Rereading the Bookslut Headlong review (less hopped up, this time, on caffeine) (“training wheels”? sheeze) – anyway, the books Colleen Mondor reviews there speak about loss and living in the aftermath of deep change, and I was especially pleased to see Headlong considered a part of that group. In Headlong, death echoes through Hazel’s life, as well as her brother’s: for her it’s a kind of secondhand loss – can you truly grieve for people you can’t remember? – but she expresses her hunger for parents (a mother, most of all) in small, aching, tangential ways, as her brother Duncan reveals his own panic and resentment at being forced into a caretaker role too early and with too great a finality.
But all real change is final, isn’t it? In Kissing the Bee, Dana (herself altered by her father’s death) says, “Once you start changing, you’ve already changed,” and Lily’s own wordless reach for Hazel, and what Hazel represents, is an irrevocable action: wanting more makes the reach, the reach makes the action, the action makes change. And the old mode of living is, in that moment, lost. It may take awhile for the ripples to touch the outer edge of daily life, where Lily actually “lives,” but the change has come.
It’s such a great pleasure for me to experience through reviews how people read and interpret my books. I hadn’t considered Headlong in this way before, and Colleen’s juxtaposition brought another facet of the story to light for me. An insightful review is a real gift in more ways than one.
[See more of Colleen’s work here.]