How many bible stories can one book reference? We opened, as you might recall, with Cain & Abel. Now our Hero is informed that the decision he has to make requires the Wisdom of Solomon, which launches into a brief retelling of the tale. We get it, Ms Bylin, you’ve read your Old Testament, very good.
This chapter is almost entirely from Slovenly-Beau’s point of view. He speaks with the lawyer, who tells him he’s found an aunt of the girls, but the aunt only wants the oldest one. While telling the lawyer to offer the aunt money to take them all (or none), he notices that Dani and the girls have left the ice-cream shop, so he dashes out to the street and chases them to the parsonage. Okay, I admit to being amused when the reverend’s wife, upon seeing Dani and the children being followed by the Slovenly-Beau goes and gets a shotgun. Mwahahaha. But then she recognizes him and hugs him, dammit. The book could have been far more interesting. She tells Slovenly-Beau that he is slovenly, and to go take a bath, so he does. But first he goes to the saloon—even though he hates saloons. He doesn’t drink, he informed Dani in chapter one (and neither did the Hero of the previous book. Must be a trope—no drinking allowed.) There he finds information about Clay Johnson, and we get some backstory of how he’s been chasing the killer for several years and through several states. It’s declared to be a game of cat and mouse, but frankly it just suggests to me that Beau isn’t a very good bounty hunter.
The bit from Dani’s point of view is just of her running down the streets with the girls, hoping she doesn’t trip (as she wore nice shoes to meet her bethrothed-who-is-now-dead.) While running she notices the sun glint off of some metal, and is reminded that God had told people to turn swords into ploughshares. Good grief. That’s 3 individual bible stories referenced, can we go for 4? It almost makes up for the lack of Heroine Doing Christian Things.
Favorite line of the chapter: “The cows had no mercy…” (43). It’s better without context, so I shan’t give you any.
But this is pretty good, too: “He blinked the image away, but the rage stayed in his blood, swimming like a thousand fish” (52). Seriously? A thousand fish? That’s
the best metaphor she could come up with?
The first half of this chapter is Dani’s perspective—the reverend’s wife, and then the reverend as well, tell her the backstory of Soon-to-be-Clean-Beau’s wife’s death. She gets very sad and goes to the church to pray. Now-Clean-&-Fresh-Beau arrives and the reverend tells her where Dani is (in church) and he’s all, “I can’t go in there!” but finds her crying in the cemetery. Why it took the author 16 pages of boring exposition to tell us this, when I could do it in a paragraph (admittedly sans details), I do not know.
One bible story referenced—the reverend looks like Moses about to deliver the 10 commandments. And four instances of the Heroine Doing Something Christian.
I’ve decided that the book is better if you take all the metaphors as truth, like the one in chapter two, where Slovenly-Beau lives between the canyons of good and evil. To that end, I share the following:
“At the sight of his wife, Reverend Blue’s face turned from stone to living flesh” (56).
She’s the anti-Medusa!
“He put bibles in jail cells for men who spat at him” (60).
The ones who kept their saliva to themselves got copies of Vogue.
“I rode into their camp and introduced the Father, Son and Holy Ghost” (60).
Then everyone sat and had tea and crumpets.Read Next Review Entry