TPCR: Chapter 21 and Epilogue
The Teenage Wedding goes off without a hitch (har), with Lucas convincing Erin to attend the ceremony with him instead of presiding over the last-minute details of the buffet.
We actually get a preacher talking here, as Reverend West (he of the “Grandpa Asshat made his peace with God, so his manipulation of you all was for the best”) draws parallels between a wedding and Christmas, because both are about promises or somesuch.
“With God as the center of your marriage, you will be able to get through the ups and downs that every couple faces as they journey together.”
Shh. Don’t tell the teens that atheists have a lower divorce rate than born-again Christians.
Marriage is on Lucas’s mind in more ways than one, and he invites Erin over to watch Max open a Christmas Eve present.
[Max] raced over to Erin, grabbed her hand and tugged her toward the Christmas tree, his patience finally at an end. Lucas knew the feeling!
Max chooses to open the biggest of his gifts, which seems kinda like jumping the gun. I never got to open the Big Gift on Christmas Eve. It was a small gift, if not a stocking stuffer. Anyway, it’s cowboy boots, because Max has become obsessed with cowboys.
Lucas opens a gift that Arabella gave to Max to give to him, which is a brand new and newly-framed photo of the three of them snapped at the wedding reception that very day. Which is quite sweet.
And Erin’s present is from Lucas, and it’s the box that his mother (re)gave him. And inside that box is a little box that has an engagement ring.
Which part of me thinks is sweet (he’s making her a part of his family by giving her the heirloom), but at the same time feels just slightly off because of his fraught history with his own family.
Anyway, Max reacts in a pretty cute four-year-old way to seeing the littler box. He’s all, DAMN ERIN YOU GOT TWOOOOOO PRESENTS!!!
Lucas says that the whole Asshat will thing happened because God wanted them to be together, which Erin agrees with, and of course she says yes.
One year later, and GEE I WONDER IF ERIN IS PREGNANT???
Yeah, she totally is.
We catch up again with all the other characters, and again I feel kinda sorry for the author, who has to wind up everyone’s stories, not just her own characters’. In fact, I feel like this story has really suffered because of the need to give time to at least ten other characters she didn’t even create.
Okay, odd thing, though. The little girl, Macy, whose mom died? She’s barely name-checked in the epilogue, with only a mention that she helped decorate a cake. I suppose we’re to assume that she’s living happily ever after with her adoptive parents, but the “Questions for Discussion” at the end of the book describe her as someone who “[brought] the Clayton family together,” so I expected more. Especially since Christmas must be a hard time for this kid, seeing as how her mother died at Christmastime only a year ago.
Oh well, let’s talk weddings!
Lucas and Erin got married in April, the second couple to get hitched after the Teenage Wedding. Everyone else is hitched, too, except for Lucas’s sister, Mei, and her fiance, who are bizarrely waiting until Valentine’s Day to get married. Which means they have been engaged for well over a year, since their romance took place at Thanksgiving time. Why didn’t they get married on Valentine’s Day last year? I don’t get it.
Of course, despite the inheritances having been handed out and freedom restored, everyone has opted to stay in Clayton indefinitely, except for the Teenage Couple, who are living and attending college in Denver. Which makes them the sole escapees, so…go Teens!
And Erin reveals to Lucas that she is pregnant, and the end.
Happy Wintermas and Merry New Year, all!
Coming soon: a poll for which movie I shall critique next. Possible options:
I’ll be honest: the VeggieTales have always kinda freaked me out.
Too on the nose right now?