Is there one character you love most, or connect with more than the others? For me it’s Peet. I love the way Leeli sees people—Peet, but also Slarb and lost puppies and others who aren’t well-cared for. This passage, including both, tugs on my heartstrings.
When Peet saw Leeli he relaxed and stood up, brushing himself off as if embarrassed. Leeli was still crouched down in the brush at the edge of the trees, looking warily at her rescuer.
“Thank you,” she said timidly. “That was very brave.”
Peet watched her without speaking, still winded from his struggle.
She felt like she was talking to a scared animal, and her heart went out to him, much as it had gone out to Nugget when she’d found him as a puppy. Something about his face looked familiar— a thought that had never occurred to her before. She’d seen him bouncing through town, but she’d never really stopped and looked at the strange man before. She knew that he was prone to speaking gibberish to lampposts and attacking street signs, but she had never spoken to him. No one did. The Glipwood Township ignored him like a stray dog.
Leeli felt like she should have been scared, but she wasn’t. Not only was there a Fang that was still alive, lying just a few feet away, but she was at the edge of Glipwood Forest. She was also in the presence of a man who, though he had just saved her life, was supposed to be as crazy as the Dark Sea was dark. Somehow, though, she felt a peace that surprised her. She hobbled from behind the brush. Peet shrieked and scrambled backward.
“It’s okay,” Leeli said, again feeling as though she were calming a frightened puppy. Peet’s eyes darted to and fro like a trapped animal. She stopped in front of him and smiled up at the tall, ragged man. “Is your name really Peet?”
His wild eyes finally settled on hers. She saw the jittery fear gone for a moment and detected a sorrow in his gray eyes that she hadn’t noticed before.
Discussion: This week in the forum we’ve been talking about secrets—when they’re good, when they’re dangerous, what to do with them. Another good forum topic is connected to the passage above—how Leeli’s compassion lands differently in different hearts. We’d love to have your thoughts on either of these topics.
What was your favorite passage from this week’s reading (chapters 23-30)? Share it below!
Activity: Nia’s roundbread reminds me of a kind of bread my mama used to make. It was round, too, but she included a kind of hard cheese similar to your Parmesan. It was delicious! What dishes stand out to you in the book? Do you wish you had a recipe for any of them? Try coming up with your own! Let us know how your culinary experiments go. 🙂