ItSo…C: Chapter 15 and Epilogue

Before we wrap (Ha!  See what I did there?  Because you wrap Christmas presents…) this baby up, I wanted to address a few comments on the last chapter.

Ivan says:

Also, Sherriff, whatever else Jesse might have done wrong, would it kill you to show a little sympathy for the victim of another crime? One that your department never noticed or looked into for two decades, until the victim started looking around on his own? Great taking care of your own there.

Yeah, the Sheriff…definitely has his own way of doing things.  He hems and haws about the fact that it’s Jesse who is the “boy” who rightfully owns the farm.  But then he tells Lindsey about how horrible it is that the farm was taken from Jesse and that “you can’t blame a man for trying to reclaim what was stolen from him.”  And then he confronts Jesse and scolds him for “[coming] here under false pretenses…[and]…[being] dishonest with her from the start.”

And Skyknight says:

This is where I wonder how much time the author allotted herself to write this. Presumably not quite as compressed as Jerry “21 Days or Nothing” Jenkins, but the progression and elements don’t seem terribly well welded together.

Which makes me notice a couple of things as I begin Chapter 15:

1.  We are informed twice in less than two pages that Lindsey’s lawyer’s eyes are brown.

2.  We are informed twice in one page that she drives a Dakota.

800px-Dodge-Dakota-extended

(For the record, Jesse drives a Silverado.)

800px-2005_Chevrolet_Silverado_2500HD

This all just feels so…rushed.  Like there wasn’t time for a final read-through of the chapter.  Repetition, irrelevant details so late in the game.

Meh.

Anyway, yeah, Lindsey has a lawyer.  Though she only got him so she could completely give up her rights to the farm.

Her first instinct had been anger and hurt and bitter resentment.  She’d wanted to rail at Jesse and send him away.  She’d wanted to keep the land to pay him back for lying to her, for making her believe he loved her when, all the while, he was plotting to evict her.

Makes sense to me!

But as soon as the first rush of emotion passed, she’d prayed.  And as hard as the decision was, she’d seen that Jesse was as much a victim as she.  The land was rightfully his, and she wouldn’t rest until he’d legally regained ownership.

Okay, I can kinda see that, too.  Seriously, I can see that it seems to her that this is the right thing to do and what Jesus would do and so forth.

“But you’ve lived there in good faith and made the land productive.  Even if the courts decide in his favor, he could be forced to pay you for all the improvements you’ve made, for the tree stock, etc.” [said her lawyer]

Hey, YEAH.

Or no.  Whatever.  Lindsey just wants to skip town, find a new job, move in with her sister, whatever.

Guess she’s also taken Clarence’s discussion of “rights” to heart.

In fact, she decides to track down Jesse and tell him personally that she’s not going to pursue her own rights.

Jesus (and Clarence) would no doubt want it that way.

Harboring unforgiveness would destroy her relationship with Jesus.

Damn, Lindsey, this happened yesterday.  Does Jesus really expect you to forgive in under 24 hours?

***

She gets to Jesse’s trailer park, and sees him loading his shit into his FINE CHEVROLET SILVERADO, and quite naturally comes to the conclusion that he is getting ready to move into her house like right now.

So she confronts him and makes him feel how much he is wrong, gorammit.

“I would never keep something that isn’t rightfully mine, Jesse.  You didn’t have to pretend to love me in order to get the farm back.”

OH SNAP

Hell, he deserves it.  Mostly because he was too stupid to put a stop to all this when he had the chance.

Jesse is utterly confused by this (big surprise, right?).  So he has to set the record straight and tell her that he didn’t pretend to love her and plans to leave and hopes she’ll forgive him.

“The place means nothing to me without you there.”

Tears shoved at the back of his eyelids.

Bawww…

And so, just like that, they make up and go home to the farm.

That was…quick.

Don’t get me wrong—I am no fan of the long, overly-drawn-out misunderstanding.

But damn, that was quick.

Oh, and they apologize to each other.  Meaning that Jesse apologizes for lying to her from the start, and Lindsey apologizes for…

“…all that happened to you as a boy.  For my unwitting part in forcing you to take such drastic measures.”

“Jesse, I am so sorry that I inherited this farm and forced you to plot against me and lie to me for weeks.  I am a horrible person.”

Huh.  And here I am so used to the women being awful in these stories.  Now, granted, this is yet another story where the man has to change while the woman gets to stay just as she is.  But Jesse needs to change.

By a factor of several dozen IQ points.

***

Christmas morning, and it is established that Lindsey and Jesse are going to share the farm.

THANK GOODNESS.  Seriously, I thought Jesse would end up with the farm wholly in his name.

“Christmas isn’t about presents to me, Jesse.  It’s about loving and giving, the way God gave us Jesus.”

Phew.  For a minute there, I forgot this was a Christian Christmas romance.

And it’s really super-sweet.  Jesse proposes, and both he and Jade get down on one knee.

The sweetness of the picture overwhelmed [Lindsey].

Hey, I’ll be the judge of that.

“…will you make our family complete and marry us?  Will you be my wife?”  Jesse slid the dainty solitaire onto her finger.

“And will you be my other mommy?”

Ohhh…

THAT IS SO SWEET

Awww…

So Jesse wants to get married like NOW, but Lindsey is all, “Ooo, but I wanted a Christmas wedding,” and I am like, “Well, fine, little princess.”

But then!

“Problem solved.” [said Jesse]  “According to a very famous song, there are really twelve days of Christmas.  So there you have it.  Christmas begins today and won’t end until we’re married twelve days from now.”  He squinted hopefully.  “Okay?”

Wow.  That is actually…an awesome idea.

And it is Jesse’s idea.  He has knowledge and turned it into an actual plan!

IT’S A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!

film (10346) Animated Gif on Giphy

So they’re going to get married on January 5th, under the trees at the farm, which is also quite sweet.

One more “Thank You, Jesus,” and we’re out!

Well then.

That was certainly a significant change from Christmas Town.  A pretty bearable heroine, and a not-very-likeable hero with…well…

And a child who wasn’t an acquisitive, smarmy brat!

It truly is a miracle.

And that concludes our 2013 Wintermas program.  A little New Year’s surprise is in the works, and then we will return to Paul Stepola’s epic quest to lie to his wife for as long as humanly possible.

Merry Wintermas, all.  Thanks for being here!

You guys are…like family to me.

Advertisements

Posted on December 25, 2013, in Books, Christmas, In the Spirit of...Christmas. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Well, that was a surprisingly painless solution.

    I think this book now holds the record for the least obnoxious RTC-approved story I’ve seen. The only quibble I have on the religion front is that we get Lindsey musing on how she keeps pestering her employee to go to her church despite his obvious discomfort, in the same chapter as Jesse marveling at how not-pushy these Christians are.

    The author doesn’t seem to have realized how pushy and intimidating (as far as Lindsey knows, Jesse is a poor single father who could really not afford to be fired right now) this is. Can you imagine how this would be portrayed if Jesse had been the Christian and Lindsey a muslim or something? Hell, just compare this to Teenage Testament.

    But beyond that point, my only problems with this book are “secular”. Mainly, that the central conflict is so manufacured. There was no reason why Jesse needed to work on the farm as part of his plan, that was just so he could meet, and fall in love with, Lindsey. And there was no reason for him to stick to his plan to kick Lindsey out when it became obvious she A: had nothing to do with the “theft” and B: was perfectly fine with having him live there.

    So, that’s one kinda mheh-romance novel, and one suprisingly un-bigotted Chirstmas movie that was based on a highly bigotted comedy act. Not a bad score this season. Less fun to snark at though.

    • I’d say there’s a substantial difference between owning a business/home yourself and being the employee/tenant who could theoretically be turned out at any time by the owner’s whim. I mean, if someone steals my car and sells it to an unwitting third party, I’m not gonna give up my attempts to get the car returned to my ownership just because the new owner had nothing to do with the theft and is willing to car-share with me.

  2. Merry Wintermas!

  3. I think the problems here aren’t particularly Christian-implementation ones, they’re just fairly naff plotting in general. If somebody told me that the author had this in first draft, then was offered a slot by a Christian publishing house if she RTC-ed it up in a hurry, I could believe that this was the result; it’s not shot through with RTCness the way many of our victims here are, rather the RTC is a coating on top of the romance plot that would still work without it.

    And the romance plot itself is fairly contrived. It’s not World’s Worst Books bad, it’s just — thanks, Ivan — “kinda mheh”.

    Merry Newton’s Birthday!

  4. That wasn’t awful. I mean, it was bad, but it wasn’t, you know, AWFUL. Who would have thought it?

    Merry Wintermas, everybody!

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Round Up, December 28th, 2013 | The Slacktiverse

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: