Finally, Friday! The week of uncertainty and restlessness is winding down and Jessica is coming to some conclusions. The idea that Cynthia (Hy) would find Jessica and offer her a vague but dreamy job is a little silly, but I like it. While the idea here is a little strange and doesn’t actually seem like something Jess would want to do (recruiting people? I don’t actually know), those of us who have read the next novel in the series know that it turns into somewhat of a dream job. At least, a dream job for me.
The real conclusion here, though, is the resolution of the Hope-Jessica fight. The novel paints itself as one exploring the relationship between Marcus and Jessica, but really its Jess and Hope who are the main focus. Marcus is gone, off camping and bonding, and Hope bears the weight of the conflict, of the betrayal, and of the uncertainty. Sure, Jessica could be just as mad at Marcus, or even more so, for never mentioning their past. But he’s not there, sleeping in the bunk above Jess, so he’s spared, except for his eventual reading of the journals. And at her art show (have you ever heard art described well in a novel? Hope’s pieces seem not great), when Hope prioritizes their friendship over her own success, we finally get a sense of their shared history and their importance to one another in this novel.
I really love Hope, here. She tells Jessica what she needed to hear. When I read this novel, I tend to picture Marcus as the same person he was in Second Helpings, but it’s not the case. He changed. He’s quieter. He’s more closed off. He left abruptly once, and he may do it again. When Hope tells Jess to let him go, I always cry. I always felt that Hope doesn’t say it because it’s the right thing to say or it’s what she feels (and those may also be true), but because it’s what Jessica wants to say to herself, but she’s afraid to. Would any of us really be ready to let Marcus Flutie go?
Things I would text Emily about if we weren’t writing this blog:
Do you remember when this first came out and it didn’t seem like there would be a fifth novel? So upsetting.
I would never want to wear a shirt that someone wiped their paintbrushes off on. It would feel so strange and stiff.
Let there be spaces in your togetherness is a WEIRD thing to have on a wedding program. I mean, I think it’s pretty solid advice, but just a strange thing to broadcast on your day of absolute togetherness.
If you liked that, try this:
I just read Graceling by Kristin Cashore and it’s incredible. It’s a YA fantasy novel about a teenager girl, Kasta, who is graced with the gift of killing people, and her adventures with Po, a prince with a similar gift. You may be thinking, what does this have to do with Fourth Comings? Kasta and Po are basically the fantasy Jessica and Marcus. They share an instant connection, they relate to each other in a way that Kasta never related to anyone, and Po is calm and centered compared to defensive, angry Kasta. And, I promise you Po is just as swoony as Marcus.