Friday, December 6, 2013

The Quest for Skye: Chapter 19

Recap: Skye's parents are dead but apparently she doesn't really care, she just wants to live with the Hamiltons, who haven't decided yet they're going to keep her. They're currently wandering around the island with their precious little Mary Sue.

Skye wants to show the Hamiltons her bedroom. As she enters, she yells at her cat (whose name, rather confusingly, is "Teddy"), and then her eyes "beam... with glee" as she shows off her room. Apparently she really, really likes her room.
She climbed on the bed and started jumping. “I don’t get to spend much time here anymore, but it’s still my very own room,” she squealed.
I honestly can't visualize any of the nine-year-olds I know doing this. This feels like five-year-old behavior to me. Also, this squealing and yelling has to stop. Indoor voices are nice.

She goes on to reveal she's been living at the clinic the past couple months. I have no idea why. Her home is clearly not far from the clinic. It's not like they couldn't use their money to hire someone to watch her and make sure she's taken care of even with her parents gone. Instead, she lives at the clinic and the doctors take care of her with the time they should be using to take care of their patients who are actually sick.

Then Skye makes them peanut butter sandwiches:
[Morgan] watched her lay out the bread neatly in a row on the counter. She evenly spread a thick layer of peanut butter on both slices of bread and then spread jelly on both. 
He thought it was cute the way she was concentrating so hard that her tongue stuck out of the corner of her mouth. It took everything he had not to break out laughing, especially when she licked off the knife before placing it in the dishwasher.

Seriously, two full paragraphs devoted to this? It feels uncomfortably like some sort of child chef erotica, and it just makes me feel a little icky.

(Also, why is licking the knife so hilarious? I totally do that. Who knew I was as funny as Skye?)

Skye prays before the meal, and, just like when she prayed before the cruise ship meal, Morgan and Tammy are so stunned by her prayer and its "honesty and passion" that they forget to eat. This is going to lead to a lot of awkward family meal times.

Her stunning prayer went like this, btw:
Jesus, we thank You for this food. Please bless it to our bodies. And Jesus, one more thing, please help my Mom and Dad stay here. I need them so much. And don’t forget that miracle I asked for. Thank you. I love You! Amen.
Again, a fairly generic prayer. I could understand if Morgan and Tammy were moved by her saying how much she needs them, but they're not - just by how honestly and passionately she talks to God. They used to identify as Christians, what the heck kind of prayers did they hear if this one was so passionate it literally stunned them?

They finish eating, have a paragraph of continuing the tour, and then it's time to eat again, but this time in the clinic dining room with the sick girls.
Tammy was impressed with the workers. They appeared to be gentle and patient. She noticed they did not hurry the girls to finish their dinner.
Uh, what kind of terrible person works 24/7 with sick, disabled children and gets impatient with them for not eating fast enough? Was that what she was expecting? What kind of people have they hired at their clinic in St. Paul if this is enough to be impressive? This seems like the bare minimum of being a good worker, and surely the Leontious wouldn't hire anybody who was a jerk to the sick kids. Tammy continues to be surprised by basic acts of human decency and job competence.
Just then, Dr. Rozak broke in with an announcement. “Everyone, I have good news. Tonight we’re having a special showing of a new Disney movie.”

Dr. Rozak tells the Hamiltons they'll be staying in the Leontiou mansion so Skye can sleep in her own bed. Because, again, apparently NOBODY ELSE could sleep in their mansion. Just the special, special Hamiltons.

Skye's reaction to this, however, is somewhat odd, given how very much she loves her bedroom:
Skye peered down the hall, a sad smile played on her lips. She seemed a bit reluctant, but agreed. “I think that will be all right, at least, for tonight.”
Morgan is just as confused as I am by her just being sad, so clearly this is some kind of FORESHADOWING.

Skye drives them back to the house in a golf cart, to find that the Leontious' housekeeper, Maya, is back after a three-day visit to her family.
“I thought you worked on the cruise ship,” Morgan noted. 
“No, I’m the Leontiou’s housekeeper.”
Way to go, Morgan, paying attention to the in-depth conversation you had with her actually ON the cruise ship, where she talked about what it was like to take care of Skye at home. (And, no, that misplaced apostrophe in the second paragraph is not a typo on my part. The book consistently does that. A page or two ago it featured Dr. Rozak introducing people to "the Hamilton's.")
“We’re going to spend the night here,” Skye reported excitedly, clapping her hands. 
“That’s wonderful. It gets lonesome in this big house, and I’m happy to have some company.”
Then WHYYYYYYY has Skye not been allowed to stay there? I don't understand. I don't get it. I DON'T UNDERSTAND. Although it's nice to see Skye's two seconds of sadness at not being able to stay at the clinic is gone.

While Tammy and Skye go upstairs to bed, Morgan stays downstairs to have another conversation with Maya that he'll probably forget. Maya raves about Skye, revealing these marvelous facts: 1) she is tidy and 2) she painted her own bedroom. She then starts acting kind of cagey, like there's something she wants to tell Morgan but doesn't feel she should. Instead, she shares how she met the Leontious - her daughter was a patient at the clinic. Even after her daughter died, she continued working here because Skye Is Speshul.

Morgan goes upstairs as well and stops into Skye's room, where Tammy still is. They look at the ceiling for awhile, which is lit up by a constellation light of some sort. Skye tells them about the stars:
“That’s really a double cluster. It’s called NGC1850, and it’s located in the Magellanic cloud. I think that’s where heaven is.” 
“Wow! I’m impressed. You really know your stuff.” Morgan felt like he was listening to an astronomer, not a young child.
Yup, because astronomers always theorize about where heaven is.

Skye tells us her mother used to be a famous opera/Broadway singer, but she clearly didn't take very good care of her voice, because one morning "she woke up, and she couldn't hit many of the opera notes anymore." So she decided to be a scientist instead, and met Layland Leontiou. She says her mom used to sing her to sleep with songs from Phantom of the Opera all the time, which makes me visualize The Point of No Return as a lullaby and makes me giggle. They then talk about Trans-Siberian Orchestra for awhile in pretty specific detail.

Skye asks them to pray with her before they leave her room, but they don't want to, so they ask her to pray. This one must not be as stunningly honest and passionate though, because when she finishes, they just say good night and leave.

Morgan heads downstairs to say good night to Maya (he didn't do that before he went upstairs in the first place?). Maya offers him these pleasant parting thoughts:
“Don’t you dare hurt that child. Good night, Sir.”
He is, needless to say, a little taken aback by this, so he goes upstairs and sits in a chair by Skye's bed and watches her sleep, because THAT isn't a terrifying thing to do if you're a man who is not her father and has only spent a grand total of maybe 2 weeks with her.

He prays silently, although we're not told what he prays, and when he's finished, he hears a voice say, "Take care of them."

That's nice that God answered him out loud. Although it would have been way more fun on Rothdiener's part if he actually said, "If you build it, he will come."

(Chapter 20.)


  1. Obviously, J.L. Rothdiener saw how utterly successful Stephanie Meyer was with the Twilight series, in which Meyer describes Bella making a sandwich for a whole two pages, therefore he concludes that he is not doing his novel justice if he does not at least spend 2-3 paragraphs on the same event.

  2. So this is the big payoff for everything that we've gone through so far, and it turns out to be just as clumsy and creepy as I had expected. I never would have even come up with a phrase like "child chef erotica", and I feel squicked right out about that being a thing. *shudders*

    Seriously, when you're finished with this thing, you need to collect these posts into a book (Blog2Book, I think, is one such service) and send it to the publisher as your resume for replacing whichever editor(s) dropped the ball on this convoluted, hyperbolic, and outright creepy tripe.

  3. So she's had to Learn to Be Lonely, but she was Wishing [they] Were Somehow [T]here Again? I dig.