ItSo…C: Chapter 5

A week or two later, Jesse takes an afternoon off from work.  One guess where he went!

I kinda think we skipped right over Halloween into November, which is usually a big deal for kids around Jade’s age.  (Okay, maybe it’s a big deal for me, too.  Just sayin’.)  But as we discovered last year, you’re not allowed to do Halloween in Steeple Hill books.

So Lindsey is by herself when Jade is dropped off, which is confusing because Jesse said he’s pick her up from school.


Lindsey is apprised of the situation when Jade once again loses her shit at the sight of Sushi.  But Lindsey handles the situation FRAKKING BRILLIANTLY.

She calms the kid, then has her stand inside the house and look out the screen door as Lindsey plays with Sushi then runs her through a series of commands, showing Jade that the dog is both playful and obedient, and would never hurt her.  Jade seems to see the sense in this, though she’s not yet quite brave enough to pet Sushi.

Still, this is good stuff.  Actually Not That Bad, and only a few pages into the chapter.

Jade is still nervous, this time about where her daddy is.  This is understandable, and Lindsey redirects her like a good mom would, suggesting they have dress-up tea together.  She has a whole bunch of dress-up outfits (still a bit surprised by this—kiddie snack and kiddie drinks and coloring books and crayons and now, dress-up clothes).

It all goes swimmingly, and Lindsey urges Jade to say a prayer for Jesse that he’ll get safely home.  Lindsey expects Jade not to know how to pray, but Jade does.  Not to be outdone, Lindsey schools the child in the notion that every person in the world has his or her own guardian angel.

‘Kay, I guess.  Does everyone get their own spirit guide, too, Lindsey?

Jesse arrives shortly thereafter, pissed because he’s spent all afternoon at the courthouse and…

…hadn’t found a single reference to any transaction between Charles Mitchell and Les Finch.

I’m inclined to agree with depizan—it just seems at this point that Jesse is making things way more complicated than they should be.

Of course, he’s tying his own hands by not asking for help from the clerk.  Though this presents another problem—are the files in the courthouse, just sitting around so people can paw through them?  Wouldn’t the clerk already get a sense of what Jesse was up to, given the questions he would have to ask?  And why doesn’t he just hire a private detective, if he’s so worried about people wondering about him?


Anyway, Jesse is guilt-stricken when Jade tells him she was afraid he was dead, like mommy.

Supernatural Dean

But Lindsey redirects again, and the three of them have dinner of sandwiches together.  I’ll cut short all the many details of this dinner, except to say:

1.  Jesse is directed by Jade to dress up for dinner, and he’s the kind of guy who will wear a boa and tiara for his little girl, which I greatly respect.

2.  Lindsey has them pray over dinner (which is fine by me, as it’s her house), and Jesse concludes that “playing the hypocrite for fifteen seconds hadn’t killed him” and he “hadn’t been bothered by the prayer.”  Um, good for him?  Is this supposed to be a sign that he’s moving towards Christianity?  Because I’ve never been “bothered” by prayers.

So, basically, this chapter keeps things pretty even, as far as I’m concerned—both Lindsey and Jesse do cool things, but Jesse is still kinda dumb and Lindsey is still kinda pushy.

And Christmas is coming, so Jesse will have plenty to be “bothered” by very soon!


Posted on December 13, 2013, in Actually Not That Bad, Books, In the Spirit of...Christmas. Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. every person in the world has his or her own guardian angel.

    If God was going to populate the world with seven billion immortal, fully obedient beings anyway, why’d he even bother with an equal number of troublesome humans?

  2. …hadn’t found a single reference to any transaction between Charles Mitchell and Les Finch.

    This is making less and less sense. This is a modern book, right? All of the counties in the area the book is taking place in have websites with tax assessor information, which would almost certainly include the past several sales of a piece of property (generally if the information is on line it does – it has in every place I’ve lived). And there cannot be no transaction between those two people if the piece of property actually changed hands between them. This is not rocket science. This is caught a few episodes of The Rockford Files (or other PI show) level private detection.

    Sure the information he’s looking for is public record, but there’s no way he wouldn’t have had to ask a clerk to get the info for him. So if he wants to be all sneaky, he’d have to go to the library and use their free computer access to go on the county website.

    *stamps a big Did Not Do The Research on the book*

    Which is too bad, really. It seems like when the characters are just interacting (aside from the creepy church cookout in the previous chapter), it’s actually all right, even kind of charming. The author should’ve left the big secret business out and figured out some other reason to have him come to town and get a job.

    • Which would have been pretty easy to do, when you think about it. Jesse was kicked out of the house as a teenager, he only knows rodeo riding, but now he has this little girl who needs a stable home. Maybe have him come back to this specific town because it’s where he and his mom had some security, and he wants the kid to experience that, too. Heck, he could even still hate Christmas and get this job–it’s the only one in town, he can put up with it for the sake of his child, etc.

  3. Lindsey has them pray over dinner (which is fine by me, as it’s her house)

    Eh, depending on how this plays out, it might bother me some. Does she actually have her guests loudly recite her prayer of how thankful she is to god and how happy she is that Jesus saved her? Cause I wouldn’t like that. I could mouth the words with no problems, but I wouldn’t think much of my host if she asked me to do so while knowing I’m an atheist. Who is that supposed to impress? She knows I don’t mean it, god obviously knows I don’t mean it, and I certainly know I don’t mean it. All it does is letting the host mark her territory by making her guests acknowledge her faith and control. Her house, her rules, but hosptiality that ain’t.

    But I don’t know if that’s actually what happened in the book. IRL when I’m at a dinner with some Christians who’d like to pray before eating, I just wait silently while they pray (everyone I’ve met prayed silently at those occasions anyway), and start eating once they’re done. If that’s what’s happening here, I have no problems with that. But if Lindsey made Jesse actually say a prayer out loud, I do disapprove.

    And frankly, I think it cheapens Lindsey’s own faith too. Surely “praying” consists of more than folding your hands and saying some words. IMHO there’s supposed to be something more intimate and spiritual to it. You’re supposed to be adressing or at least connecting to something supernatural, something outside of the people at the table. And while I can replicate the mundane parts of the prayer, I can’t direct my thoughts or emotions at god while I do so. How could I when I don’t believe there exists such a being? And if I did believe in god, I’m pretty sure I would find such a parody of a prayer to be more insulting to god than not praying at all.

    • I agree if it was a showy, “so there” display, it would not work, but it’s brief and simple here: Lindsey just says a quick prayer over the food, and doesn’t expect Jesse and Jade to say anything, even “amen.”

      Although, certainly, Lindsey didn’t need to make it a group activity–in college, we sat at big communal tables, and a few kids would always bow their heads, but nobody else was expected to do it, just because others were. But since the prayer is so quick, I’m inclined to let this one go.

      • Oh, okay, that’s alright then. I got a bit worried over that line that Jesse didn’t feel like a hypocrit. I assumed that meant he’d mumbled along with the prayer. But it’s just more Jesse weirdness.

        Seriously, why would you even consider feeling like a hypocrit for not interupting someone else’s prayer?

  4. “He hadn’t been bothered by the prayer — the flies had been kept out by the mesh screens, and he could pass of the smell of sulphur and rotting meat as a result of his fast-food lunch.”

    Not only does everyone get their own spirit guide, they get their own warrior demon and cat-spirit guard and…

    depizan, it was published in 2005. Though I’m assuming that the actual reason for Jesse’s shenanigans is so that, just as Lindsey’s about to admit that she kinda likes him, she can learn that he’s Out To Take Her Farm and they can have a big fight, in order to be reconciled later.

    • 2005, hmm. It’s possible the counties might not have had websites then, but that just makes it worse, because then he really is stuck going through a clerk. I guess he could ask for big chunks of information (all property transactions in -18 years ago), but that’s probably going to be as noteworthy (or even more noteworthy) than if he just flat out asked about the sale of the farm to Lindsey’s granparents.

      Then again, if he really hasn’t bothered to look into even what kind of document he’s looking for, perhaps he really did waste a bunch of time at the courthouse looking at every document from -18 years ago or something.

      But if the author wants Jesse’s Out To Take Her Farm to be the fight, then they needed to do the research. Yes, right now, it could be that Jesse hasn’t done the research, but I just have this bad feeling we’re heading for Fern Michaels level Did Not Do The Research, wherein the entire premise of the book winds up making no sense. (Not that it’s making a lot of sense right now.)

  5. She has a whole bunch of dress-up outfits (still a bit surprised by this—kiddie snack and kiddie drinks and coloring books and crayons and now, dress-up clothes).

    Look, the story has danced around this, but I’m just going to say it out loud: Lindsey is a serial killer who keeps the clothes, toys, and crayons of her many, many previous victims. She bought the farm to better hide the bodies, the juice is laced with digitalis, and “Sunday School” is a euphemism for the tool shed.

    She desperately wants a sweet little girl of her own, but none of them are ever good enough!!!!!

    • “They’re supposed to stay forever, but they… don’t. They get… broken. And then I have to look again, because if she gets broken she wasn’t my real daughter, was she? Are you my real daughter?”

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, December 14th, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

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