Also, I'm going to give my Mum a quick birthday shout-out here (hi Mum!) since it's her birthday and all. I'll be calling her in a little while but I didn't include it in this morning's post and everyone should get a birthday shout-out on their birthday.
Earlier on today we got to meet Carlisle, Esme, Alice and Jasper on home turf as Edward took Bella home to meet the family. Chapter Sixteen is called Carlisle so it looks like we're going to be getting a closer look at the founding member of the Cullen family.
Edward takes Bella to Carlisle's study and gives her the full history on Carlisle (up to and including when he met Edward). Then they head to Edward's bedroom, with Edward filling Bella in on his brief rebellious phase. After this Alice and Jasper show up to invite Bella to a ballgame. Yup, you read that right.
Thoughts as I read:
I would've thought last chapter could've been called Carlisle since we learned a bit more about him. I'm guessing this means we'll learn even more about him. I'm hoping we learn something about Carlisle's relationship with Edward. Also, yay for another short chapter! It's much easier to write on your phone when there's not too much to write!
Edward leads Bella to Carlisle's office. Carlisle is actually still inside but doesn't seem to mind having his space invaded. Also, it sounds amazing:
Most of the wall space was taken up by towering bookshelves that reached high above my head and held more books than I'd ever seen outside a library.
I want to go there.
Edward shows Bella the Vampire's family history. Carlisle is being very accommodating and asks Edward where he intends to begin. The answer to this is 'The Waggoner' which I'm guessing refers to the picture that he shows Bella. There's a whole wall with pictures on it and they obviously date from different times and places. The Waggoner is apparently an old painting of London, circa 1650s.
Edward asks Carlisle to share the story but he can't since he's got to go to work. Oh and he's only speaking aloud for Bella's benefit, normally he and Edward would communicate non-verbally. Then he goes and leaves Edward to tell the whole story, since he knows it off by heart anyway.
When Carlisle found out he was a vampire he tried to kill him. A tricky task when you're immortal. He also resisted the urge to 'feed' which obviously shows that he has great strength of will. Starving to death didn't even work. Edward does let slip here that there aren't many ways to kill a vampire. So that does mean that there are some ways to kill a vampire? I hope we hear more about this later.
Carlisle eventually decided to go after a deer, since it was food before he became a vampire so wasn't technically a bad thing to eat. At this point he realised that just because he was a vampire, he didn't need to eat people, so if he was going to be a monster, the least he could do was be a good one.
Bella then gets side-tracked by the thought of Carlisle swimming the Channel. Because being immortal is easy to get your head around but swimming the Channel is crazy talk!
"You don't have to breathe?" I demanded.
"No, it's not necessary. Just a habit." He shrugged.
I guess the not breathing thing does make sense. He's kind of dead and all. But it's still sort of weird. At least Edward's not lost the 'habit'. I'm sure someone at school might have noticed otherwise. We have an Edweird moment as he confesses to Bella that he's still waiting for her to freak out about him. I'm sure that reminding her he's the undead really helps to keep the freaking out feeling at bay.
And now it's back to discussing Carlisle. He became a doctor, travelled through Europe and stopped up in Italy for a while. There were more vampires there who had been inspiring painters (and who are still there now). The Italian vampires believed that it was okay to feed on humans, an idea that Carlisle couldn't rid them of.
Time passed and eventually he ended up in Chicago, treating people suffering from the influenza epidemic. I have a funny feeling this is bringing us back into familiar territory. Sure enough, it was here that he met Edward and the rest we more or less know. And they've been together almost ever since. That's a long time to spend with one person. Vampires must have a lot of patience.
Except for a little while around the late twenties, when Edward went off and rebelled against the whole 'hippy vampire' lifestyle. Bella seems fairly relaxed by the revelation that her vampire boyfriend used to be a full carnivore. I'm not sure I'd take it so calmly, then again I wouldn't be with Edward in the first place.
Edward's been able to read minds since he was turned so he knew what Carlisle worried about. He also decided to justify his actions by going after the bad guys rather than innocent victims. That would be like the guys who were planning to attack Bella when she went on the shopping trip with the girls. I'm guessing he killed them since he does seem to show a little remorse for his actions during this time.
And now we finally get to see Edward's room. He's got a lovely view, a massive CD collection and no bed, since he obviously has no need. How annoying must it be to be a vampire and having to constantly update your media; records for tapes, tapes for CDs, CDs for mp3s; tapes for DVDs, DVDs for blu-rays. That would be frustrating.
Edward is clearly enjoying sharing everything with Bella:
I turned and he was looking at me with a peculiar expression in his eyes.
"I was prepared to feel… relieved. Having you know about everything, not needing to keep secrets from you. But I didn't expect to feel more than that. I like it. It makes me… happy." He shrugged, smiling slightly.
All the same, he's still waiting for the freak out:
"I hate to burst your bubble, but you're really not as scary as you think you are. I don't find you scary at all, actually," I lied casually.
I'm pretty sure he can tell when you're lying, Bella.
Then, just to test how scary she thinks he is, he pounces on her and (playfully) attacks her. Edweird doesn't let up until she concedes that he is in fact, a scary monster. Luckily they're interrupted at this moment by Alice and Jasper, who have decided that they want to come and hang out.
"It sounded like you were having Bella for lunch, and we came to see if you would share," Alice announced.
Obviously she's joking. Shame, really.
What follows is a cryptic conversation about going out to play ball because there's a storm coming. Bella's invited along though she's totally clueless about what she'll be doing. That makes two of us, Bella..
"What will we be playing?" I demanded.
"You will be watching," Edward clarified. "We will be playing baseball."
I rolled my eyes. "Vampires like baseball?"
"It's the American pastime," he said with mock solemnity.
Well, I wasn't expecting that.
This was an interesting chapter with more information (and not too many new questions raised). Bella is suddenly becoming really demanding but perhaps that's just because she's been spending so much time with Edward. I'm enjoying all the backstory we've been getting recently, though the baseball thing kind of came out of left field!
Now that we're getting more info on how vampires work in this series, I'm finding I have fewer and fewer questions each week:
Are we going to learn more about Carlisle in this chapter?Oh yes. Will we learn more about Carlisle's relationship with Edward?A bit, yes.
- In what ways can a vampire be killed?