Saturday, October 13, 2012

Breaking Dawn Read Along: Week 4

Ok...let's amp up the angst, huh?

Chapter 28:
  • Carlisle and Edward follow Irina's trail, but with no success. Alice tries to read her immediate future, but the picture is hazy.
  • Bella's attention is soon turned to her trip to Italy, followed by their trip to South America. The Cullens decide that Jacob should come with them, because people who fear vampires might be more likely to share their stories with him instead.
  • In the midst of travel preparations, Alice has a horrible vision: the Volturi are already coming for them. The entire army.
  • Bella recalls her nightmare of the Volturi advancing on her and her need to protect the precious child behind her. Alice foresees that the Volturi will arrive with the first snow.
  • After some debate, they realize the reason for their attack: Renesmee. Irina mistakenly believed her to be an immortal child. Having lost a mother to the Volturi for creating an immortal child, the Denali sisters have become purists when it comes to the law. Alice sees Irina tell the Volturi about the Cullens' alleged breach.
  • Bella is devastated. She wonders if she's being punished for too much happiness:

    Was there some natural law that demanded equal shares of happiness and misery in the world? Was my joy over throwing the balance? Was four months all I can have? (28.78)
  • Jasper believes that they can't win, even with the help of the werewolves. And Bella doesn't want to endanger the werewolves. Carlisle also refuses to ask family friends to die for them, but the family agrees to call on them as witnesses to force the Volturi to stop and listen.
  • Alice leaves with Jasper, claiming she needs to concentrate and can't see with Renesmee and Jacob around. When Jacob arrives, Bella tells him, "It's over. We've all been sentenced to die" (28.124).
Chapter 29:  
  • When Alice and Jasper don't return, the family starts to worry. Searching for her trail in the woods, they come upon Sam's pack. He confirms that Alice passed by them, and that she gave him a note for the family.
  • The note is ripped out of a page from one of Bella's books, The Merchant of Venice. In it, Alice explains that she and Jasper will send any friends they can find, but that they won't return and that the Cullens should not look for them. "It's the only way for us. We love you" (29.35).
  • Edward refuses to believe that Alice deserted them. He believes she just knows more than they do. Bella has trouble processing the events emotionally in her new body:

    I didn't know how to cry in this body; I couldn't do anything but stare. There was no feeling yet. Everything seemed unreal.(29.52)
  • She believes that Alice's departure means that there's no hope at all.
  • Yet, Bella wonders why Alice ripped the note from a page of her book. Maybe Alice tried to send her a message? She picks up another trail of Alice, which sends her straight to the cottage. Sure enough, under the torn page in The Merchant of Venice, Bella finds a name and address in Seattle, followed by Alice's order to destroy the note. Bella keeps her discovery secret from Edward.
  • Carlisle, Esme, Rosalie, and Emmett leave to mobilize family friends. Bella waits for a chance to be alone to check the address that Alice gave her.
  • Jacob decides to be honest with Renesmee and tells her about their situation. Bella criticizes his approach. She believes that shielding her daughter is more important than answering her questions. But Renesmee doesn't look frightened.
  • Edward advises Jacob to stay away from the house once their family friends arrive, because he believes that his presence will make it harder for their friends to accept Renesmee. Jacob agrees to stay away from the main house, but to keep in close reach.
  • Bella finds a lawyer with the name (Jason Jenks) that Alice gave her in Seattle, but the address doesn't seem to fit.
  • Renesmee interrupts Bella by reaching for her. Holding Renesmee, Bella realizes that her daughter is the only thing she simply must save. Renesmee feels Bella's pain and tries to comfort her:

    I'd never thought to see the mother-daughter bond reversed between us, the way it had always been for RenĂ©e and me. But I hadn't had a very clear view of the future. (29.171)
Chapter 30:
  • Bella's mind buzzes with questions: What is the nature of Alice's note? What if their friends don't like Renesmee? How is she going to learn how to fight in just a month? "I was all tension; it felt like my nerves were being stretched on the rack, thinner and thinner" (30.14).
  • Edward seems to know how she feels. He pulls her into a passionate embrace and they consummate their love for each other, knowing it might be the last time.
  • When Bella asks Edward to teach her how to fight, he just claims that, if the meeting turns into a fight, there won't be much any of them can do anyway.
  • He explains to Bella that Alec and Jane are the Volturi's greatest offense. Jane can inflict pain with her thoughts. Alec, on the other hand, has the power to cut off your senses.
  • Bella suggests that, due to their strong mental gifts, Jane and Alec might not be trained as fighters. She knows that her private mind makes her immune to Jane and Alec's powers and she believes that, if she can distract them, the others might be able to take them out and have a chance against the Volturi.
  • Bella and Edward's discussion about other vampires' gifts brings Edward to tell her about Eleazar, one of the friends they called on. Eleazar has a natural instinct for the gifts of others, which is why he was once recruited by the Volturi to help them take out the most powerful opponents in battle. Eleazar since converted to a vegetarian lifestyle and formed his own coven.
  • Prompted by Bella's outrage over Eleazar's previous affiliation with the Volturi, Edward reminds her that the Volturi are still considered the "foundation of peace" in the vampire world.
  • The Cullens decide that the best way for their friends to meet Renesmee for the first time is for Bella to hold her, protected by Jacob. Renesmee communicates her feeling that the whole situation is her fault. Of course, everyone assures her that it's not.
  • The Denali clan arrives first. Before revealing Renesmee, Edward begs them to listen for her heartbeat in the other room. They also pick up on her strange human smell. Upon seeing her, though, their first reaction is shock and outrage.
  • Edward begs them to stay and explains how Renesmee came to be and that she's a human/vampire hybrid. Their friends see the resemblance. Eleazar's wife Carmen allows Renesmee to communicate her thoughts to her and becomes convinced she's telling the truth.
  • One by one, Renesmee wins over the Denali clan. Irina's sisters, Kate and Tanya, apologize for Irina's rash behavior.
  • Discussing the Volturi's approach, the Denali clan also wonders why the Volturi would bring their entire guard. They promise to witness Renesmee's nature and growth. Kate and Tanya even vow to stand with the Cullens in a fight. Anything to protect Renesmee.
  • Bella marvels at their immediate affection for Renesmee:

    Renesmee was irresistible. What was it about her that drew everyone to her, that made them willing even to pledge their lives in her defense? (30.240-241)
Tricksy Alice!!  We're setting the stage for some major things to happen here.  What are you all looking forward to seeing out of this stuff?  I'm looking forward to everyone's reactions to Renesmee for sure and how everyone just seems to fall for her and her adorable-ness.  From what I've seen interviews and such, I think that Mackenzie will do a great job, especially with that part, due to her personality and stuff. 

I'm also really excited to see Eleazar more in this and see some of his interactions with the Cullens.  

For next week, please check out Breaking Dawn: Book 3 - Chapters 31-33.  This week will be our last 3-chapter week :) 

Summaries and more can be found here.

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