Radical Read-along: Hallowed Day 3 Discussion

This is my discussion post for chapters 9-12 of Hallowed by Cynthia Hand. WARNING: There are spoilers for the first twelve chapters of Hallowed and for all of Unearthly in this post.

Tucker catches Clara hanging out outside his window one night and lets her in. She tells him about the congregation, but holds back some of the details. They start kissing and go farther than they have before, but he stops when she starts glowing. It unsettles him and nauseates him. Clara falls asleep in his bed, which is unfortunate when Tucker’s dad comes in to wake him up in the morning.

Tucker’s parents call Clara’s mom, so she’s waiting when Clara returns home. Clara has to stay home at night and she and Tucker are no longer allowed to be alone together. Clara tells her mom about her funeral dream and that she’s afraid Tucker is going to die.

Angela has been doing research and has discovered that angel-bloods all die at age 120 or before. She can’t find a single record of one living to be 121. Clara’s mom has just turned 120. Armed with this information, Clara and Jeffrey confront their mom. She admits that it’s true and that she’s been getting weaker since last winter. Clara now realizes that her dream is about her mom’s funeral.

Christian takes Clara skiing and lets her vent about her mom, her purpose, everything. She tells him that Tucker knows about them being angel-bloods, and Christian says that he broke up with Kay so she wouldn’t find out. They end up in a snowball fight and they share a moment, almost kissing, before Clara backs off.

Tucker’s upset that Clara and Christian finish each other’s sentences, as if they can read each other’s minds. Which they can. He’s jealous but Clara assures him that she and Christian are just friends and says that nothing has ever happened between them.

Spring arrives. Clara now sees that most of the people in the funeral dream are angel-bloods, some from the congregation and some she doesn’t know. Tucker still isn’t there. Samjeeza is, though, or at least Clara can tell he’s somewhere nearby. The rest of the congregation is worried, and some of them are afraid to attend, but they all agree to go in the end.

Christian teaches Clara how to go into glory.

Jeffrey comes home drunk one night and can’t remember how to retract his wings. As Clara is helping him, she notices that a few of his feathers are black.

There was a news story she cut out of the paper a few months ago about how the last survivor of the [1906 San Francisco] earthquake had died. Which makes her the last true survivor.

As of two months ago, June 14, 2013, (a year and a half after this book was published), two survivors were still living. Oh, research.

There might be some purpose-related explanation for it, but if not, it was pretty selfish of Clara and Jeffrey’s mom to have children when she was already over 100, knowing that she would die before they even turned 18. It’s a risk that everyone who has kids takes, but she knew with 100% certainty that she would die before they were adults. It’s not like she had children as a young woman and just happened to die in a car accident or come down with a terminal illness. She waited a HUNDRED years.

I wonder why Tucker doesn’t appear in Clara’s funeral dream. There must be a big reason he’s not there, especially since Wendy and even her parents are.

It’s kind of weird that Wendy and Angela were bugging Clara about going to college and telling her not to stay in Wyoming to be with Tucker. She has, what, six months until college? And at some point in those six months her mom is going to die. It would be pretty understandable if she wanted to delay college for a semester or a year.

“Excellent, Wendy,” praises Mr. Phibbs, “I can see you’ve read the CliffsNotes.”

Busted! I was a good student in high school but I smuggled a few of those lovely yellow booklets into my room too. (My parents, being teachers, would not have approved. My husband, also a teacher, had his own collection when I met him in college.)

Read chapters 13-16 today and post your discussion tomorrow.