Sunday, September 26, 2010

30 Day Book Meme - Day 09

Day 09 - Best scene ever: The reunion scene in Sharon Kay Penman's Here be Dragons.

Please be advised - there are spoilers in this blog post, so if you still haven't read Here Be Dragons and intend to do so, you might not want to read any further. Ok - that said, my favourite scene ever in a book is the reunion between Llewelyn and Joanna, close to the end. Though their marriage was for the most part a happy one and they genuinely loved each other, tensions did exist which, at one point, drove her into the arms of another man. Llewelyn banished her when he found out, and tried to move on with his life.

Meanwhile, Joanna spends her exile torn up with guilt and grief, so when Llewelyn comes to see her after close to a year apart, she once again begs for his forgiveness. Though his trust and heart were broken by her betrayal, he acknowledges that he was not perfect and realizes that his love for her is strong enough to overcome it. The moment when Llewelyn gives into his love for Joanna always brings me to tears, these lines in particular - as he makes his decision, after she asks if he yet knows what he will do about her:

"I've always known what I ought to do.' He reached for a starnd of her hair, entiwined it about his fingers. "But I know what I want to do."

"What?" she whispered, not daring to move, to risk breaking the spell.

"This," he said, and leaned toward her. The kiss was very gentle, almost tentative... (1)

No-one will ever really know the true feelings that existed in their very political marriage, but Penman's imagining of it has always rung true for me, especially given that Llewelyn established a monastery to honour Joanna at Llanfaes after her death in 1237.

What scene do you think is the best you've ever read?


(1) Penman, Sharon Kay. Here be Dragons. New York: Ballantine Books, 1985. Print. p. 678

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