I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with war fiction. Every time I encounter it, I lick up every sentence as if they are the last drops of ice-cream in a cone. It isn’t as if I go searching for war fiction, because I don’t read it that often. The same can be said of Shakespeare, a playwright I adore and love to study, but rarely do I sit down and re-read his plays.
When I arrived at this chapter of the book, I became immediately immersed in the drama. From reading about the valiant Wally going off the train as a pilot and head to war, to watching the people he left behind and how the war is changing their lives. It doesn’t turn into a war novel by any means. In fact, I felt that Irving spread his war elements pretty thin. But what he did give us was awesome and I really enjoyed it.
Homer takes an anatomy course and eventually volunteers with Candy at a hospital to help with the war effort. It is rare a book makes me laugh out loud or even smile at a joke, but when Homer would hesitantly expose his medical expertise, I actually chuckled a bit. He knew more than his professor about the anatomy of a rabbit.
This chapter also served to show just how little Homer still knows of the world. He had no idea where Hawaii is located after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. There is a nice scene when he gets to class early while another class is finishing up. It is some sort of Geography class and when the students leave, Homer studies the map still hanging over the blackboard only to find out shortly after that his class has arrived and are all just watching him silently, including the professor.
Melony runs into another orphan named Curly. I completely forgot to mention Curly from a few chapters ago. When Candy and Wally came to St. Cloud’s, Curly wanted them to adopt him. He did not realize they were there for an abortion. When they left with Homer, it felt to Curly as if they had adopted Homer. He was later adopted by a family that was far less beautiful than Wally and Candy (who are described in the book as very beautiful people) and lives his life regretting he was not the one to have gone with them. Despite the negativity of the meeting, it was nice to see two orphans reunite once again. I believe Melony also runs into another girl from the orphanage in this chapter too, but I did not write anything down about that so…
Meanwhile, at St. Cloud’s things are changing and Dr. Larch does not want the orphanage to change. A group of trustees has been interviewing him and wanting to replace him or bring in a new employee but Larch won’t allow it. He seems even more concerned with his “biography” on Fuzzy Stone. Where is this leading, I wonder?
And now for the random bit of notes I have that don’t really attach themselves to what I have been talking about. There is a character at the orchard who throws condoms at people. He flicks some to Homer and Homer fills one with water to test it after asking Wally if he had used protection when having sex with Candy and Wally saying yes. Turns out, the condoms have small but precise holes in them. Kind of shady. No wonder Candy got pregnant. When Wally goes off to war, he writes letters back home that usually include dirty limericks. These also got a smile out of me. Then there is Homer and Candy, who have been attracted to one another but never acted because of Wally. Welp, that is probably going to change. I say that because the book hints at it and…well, they hook up in the movie. There is another plot element I now remember.
Until next time, friend. Danielle.