Twilight #13 Print
Reviews
Written by Douglas Wilson   
Monday, 22 March 2010 12:46

So after a night of bundling with a vampire, Bella wakes up, and finds that Edward has been watching her through the night. She has to go freshen up because her hair is like a haystack and all that, so she does. Her dad is gone, so they have the run of the place, and this means that Edward can do the caveman bit.

“He threw me over his stone shoulder gently, but with a swiftness that left me breathless. I protested as he carried me easily down the stairs, but he ignored me. He sat me right side up on a chair” (p. 315).

When he kisses her in this chapter, she faints. Or, as they would have put it in a book of the genre where this kind of thing is more appropriate, she swooned.

“He tilted his head slowly and touched his cool lips to mine for the second time, very carefully, parting them slightly. And then I collapsed” (p. 319).

The big event in this chapter is that Edward is going to take her to meet his family.

“It was hard to decide what to wear. I doubted there were any etiquette books detailing how to dress when your vampire sweetheart takes you home to meet his vampire family” (p. 318).

But Bella goes to his house, and meets most of the gang—including Edward’s “parents,” Carlisle and Esme. Jasper, the most recent member of the family, “was the most recent to try our way of life” (p. 327). He has to keep his distance from Bella, because he is kind of in vampire rehab. You don’t want something to go wrong and have somebody take a chomp.

In this chapter, we find out a bit about Edward’s father, Carlisle—who is also stunningly beautiful, natch—and he and his wife welcome Bella with an old world style of grace. As she is being shown around the house, Bella is taken aback by a big wooden cross hanging on the wall. Kind of ironic, Edward admits, but it is there for the sake of nostalgia—it belonged Carlisle’s father. Carlisle, as we find out, is 362 years old, and was the son of an Anglican pastor, and we are now getting down to the root of some of our difficulties.

“He was the only son of an Anglican pastor. His mother died, giving birth to him. His father was an intolerant man. As the Protestants came into power, he was enthusiastic in his persecution of Roman Catholics and other religions. He also believed very strongly in the reality of evil. He led hunts for witches, werewolves . . . and vampires . . . They burned a lot of innocent people—of course the real creatures that he sought were not so easy to catch” (p. 331).

In the pursuit of some of these vampires, real ones in this instance, Carlisle got himself bit, and managed to crawl off somewhere so his body didn’t get burned. So, there you go, happy ending. The move from Anglicanism to vampirism was plainly a step up.

Carlisle’s father was an ugly man, burning innocent people. This, to be distinguished from being really gorgeous and sexy, which is what goes with biting innocent people in the neck. And so what is it that separates one from the other? Biting and burning both begin with a letter b.

Well, think about it for a minute. If you execute innocent people for the sake of the truth, then obviously you are a misanthrope of the highest order. We still hate you for it three hundred years later. But if you do it because of deep and primal urges—the urges, you know, being very powerful—and did I mention that they are primal urges? You know, like those other primal urges that justify pretty much anything these days? Bella looks at Edward, he who has these primal urges to destroy her, and she feels sorry for him. She admires him. She faints when he kisses her. She must get all fluttery when he throws her over his shoulder like she was a sack of potatoes. Me vampire. You piece of meat. Be still, my beating heart!

But this wowser killjoy of an Anglican, who was back in the evil 17th century hunting down witches, werewolves, and vampires (which really did exist in this story remember), was enthusiastically intolerant. Probably had a face like a prune that had been stepped on. Bah! We spit in his general direction!

You know what your basic problem is, padre? You aren’t doing any of this because of primal urges.



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