Friday, January 26, 2007

Meg's Book - Chapter XXIII - The Tree of Life

Trivia - In November 1844, Emma had a baby boy who she named David Hyrum. Eliza Snow wrote a poem in honor of David, mourning that the child would never know his father. And Emma really did ask Jonathan and three of Joseph's other pallbearers to do her a favor and move/fix her bee house sometime during the fall/winter of 1843. And Elvira will have a child in October 1845.


jl said...

I did not mean for you to stop sending your chapters. I just look forward to reading your book! I usually stay up an hour or so after my husband, doing who knows what.... Sorry if you felt like I was asking you to send it earlier.

I do have a couple of comments:

1. Jonathan was gone in the morning when she woke. The wind was blowing through the leaves outside, stripping away the last remnants of Indian summer and replacing it with a chill gloom.

Chill gloom? I personally have not heard of this term / figure of speech. Maybe it's just me, but it was a little distracting.

2. p5 to p6 She prepared a warm drink for herself - an infusion of chamomile sweetened with honey. I wonder how late Jonathan will be? Perhaps Tess can wait up for her knight. She took the blanket from the bed and wrapped herself in it, then placed one of the rocks on the floor, where it could warm her feet. She sat on the hearth and leaned back on the wall next to the fireplace, letting her mind wander over the events of the past several months.

Eliza (I think this should be Elvira) had fallen asleep by the time Jonathan entered the cabin. It was deep dark outside, and it was the chill of the night air that woke her rather than any noise. The rock at her feet had grown completely cold.

3. Although Jonathan and Elvira are intimate within one chapter of Joseph's death, I loved it. Some time had passed. And of all nights? I assume this was when Joseph and Hyrum's bodies were moved to be hidden for good, if I remember correctly. Joseph's body is finally at rest and safe and Elvira and Jonathan have a wonderful beginning. I like it that they both still hurt and yet they are able to love each other and draw close to each other. Very real to me. I thought it was great that Jonathan made a bed for Sarah: HINT HINT. I felt so sad that Jonathan gave Elvira the option to leave. It was as if she never let him know and gave him no indication that, despite her feelings for Joseph, she had grown to love him. Jonathan did not strike me as an unsure guy. So many emotions in this chapter.

daughterofheaven said...

Elvira finds out in the next chapter why Jonathan had washed himself in the river and why he was so sad. I loved this chapter when I first wrote it. Tonight I did some editing to bring out that Elvira is finally starting to heal. Also, when I first wrote this chapter, the story came out of nowhere. I had no idea until days later that it could refer to Elvira's feelings about her father.

By this time in real history, the apostles (e.g., Brigham Young and Heber Kimball) have started approaching Joseph's widows about becoming their husbands. If you look at the list of who marries whom hereafter, the majority of Josephs widows marry apostles, even those who already had another husband (e.g., Sarah Whitney, Zina Huntington). There's a later chapter that will treat this. Anyway, Jonathan could have been aware that Elvira was going to be asked to marry one of the apostles. Just as he wouldn't touch her while she was Joseph's (in his mind), he will not stand in her way if she wishes to marry someone 'better.' I've alluded to this earlier, when they spoke with Eliza in the cobbler shop. Also, recall that Joseph originally asked Jonathan to watch over Elvira, and 'if she wishes' marry her and raise up children. Jonathan has known that Elvira was tormented at having to accept him as a husband while Joseph lived, and was frightened that he would exercise his legal rights on their wedding night. Independent of his issues with Marietta's rape, he is too honorable to take advantage of Elvira without her legal and explicit permission.

Pat said...

Loved the chapter. You are really getting into making the surroundings real. I also picked up on where you call her 'Eliza' at one point, but I figure you will go back and correct it. I actually like the reference to 'chill gloom' particularly knowing how very gloomy that chill can be, and how deep it reaches into your bones in humid areas like the Mississippi basin. I think you have done well in showing what could have precipitated the initiation of marital relations, and it all ties in so nicely with recorded history. Kudoes.

ktb said...

This is an outstanding Chapter - well done. There is emotional depth leading to actions, and fortelling desires. No other comments since jl and pat both noted Eliza.

jl said...

After I wrote last night, I thought about what I said about my impression of Jonathan. I forgot to talk about Elvira. So when Jonathan and Elvira were married, Jonathan knew she was in love with Joseph. When she was finally sealed to Joseph, Joseph thought that she loved Jonathan. I understand that she needed to keep her feelings under control, but I would think that Jonathan would have some clue about how she felt.

Upon reading your response, I realize that my point of view is lacking in that I do not know much in the way of church history. Thanks for clearing things up about Jonathan's words to Elvira, and reminding me of cobbler shop conversation.

dd said...

I love the continuation of the Sir Harcourt Manning story throughout. Also, this is a great love story so far. I enjoyed the added details and descriptions in this chapter as well.

Elvira and Jonathan went through the mechanics of living, the practiced courtesies of being around each other. But when Elvira was able to watch Jonathan unobserved, she saw in his face the empty loneliness she herself felt. That August he started making a little bed for Sarah. By September it was complete and she was happily using it every night. But Jonathan still took his place on the floor near the door each evening.
(I am loving this book! Did I miss who had a baby and when? Emma had her baby?)
"Elvira. Emma has asked me to do her a favor tomorrow. I'll be leaving early in the morning and expect to get home late."
"That's fine. I'll bring you lunch and supper?" It would be good to get back to the Smith household and be with Emma and Lucy and see the new baby. A fine boy, strong and healthy, to console Emma, a sign of God's grace, like the rainbow after the flood.

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