Thirty seconds can be very long sometimes.
Describe your feelings when Valancy’s shoe is stuck in the railroad track.
I felt just as frantic as she did--scared, worried for Barney, desperate. I love suspenseful parts in stories like that. And, the first time I read it, it had seemed so unexpected. I don't remember any other L.M. Montgomery work having such a pressing, immediate danger situation. Except perhaps Emily on the bit of cliff overhang. Or Neil's axe life-threat to Eric (which we didn't really know until it was practically over). While those were scary and a bit intense for me, it was nothing like a train around a bend bearing down on Valancy!! And Valancy stuck because of a foolish little heel.
This is one of my favorite parts of the story. My copy doesn't just fall open to that section--it falls out. Yep. A little chunk of one of my 3 most favorite parts to read over and over again. So much happens to me mentally and emotionally when I read those few and well-written words. It's a good author who can make so much happen in so little text.
There was only one thought in her dazed mind—an thought that seemed to burn it as a shaving of fire might burn her body.
What were your immediate thoughts after Barney saved Valancy?
Another good sign of an author--she had me going right along with Valancy's feelings. My first time reading all I could think was "Oh no!! The happiness is gone. What is going to happen? What is Barney thinking? Oh, he really will think she tricked him. Oh, what to do, what to do!" (And, yes, seeing as I was about 13 or 14, I probably was that melodramatic and italicized. I've since calmed down in both...a little.) At no point in my first reading did I think anything else. I love that even when I re-read that part as often as I do, while I now know what Barney is thinking, I can still see why Valancy is so distraught and still feel a little twinge of that again.
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