And Another Thing!
Complaining More About Marianne Curley's
(Continued Review by Reecey.)
Hell, I’ll complain about her gran, too, her family is totally messed up in ways that only ever come from poor writing.
See, if you recall my editorial James Potter - JK Rowling’s Accidental Wife Beater, then you’ll be familiar with exactly how this sort of thing can occur. Only in this case, Marianne Curley doesn’t have the excuse of writing a fairly lengthy book series and having to make retroactive changes to some of her characters.
No, this is just a writer completely ballsing it up in a single shot.
What she wants is for us to feel sorry for Kate for having been abandoned by her mother and to admire Jillian for having taken her in and raised her as her own with no bitterness.
However, the problem with that is, well.
One of the reasons I really don’t like Kate is her total lack of sympathy or empathy for her mother even though, and she freely admits this to the reader, her mother was fifteen years old when she was born.
Not fifteen going on sixteen, fifteen and three months.
That means (and I’m only spelling it out for dramatic effect, I have full confidence in your basic maths skills) she was fourteen and a half when she got pregnant.
Fourteen and a half.
Do you want to know what else is gross?
Karen (Kate’s mother) ran away from home when Kate was eight months old.
Which means that Karen was… barely sixteen.
Kate is holding someone who was younger than she is now to the same moral standards as she holds adults.
(But then again, she thinks that the emotions of a woman in her late forties are more important than those of an injured sixteen year old boy. She’s a garbage person.)
Let’s be honest, if your fourteen year old ends up pregnant, you didn’t do a fantastic job as a parent.
I’d be more than willing to walk that statement back for a real person (I mean, extenuating circumstances, yo), but for Jillian ‘I run a new age shop and write witchcraft articles’ Warren, yeah, I’m not gonna.
There are two major reasons for this.
Reason the first; Jillian got pregnant at a shockingly young age too! (She’s thirty one when her daughter is sixteen, as far as I can tell.)
It also got her kicked out of her parents house and she was shacked up with an emotionally unstable artist for a while.
Yeah, so her failing to present her daughter with adequate birth control options has something of a disturbing ring to it when you take that into consideration. (Well, more than it inherently does, anyway.)
Not to mention… considering Karen’s reaction to having a child and her eventually settling down with a man with three grown children, it doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense for her not to have sought a termination.
I looked this up, and while I’m not certain on the ins and outs of Australian law on this matter, it does seem as though during the mid eighties (judging by the publication date, Kate is about three or four years older than me), a fourteen year old girl would likely have relatively little trouble getting an abortion. She wouldn’t need a parent’s permission, as far as I can tell.
Going by all the information that I have to hand, I can’t help but come to the conclusion that Jillian made Karen go through with this pregnancy.
Which gets us onto reason the second.
As far as I can tell, Karen had little to no magical ability and little to no interest in magic.
So … we have a daughter raised with apparently such little care that she falls foul of the same error that her mother did and a granddaughter raised lovingly by a woman who ‘loves children’ and can see the future.
This is one of the most suspect familial situations I’ve ever seen in a book aimed at teenagers outside of the works of JK Rowling.
In the review I mentioned something about there being several layers of implication that could have been intentional or accidental, and for a second I’m going to talk about those, because they are the only thing standing between me and stating my theory about Jillian with the same certainty that I do my theory about James.
One of the aspects of Old Magic that’s the most baffling is the revelation that Jarrod (the male lead)’s parents lost six previous sons through varying pregnancy complications, congenital birth defects and illnesses.
(The way it’s introduced is so stupid.)
The explanation we’re given is that this is the doing of the curse.
Now, the reason I bring this up is that … I could very well believe that what happened in Kate’s family is also part of the curse.
Rhauk, the villain, becomes attached to Kate immediately and, despite their lack of physical similarity, definitely sees something about his lost love in her.
Also, Jarrod’s magical boy powers manifest most often when she’s involved and, as far as I can tell, not before he moves to her town.
I could pretty seriously theorise that while Jarrod is descended from the characters we meet in the book, Kate is descended from Rhauk’s lost love. Probably through her mother’s side and the whole ‘maybe my dad was East Asian or possibly a Pacific Islander’ thing is a very ham fisted red herring designed to remove any physical similarity between the lost love and Kate in … well, a more realistic depiction of how genetics works than anything Rowling’s ever written, even if it is still immensely stupid and insulting.
However, while this is all certainly very interesting and fun to talk about, the fact remains that Jillian’s behaviour regarding her daughter and granddaughter is still incredibly suspect. Not to mention that, as a powerful magic user in this universe, she would have been unlikely to have not noticed that something was amiss and try to do something about it.
Unless she did and raised Kate to be awful on purpose so that she didn’t accidentally get pregnant at fourteen by Pecs, the only present day male character to get any characterisation at all, and they could break the curse.
I doubt it though.
The villain of this book unironically calls the protagonist ‘my pretty’, there’s nothing that nuanced or clever here.