When Bella returns with a sleeping Renesmee to the house, Edward is playing her lullaby on the piano to welcome her home — something he hasn’t done since Alice left. Bella sort of feels like crying again, because, although everyone in the house seems so hopeful now, she knows from her trip to Seattle that they’re all doomed. DOOMED.
Bella feeds Edward a lie about how she popped out of Charlie’s to do some Christmas shopping for Renesmee — and then produces a little antique golden locket with “more than my own life” inscribed in French on it. (Dramatic much?)
Bella wants to play-fight with Emmett a bit since she lost a whole day of training to her outing, but Edward insists she can train tomorrow; he wants to take her and Baby home to their cozy cottage. Bella tries to look on the bright side of things — it looks like the Cullens will put up a good enough fight to allow Jacob and Renesmee to escape. And, at least she and Eddie-kins will die (or whatever it is sparklepires do) together.
Then we do one of SMeyer’s random fast-forwards again — to Christmas. Bella, Ed, Nessie and Jake pay a visit to Charlie’s. Renesmee gets some new jewelry — Mommy’s locket, and a Quileute version of a promise ring from Jacob — and an MP3 player from Daddy. Charlie gets a fishing sonar system. Bella spends most of the time being worried about the Impending Volturi Attack of Doom and trying to feign happiness. Nothing new there. She knows she’ll have to leave instructions for Jacob soon, along with “Sorry-I’m-dead-now” letters for her family members.
When they return to the Cullen house, there’s some sort of argument going on inside. Edward notes that Alastair is gone. And, when they get inside, they find a ring of sparklepires surrounding Amun, Carlizzle and Benjamin (AKA Captain Planet). Amun is hissing.
We learn that Alastair has left, and Amun wants to follow suit. But Captain Planet and his mate Tia want to stay, so Amun is all pissy and blaming Carlizzle for stealing his play-things. Amun finally announces that he’ll stay, but that if it comes down to a fight, he may well fight alongside the Volturi to save his own glittery skin.
So why did Alastair leave? The consensus is that he feared an unavoidable fight. He was convinced that, no matter what the Cullens prove about Renesmee, the Volturi are planning to fight. And, not wanting to side with the Volturi and fight against his buddy Carlizzle, Alastair opted instead to slink away.
The majority of the other sparklepires are uneasy with this idea — what, the Volturi using their immense power and influence for EVIL and PERSONAL GAIN?!? The creepy Romanians, however, are positively giddy. They agree with Alastair — the Volturi have too much to gain by “collecting” certain members of the Cullen clan to simply walk away.
Everyone starts pledging themselves to fighting the Volturi — the Romanians, Tia and Captain Planet, Tanya and her clan, Garrett the Nomad, Jacob (and the rest of the pack members), etc. — and we feel like perhaps it’s supposed to be dramatic and moving, but it isn’t.
Then everyone disperses, and Bella, Eddie-kins and Jacob go out to hunt. Bella is thinking about Demetri, and how he’ll probably track Edward in order to find the Cullens during the Impending Volturi Attack of Doom. She wonders if he’ll realize that he’s unable to track her. And then she starts freaking out. What if she can’t use her shield to protect anybody? What if her shield has secret holes in it? After all, Renesmee is able to project her thoughts into Mommy’s mind, and she shouldn’t be able to!!
Edward tells Bella to take a chill pill; Remesmee is, after all, Bella’s daughter. Plus, he already considered this phenomenon long ago. Bella is apparently still slow, and dumb. It’s Edward’s theory that Renesmee took both Mommy and Daddy’s talents, and flipped them. Daddy can read everyone’s minds; Renesmee can project thoughts into everyone’s minds. Mommy keeps everyone out; nobody can keep Renesmee out. Speshul baby.
Edward guesses that very few shields would even work on Renesmee. Which could help them out with the Volturi. If the Volturi will pause long enough to listen.
Best Worst Lines
“I wondered idly now and then if there would be anything for us on the other side. I knew Edward didn’t really believe so, but Carlisle did. I couldn’t imagine it myself. On the other hand, I couldn’t imagine Edward not existing somehow, somewhere.” (652)
“I hadn’t seen my mother since the wedding, but I found I could only be glad for the gradual distancing that had begun two years ago. She was too fragile for my world.”
“The vampires glanced uneasily at one another. The idea that the Volturi would manipulate their own sacrosanct law for gain was not a popular idea.” (Who uses “sacrosanct” in everyday speech? Seriously.)
“’My shield has holes, Edward!’” (663)
Things That Really Irk Us
Bella is back to being super-angsty, up from the mild-angsty she’s been for the last few chapters.
The fact that, yet again, nothing happened in this chapter. Bella worries a lot, one sparklepire leaves, and everybody pledges to fight. BORING.
That it took Bella THIS LONG to realize that Renesmee can break through her shield.
Just one word: BOTHERED.Go to Chapter 35.