I really loved reading the responses to the book club link-up and would really encourage more of you to join in the weekly link -up...I enjoy visiting your pages and learning more about you!
Anyhoo...that's not why we're here today. Today we are discussing Marlena. Is she the perfect heroine for our story? My initial reaction to this question and indeed the character was feeling of being underwhelmed. Is she soooo beautiful that he is prepared to sacrifice everything for her? Is she THAT amazing in the circus that he could be instantly captivated by her?
It appears that Jakob falls in love at first sight (maybe the cynic in me is revealed here), developing a strong infatuation with Marlena, but Romeo and Juliet it isn't...apart from a warming feeling that he loved her way into his nineties, I am not sure what was so unique about her that caused such an intense reaction. In many ways I am frustrated that her most redeeming qualities seem to be her beauty and that she is the victim of August's mental health issues, needing to be 'rescued' by a more handsome man.
Perhaps he is attracted by her manner with animals. As a reader, it was one of the more likable features of her character and started to set her apart from the stereotype of a victim, particularly when she starts to protect the creatures. However, I am not sure even this justifies her position as a leading lady.
Maybe I am missing the point, and actually the strength of the character is somewhat irrelevant. Perhaps the focus is and should be that Jakob loved her, and it is not for me to judge why. However, as he risked his life for her, I would have liked to have felt more concern for her welfare than I did his. All of the way through I was much more worried about her threat to Jakob's life than their relationship.
What do you guys think? Is it about Jakob's love or about Marlena herself? Am I being too judgemental when I say she is fairly weak? Am I just in a grumpy mood?
Peace out folks..can't wait to see what you think.