had refused to take. Opening it, he finds Macon’s letters. Touching one drags him into another vision, though this time it’s not Genevieve’s vision, it’s her father, Abraham’s. And in it, Abraham is getting The Book of Moons. The vision ends with Ethan puzzled about why he was seeing Abraham and what it was he was supposed to learn from what he had witnessed.
5.17 All That Remains
Ethan realizes that Lena is in a depression and when he’s in class he hears Lena citing a poetry, and strange noise and ..smoke. He runs to Lena and finds Lena having a total nervous breakdown, all furniture is trashed.
“Nobody the dead man & Nobody the living
Nobody is giving in and & Nobody is giving
Nobody hears me but just Nobody cares
Nobody fears me but Nobody just stares
Nobody belongs to me & Nobody remains
No Nobody knows Nothing
All that remains are remains.”
One of the most heartbreaking scenes in that chapter was probably when Ethan and Lena had a real fight, over Lena’s grief and unwillingness to accept Macon’s death. The scene ended with Ethan crying. Also he begins to loose the connection to Lena, normally they always kelt but they don’t do this all the time anymore. Lena pushes Ethan away…
6.12 The Girl In My Dreams
The chapter starts with Ethan having a dream about the happenings and at Greenbrier and how Serafine killed him. When he wakes up he realizes that there is a faint scar where she stabbed him. Only, he can’t remember any of this, so the dream doesn’t make sense for him.
When he’s riding to school with Link – who is phenomenal in this book btw – he suddenly hears a new version of the Seventeen Moons:
“Seventeen moons, seventeen turns,
Eves so dark and bright it burns,
Times is high but one is higher,
Draws the moon into the fire….”
What the heck does that mean now? Time is high ? But Lena’s Birthday is still 8 months away?
It’s the last day of school and everyone is prepared to go to the beach. Unlike most other days, Lena’s at school, but she looks different – wearing Macon’s clothes. When the girls at school are being mean to Lena about Macon’s death, Lena freaks out and starts burning Emily’s test.
Later, Lena tells Ethan that she will leave Gaitlin with her family – for a while. Ethan is so hurt and angry and he tells her that she can’t simply run away from her grief. In all his anger he also tells her about his dream – assuming that she had the same dream as usual. But Lena didn’t had that dream. Ethan is so hurt – he sees Lena drifting away farther and farther. They always shared the same dreams, since their connection was so strong – now that’s gone too.
My heart broke with him… Of course Lena can’t talk to him about his dream. She would have to admit what really happened the night Macon died – that Ethan was really dead! Honestly, I’m waiting for Ethan to figure out what really happened, how will he feel? Guilty?
Then they realize that all wheels from all cars in the lot are slashed!! All cars except Lena’s… and ..there is a guy on a Harley that just drives off…. Wohooo! Who might that be?????
6.12 The Lake
Neither of us believed in coincidences.
Ethan doesn’t understand why he recognized the motorcycle or why Lena’s tires weren’t slashed. Still, he was at the lake with his girl, and his mind quickly turned to imagining her in a bathing suit. After a little flirting and the removal of Ethan’s shirt (take it off, baby!!), he and Lena end up splashing around in the lake.
Things turn steamy quickly, and they end up making out on the shore. Ethan soon finds that things are out of control and Lena isn’t the Lena he’s used to.
She threw her head back and laughed, and a chill ran up my back. I remembered that laugh, straight out of my dream. It was Sarafine’s laugh.
In pain and bleeding after Lena bites his lip, Ethan pushes her away. She tells him to get away from her and runs through the woods surrounding the lake. When Ethan follows, Lena begins felling trees around him. He keeps up with her just enough to see her reach the highway and jump on the back of the motorcycle from school.
The motorcycle from Lena’s graveyard pictures.
Lena is getting more and more distant in these chapters, and it’s heaping pain on to Ethan. She’s got issues to work through: her grief over Macon’s death and the fact that she was the cause of it, the guilt over choosing Ethan over Macon, despite the fact that they can never be together in a physical way, the fact that her claiming may have been delayed by a year, but it’s still coming. She’s got a lot on her plate, but instead of turning to Ethan for support, she appears to be pushing him away.
is Lena pushing Ethan away
to protect herself
Leave your answer in a comment below and remember that each answer to this week’s discussion question is an entry into the Beautiful Darkness Book Discussion contest!