Sunday, 30 August 2015

When Your Zara Summer Sale Purchase Turns You Into A Character From An As-Yet Unwritten Sarah Waters Novel

No 67: the Victorian lady lumberjack.


Kit, an orphan, is forced to stow away on a ship from Liverpool to Canada following an unusual sequence of events that most significantly include: a) the death of her grandmother, b) a contemplative walk along the docks at twilight, c) a violent dispute over a crate of stolen oranges, which she unwittingly walks into. Arriving in Quebec, she disguises herself as a man in order to find work on a lumber farm. Her surprisingly light, agile build makes her the subject of much taunting by the other lumberjacks, but she can climb like a squirrel (/other, indigenous Canadian mammal), build excellent fires and speak surprisingly good French, thanks to her grandmother's wish that she receive a well-rounded education. But when the winter snow arrives and the ice forms, Kit starts to succumb to low spirits, frostbite and exhaustion. The lady wife of the farm's owner, beautiful yet listless, married to a stolid and unremarkable husband, has noticed Kit's unusual physical stature (and occasionally suspect French pronunciation) and understands her to be a young boy, far away from home for the first time (actually 75% correct). She has always yearned for a son. She invites Kit into the house to warm by the fire on one fiercely cold afternoon and the pair strike up an unlikely friendship. WHAT ON EARTH WILL HAPPEN NEXT, I WONDER?

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