Saturday 11 August 2012

#OBSummer #Books - Ford 99 - Dandelions in the Garden

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Genre - Historical Fiction 
Rating - PG17
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“Very well, I see not everything has changed.”

Dandelions in the Garden begins at the end and reverts back to the early years of how Amara and Elizabeth are introduced, grow and survive together.  By doing this, I wanted to show how the women evolve and how they’re shaped by circumstance.  My interest was to explore or provide a plausible explanation for what drove them to gruesome and immoral acts. 

At this point on page 99, the girls are still young and Elizabeth, at age fifteen, has fallen for her first love, a neighbor by the name of Laszlo Bende.  Under the guardianship of Elizabeth’s cousin, Count Thurzo, the girls are restricted, forbidden and frankly, abandoned at Sarvar.  However, when the count receives word of misbehavior, he immediately departs for Sarvar in order to put things right.  Hoping the girls have become more subservient under their governess, he is disappointed to discover nothing has changed, but of course, this is na├»ve because much has changed.

In an act of defiance, Amara, the most timid and pleasing of the pair, takes a stand and decides to do something about the injustice she is witnessing against true love.  She makes an excuse to ride into town and on her way detours to Laszlo Bende’s home to deliver secret letters. 

What I hoped to achieve in this scene was to show the growing loyalty of Amara towards Elizabeth.  Despite her behaviors, Amara is realizing that Elizabeth is all she has and if happiness can be achieved for either, they must work together.  It’s a turning point where it becomes an “us verses them,” relationship.  This act by Amara strengthens the bond because it is a choice she makes, not something she is obligated or told to do.  This is the moment where her true love and friendship is realized. This is just the beginning, but pivotal in the overall shaping of their loyalty towards each other. 

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