Thursday, March 8, 2018
Lenten Book Club 2018 - "The Thief" chapters 13-18...
I was breathless a few times during these latest chapters, and I found myself torn between wanting to tear through the pages to see what happened next vs. not turning anymore pages because I DON'T WANT TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS NEXT LEST IT MAKE ME CRY. :0
All right, let's see where we're at:
Last we left off, Cedron was healed but his parents had disowned him, Longinus was on a mission to find the thieves and had employed Cedron for this task, and Nissa was majorly panicking. And for good reason.
And so we pick up with Cedron and Nissa trying to build a life for themselves without their parents, and Longinus stalking about being all moony and moody over Nissa, and WHO WE DO COME ACROSS ONCE AGAIN?!
I was not prepared, y'all. We saw Shem in The Well didn't we? And we loved Shem and then he came to follow Jesus, and then Jesus changed his name to Stephen, and then...
I was not expecting to see him in this story, I did not think about the timelines overlapping. Although, *of course* they do. And so now we get a peek into what happened to Shem during the gap in his story in The Well.
Deep breaths, Tiffany, lots of deep breaths.
Longinus finds him and nearly kills him, because Shem is the ONE WHO KILLED HIS FRIEND SCIPIO. I know I'm shouting a lot this week, but I just can't help myself; OMG!
The beginning of The Well! Shem is the one who kills Longinus's (frankly, lecherous, serial attacker) friend. And Longinus sees this as some grave injustice, although we all know that Shem was simply defending a woman who was about to be assaulted. Instead of killing him right away, Longinus has Shem thrown into prison, guarded by Marcellus. Longinus watches out for Marcellus, trying to protect him from the evil Silvanus. Anyway, that story stews for a bit, while meanwhile...
Nissa pretties herself up to meet smarmy Gilad and pay their rent, but Gilad proves himself to be the Class A Jerk We Already Knew Him To Be. Longinus had unexpectedly come to visit Nissa just before this, and is all surprised to find her bathed and coiffed. He also notices that although Cedron still can't work given his leg injury, the pair now has food, perfume and other niceties. He assumes that Nissa must be prostituting herself to bring in the money, although he keeps this surmise to himself. He's sad about this, and teaches Nissa how to physically defend herself against untoward aggressors. Nissa is confused by this instruction, Then Gilad comes over, sees Longinus leaving, and assumes the same thing. He, however, does NOT keep this surmise to himself. He outright accuses Nissa of this, and Nissa has no way to dispute it. Because after all, how DID she get the money? From stealing. She can't exactly admit THAT.
Gilad takes advantage of the situation and charges her triple the rent. I hate this guy.
This whole "the guys saw each other leaving and assumed the worst" thing is straight out of a daytime soap opera, just for the record.
OK, now we skitter around a bit with all of our protagonists, and it all made me *super* nervous:
Shem is all converted to Christianity and at peace with himself and the universe. He befriends Marcellus, which I have to say, I found endearingly hilarious, and Longinus discovers the two of them playing chess and Shem decidedly NOT being starved to death. He's angry, but realizes that he too no longer hates Shem/Stephen as much as he thought he would. Shem projects goodwill and general goodness. Longinus begins to wonder if, given all of the evidence he's seen (the stymied stoning of the woman caught in adultery, Cedron's healing, Stephen's otherworldly countenance), there really is something to this Jesus guy. Instead of throwing Stephen out to be crucified, he decides to use him as leverage against Cedron: up your efforts to find the thieves; if you are successful, Stephen will be released.
Meanwhile, Mouse is back in action. Nissa knows how dangerous this is given Longinus's efforts to catch the thieves, but she's desperate: they need more money than ever with Gilad extorting them for rent. And now there's a new snafu in this already dangerous plan: Dismas has a new partner. I can't remember his name, but he's EVIL. Nissa has a bad feeling about him from the get-go.
She tags along with him only because she knows he'll be greedier than Dismas, and although she doesn't want to be greedy, she now has no choice. He involves her in a scheme to lure a Temple priest down into a dead end alley of some sort. Nissa is confused about the greater plan throughout, until Evil Guy kills the priest. Then she is clued in.
Nissa now has blood on her hands. She did not intend it, she did not knowingly enter into this plan. But all the same, she attached herself to Bad News, and the outcome was a tragedy. She is devastated.
Dismas tries to get her to still take the money, feeling responsible, and figuring that now they *really* have to stop stealing, so she'll need the money. But Nissa won't take it. This is where we leave off.
Oh baby. This was a doozy of a week. I need your thoughts, people! I wrote more than usual because I got so into this; my keyboard has been tap tapping away for far too long. :0
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Great thoughts! I took two big points from this week's reading:ReplyDelete
(1) The different reactions by Gilad and Longinus when they thought Nissa had turned to prostitution. Gilad immediately tries to turn it to his advantage by raising her rent and then hits her. Longinus, though he clearly doesn't approve, teaches Nissa self-defense and tries to help out around her home by fixing the stool, etc. Probably a good insight into each of these characters.
(2) When Longinus confronts Stephen about Jesus and how he doesn't seem to fit what everyone expected from the Messiah. And Stephen agrees that Jesus is not what anyone expected. I've always loved that aspect of Jesus's life -- that all of the Jewish faith were waiting for a warrior-king to liberate them, but Jesus comes along with the ultimate non-violent message.
Thank you for raising these 2 points that I neglected! That's RIGHT, Gilad did in fact strike Nissa, I had forgotten about that, and indeed, this is even more reason for our ire against this loser. And wasn't Longinus adorable, helping them out around the house?
And YES; I love that Stephen! *sobs* That was such a beautiful conversation that they shared!
This book is getting so good! I do like that this book is a very fast read which is good for me because if I get bored I have a hard time finishing a book.ReplyDelete
I love Nissa and Longinus' bantery relationship. Part of me is curious about Cedron. Like he just seems totally clueless as to what Nissa is up to. Longinus went and asked around at places and Cedron just believes anything Nissa says. I kind of feel bad for him. He finally can see but because of everything else that has happenned he still can't find work.
Excellent points about Cedron. After what happened to him, he really needed a guiding hand in his life, but his parents have abandoned him, and Nissa simply has no time to help him. Jesus, of course, is guiding him, but it would have been nice if the kid had some family to assist. :0