A review of Charlaine Harris’s ‘Dead Reckoning’ chapter eight


Schools are always more or less the same, aren’t they? There’s always the smell: a mixture of chalk, school lunches, floor wax, books. The echo of children’s voices, the louder voices of teachers. The “art” on the walls and the decorations on each room’s door. The little Red Ditch kindergarden was no different.

I didn’t realise that Louisianna schools were so poor, to still be using chalk. No schools in England (at least) use chalkboards any more – they were phased out about ten years ago in favour of whiteboards and now interactive computer screens. Also, I noticed the little snipe at the children’s work. That’s unfair. Really unfair and a little mean. Sookie is going with Remy and Hunter on a visit to his new kindergarden, as American children don’t start school until they’re seven. I won’t subject you to my opinions on the American education system in comparison to the British, especially as Gove is gutting it and taking us back thirty years.

My mum’s a headteacher and her job and pension is threatened by his stupid reforms. I’m bitter.

Remy is worried that his son isn’t going to fit in and that he might cause problems with his telepathy. Sookie is there as a helpful reminder of the do’s and don’ts of mind-reading, i.e. don’t tell people what they fuck they’re thinking.

They take a poke about the various rooms and talk to various teachers. Sookie notices that there’s something wrong with a Miss O’Fallon and makes sure to put in a request that Hunter not be put to her. Hunter seems to like a woman called Mrs.Gristede and makes a beeline for the books, even though he can’t read yet.

It turns out that Miss O’Fallon fantasies about hurting children because she was tortured (not sure whether this was actual torture or just the special kind of torture a disgruntled teacher can inflict) by a teacher as a child. Of course, as this is a Charlaine Harris novel, authority figures MUST be awful and horrible in some way.

Sookie faces off to Miss O’Fallon and then the three of them (not Miss O’Fallon) go out for milkshakes. Yay!

When she gets back home, Amelia and Bob are casting spells around the house and waving incense burners. As you do.

She heads off into her woods to investigate the fairy portal for herself. It’s not anything special – or at least looks that way. There’s no huge glittering sign saying FAIRYWORLD THIS WAY and there’s no circles of grass or stones that indicate an entrance into the fairy domain. There’s a slight wavering in the air, about fifteen inches in diameter, and the air distorts somewhat. She pokes it with some grass that disappears into it. She talks to it but nothing happens.

The witches and Sookie have a barbecue in the sun. Amelia reveals that she has found a way to break the blood bond between Sookie and Eric. Sookie is worried because she loves Eric, but I don’t think it can be healthy for a relationship to be permanently aware of the other one on an astral plane. I also think that she doesn’t really love him outside of the bond and then he will vanish, taking his condescending attitude with him. They sit and do the spell, which concludes with Sookie cutting a red string that symbolises their bond.

I snipped the red yarn.

And I lost Eric.

He wasn’t there.

She breaks out into panic and grief. Oh, Sookie. Stop basing your self-worth in the world on men. Eric senses it and phones her straight away.

“If I see Amelia, I’ll break her neck.” He meant that. […] “I’ll see you when I’ve got control of myself.”

Sounding a bit Edward Cullen-like, Eric boy. That’s not good. Apparently the bond was for her protection, blah blah blah. Whatever.

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3 thoughts on “A review of Charlaine Harris’s ‘Dead Reckoning’ chapter eight

  1. FTR the usual age to start Kindergarten (the first year of ‘classroom’ education) is five. Weird that Ms Harris wrote that his first day of school was at 7.

    • I was to say the same thing unless Louisiana schools are very different than anywhere else kindergarten starts at 5. In fact both my niece and nephew were in pre-school starting at 3. They went 2 days/week at 3 and 3 days/week at 4. So kindergarten wasn’t as big a deal to them, they were used to being away from mommy at school a few hours/day.

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