Balance of Fragile Things: A Novel

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We worry neither for the small things nor the large things but rather for the now things.

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In order to observe her closely, one must make amends with solitude. Not by walking alone but by approaching her with a singularity of mind and the purest of intentions. She delights in our awe, when we come to her without vanity or an architect's eye.

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She mourns us, too. You can see it in the wings of the swallowtail as she soars with a melancholic flight from one flower to the next.

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Fragile Things

There is a desire for an audience that somehow is lost on those who can no longer see the smallest things. Does she wish for sun? It is wrong to assume she has disconnected from us. Each time we walk past an oak, mourning cloak, field of springtime grass, or newly snowcapped mountain, she sees. To be human is to be a part of nature.

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To feel separate is to be the anomaly. In her presence we feel the sorrows of modernity fall away like the chrysalis giving way to time. In her presence we feel once more hers, a thing belonging—simultaneously a child and an elder.

Why would we watch a butterfly? When we don't have time to look up and cannot let go of modernity, why would we try? These delicate things are indicators of the forest's health.

Neil Gaiman. Fragile Things Short Fictions and Wonders

They tell stories of flood and drought. Their wings are maps to worlds unseen. They are cartographers and pollinators.

When the forest and soil are healthy, they are, too. Adults lay their eggs on one kind of plant. The caterpillars eat that one kind of plant. They mummify themselves on one type of plant. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know? How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story?

What events trigger such changes?

1. TELL THE PLOT TO SOMEONE WHO ISN’T A WRITER

Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? I must confess, I have never read a full length novel by Edwards though I intend to rectify that omission.


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