Alas, I do not remember which of his books I read first. But Going Postal is my favorite among all the books I have ever read. Last year I had learned that the Brits made a video of it and was able to get from the library and it was respectable job, but to my recollection, did not capture what Pratchett’s writing manages like no other I have read: half the content of the book is not WHAT HE WRITES but what he DOESN’T WRITE. I have tried to put my finger on this for years without success. Until now. Now that I LISTENED to the book on CD read by a masterful narrator. He captures more than the words; he captures the meaning behind the words that is often different from what the words as written are actually on the page.
HE IS MY FAVORITE AUTHOR AND NOW I UNDERSTAND WHY! He makes me snort and laugh and giggle and have wry smiles and nod appreciatively and gasp in amazement when something so minor, so thrown away chapters ago becomes significant and masterfully portrays the cleverness of a particular character, or their steely determination, or their ability to read between the lines themselves.
In art it would be called negative and positive space. A good painting or photograph illustrates some subject, flowers or whatever, but the background — negative space — is incidental, or meant to disappear, hopefully in harmony and balance and not disjointed from the main subject. A great image integrates the negative and positive space so that the parts NOT THE SUBJECT are EQUALLY IMPORTANT TO THE COMPOSITION. For example, the space between the curve of a woman’s arm and her waist that forms a diamond that is repeated by the position of a space between her dress and the wall. The negative space defines the positive space as much if not more than the other way around.
Ordinary, even very good authors are excellent at positive space. Putting the words on the page, putting the best word on the page is even better, and using techniques like ending chapters on cliff hangers and switching scenes in the next so you have to go on to learn what happens. Even better authors gently and subtly put little hints of things to come, or more often state their intentions baldly, “If only I had known then. . . ”
Terry Pratchett’s writing is more like a weaving than a flat page in a book or a photograph.
As an example of ordinary writing, consider mystery stories. They start out with x, toss in a murder, throw in some red herrings and obstacles, and proceed to resolution, usually with the protagonist’s life being threatened, or loved ones, because the drama is presumed to be in the threat level. You can flip to the end and see if you guessed the antagonist correctly and decide if the journey is worth making or not. Too often lately, I have decided not, and turned to non-fiction. Even when I know how those books end (e.g. history), the pleasure is in the details of how we got there, with very frequent completely unexpected twists, and most shockingly to me, things happened in plain sight during my lifetime when I thought I was paying attention but it turns out I was clueless.
Terry Pratchett makes you enjoy every sentence, every word as if each were a treat to savor and listen to or read over again and again and still laugh anew (or feel sorrow, or rage, or satisfaction) every time in Going Postal in particular. Not a false note, nor too many, and every word serves a purpose.
From Going Postal by Terry Pratchett
Moist Von Lipwig (Protagonist) is speaking to Miss Dearheart, the cynical cigarette smoking woman love interest who is in charge of the golems making sure they are not abused as tireless workers (made of stone). He has the idea that they would make great workers for the post office, and he promises to treat them the same as all other workers with breaks, time off, and other things.
“Sweet,” said Miss Dearheart, lighting a cigarette. “Look, I’ll get you the rest of the golems as soon as possible. There may be trouble, of course. The watch will be on your side, though. There’s a free golem in the Watch and they rather like him, although here it doesn’t much matter what you’re made of when you join the Watch, because Commander Vimes will see to it that you become solid copper through and through. He’s the most cynical bastard that walks under the sun.”
— See what the author did there? Golems are made of stone, but the Watch is the police force in Ankh-Morpork, and police are coppers, so “what you’re made of” had multiple meanings from the literal made of stone become copper the material, to possibly alluding to bad people becoming good cops, and so on. ALL IN ONE SENTENCE. Brilliant!
“You think he’s cynical —“ said Moist.
“Yes,” she said, blowing smoke. “As you suspect, that’ practically a professional opinion. But thank you for hiring the boys I’m not sure they understand what ‘liking’ something means, but they like to work. And Pump 19 seems to hold you in some regard.”
— note the clever way he emphasizes Miss Dearheart’s own cynicism without coming right out and saying something cliche like “and that’s coming from a cynic” referring to herself. The nonchalant “blowing smoke” while obviously thinking some deep philosophical thoughts (do the golems understand the concept of liking as humans do?).
“I personally think you’re a phony.”
“Yes, I expect you do,” said Moist. Ye gods, Miss Dearheart was hard work. He’d met women he couldn’t charm, but they’d been foothill compared to the icy heights of Mt. Dearheart. It was an act. It had to be. It was a game. It had to be.
—I can just hear her casual dismissal of his character which as we readers know is very accurate indeed! So the author proves her to be intelligent, suspicious, cynical of course (“practically a professional” cynic), and really the one who is using Moist for some purpose rather than he using her for his scheming. The reader of the book on cd captured Miss Dearheart’s qualities perfectly!
Also note that Moist, the master of scams and false faces and games just finds it hard to imagine that she is just being herself without shining him on, or just flirting in an odd way. But the thing of it is, he is NOT SURE. This man who knows people so well and scams them ruthlessly, has met someone he just can’t get a sold read on.
He pulled out his packet of stamp designs.
“What do you think of these, Miss D — look, what do your friends call you, Miss Dearheat?”
And in his head Moist said to himself, I don’t know, just as the woman said: “I don’t know. What’s this? You carry your etchings with you to save time?”
—I just love how the author takes a classic trope of a seducer asking an innocent lady home to see his “etchings” which of course, are in the bedroom where the planned seduction would take place. Therefore, it is exceptionally amusing when she comments on this as a time-saver.
So it was a game, and he was invited to play.
“They will be copper-engraved, I hope,” he said meekly. “They’re my designs for the new stamps.” He explained about the stamps idea, while she looked at the pages.
“Good one of Vetinari,” she said.
—Lord Vetinari is the “tyrant” – or rather more of a benevolent dictator of sorts. The man who gave Moist the chance to redeem himself with the post office job. So of course Moist used the tyrant’s likeness on the one penny stamp! The paragraph continues:
“They say he dyes his hair, you know. What’s this one? Oh, the Tower of Art . . . how like a man. A dollar, eh? Yes, they’re quite good. When will you use them?”
“Actually, I was planning to slip along to Teemer and Spools while the lads are out now, and discuss the engraving,” said Moist.
“Good. They’re a decent firm,” she said. “Sluice 23 is turning the machinery for them. They keep him clean and don’t stick notices on him. I go and check on all the hired golems every week. The Frees are very insistent on that.”
“To make sure they’re not mistreated?” said Moist.
“To make sure they’re not forgotten. You’d be amazed at how many businesses in the city have a golem working somewhere on the premises. Not the Grand Trunk, though,” she added. “I won’t let them work there.”
There was an edge to that statement.
“Er . . . why not?” said Moist.
“There’s some shit not even a golem should work in,” said Miss Dearheart, in the same steel tone. “They are moral creatures.”
— mind you now, we are on page 163 and the plot is thickening so this is a major clue about the goings on at the Grand Trunk. Plus I love the way the author used “shit” for particular emphasis, and coming unexpectedly from the clearly morally upright Miss Dearheart, it has particular bite.
—The golems all were named for the jobs they had been assigned in the past, rather than having their own names. Hence “Pump 15” is the name of the golem working for Moist already. and “Sluice 23” working for the engravers.
O-kay, thought Moist, bit of a sore point there then?
His mouth said: “Would you like to have dinner tonight?” For just the skin of a second, Miss Dearheart was surprised, but not half as surprised as Moist. Then her natural cynicism reinflated.
“I like to have dinner every night. With you? No. I have things to do. Thank you for asking.”
“No problem,” said Moist, slightly relieved.
— how cool is that, he surprises himself by asking, and the author emphasizes that Moist would have been behaving out of character to his — now changing for the better — character. Even nicer, when I read the words and when I heard the narrator, there was NO CONTEMPT in Miss Dearheart’s refusal. Simply a state of fact. That made her a much better charter for it too.
The woman looked around the echoing hall. “Doesn’t this place give you the creeps? You could perhaps do something with some floral wallpaper and a firebomb.”
— Again, the juxtaposition of unexpected concepts. They are in the neglected post office building described in full messy glory throughout the story as it goes along, and she makes a “wallpaper” crack — both out of character for her tough as nails character, a bit of a play on the concept of the Discworld even having such a thing as “floral wallpaper” which would not be something one would expect to see in a commercial building in any case. Then it is topped off by a more realistic assessment of the massive work needed to clean the joint up with the classic “burn it down and start over” concept but beautifully and succinctly stated as “a firebomb.” SPOILER ALERT: this also is one of many subtle ways the author has of foreshadowing events to come. And when they do, you are still surprised. Only after rereading, I think, does the reader truly appreciate the breadcrumbs tossed about throughout the story.
“It’s all going to be sorted out,” said Moist quickly. “But it’s best to get things moving as soon as possible. To show we’re in business.”
—- ha ha ha “sorted out” what a brilliant word choice for a post office mess.
They watched Stanley and Groat, who were patiently sorting at the edge of a pile, prospectors in the foothills of the postal mountain. They were dwarfed by the white hillocks.
“It will take you forever to deliver them, you know,” said Miss Dearheart, turning to go.
“Yes, I know,” said Moist.
“But that’s the thing about golems,” added Miss Dearheart, standing in the doorway. The light caught her face oddly. “They’re not frightened of ‘forever.’ They’re not frightened of anything,”
[end of chapter 6, page 164]
Note WE STILL DON’T HAVE ANOTHER NAME FOR MISS DEARHEART. Bet you forgot in all the subsequent chatter! The author did NOT FORGET. Or maybe he was fiendishly clever and planned the nickname and then added that bit about the name back here as another bit of foreshadowing. The author was a genius. I mourn his loss more than many.
page 228 Moist has dinner date with Miss Dearheart. He goes to the Mended Drum bar where there is a fight going on, but not the usual bar brawl:
You couldn’t just haul off and belt someone with an ax these days. People expected things of a bar brawl. As he went in, Moist passed a large group of men of the broken-nosed, one-eared persuasion, ben in anxious conclave:
“Look, Bob, what part of this don’t you understand, eh? It’s a matter of style, okay? A proper brawl doesn’t just happen. You don’t just pile in, not anymore. Now, Oyster Dave here — put your helmet back on, Dave — will be the enemy in front, and Basalt, who, as we know, don’t need a helmet, he’ll be the the enemy coming up behind you. Okay, it’s well past knuckles time, let’s say Gravy there has done his thing with the Bench Swipe, there’s a bit of knife play, we’ve done the whole Chandelier Swing number, blah blah blah, then Second Chair —that’s you, Bob — you step smartly between their Number Five man and a Bottler, swing the chair back over our head, like this — sorry, Pointy —and then swing it right back onto Number Five, then a chair won’t even slow him down, but don’t fret, hand on to the bits that stay in your hand, pause one moment as he comes at you, and then belt hims across both ears. They hate that, as Stronginthearm here will tell you. Another three points. It’s probably going to be freestyle after that but I want all of you including Mucky Mick and Crispo, to try for a Double Andrew when it gets down to the fist-fighting again. Remember? You back into each other, turn around to give the other guy a thumping, cue moment of humorous recognition then link left arms, swing round and see to the other fellow’s attacker, foot or fist, it’s your choice. Fifteen points right there if you get it to flow just right. Oh, and remember we’ll have an Igor standing by so if your arm gets taken off do pick it up and hit the other bugger with it, it gets a laugh and twenty points. On that subject, do remember what I said about getting everything tattooed with your name, all right? Igors do their best, but you’ll be on your feet much quicker if you make lie easier for him and, what’s more, it’s your feet you’ll be on. Okay positions, everyone, let’s run through it again . . .”
—Igors, in case you didn’t guess are a version of doctors, known for being able to sew body parts back on again, yours or someone else’s does not really matter. Most people associate Igor with a hunchbacked lab assistant to Dr. Frankenstein, but it is more complicated than that as Wikipedia discusses. The same article cites Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series featuring Igors characterizing them as:
page 229 and onward continues:
Moist sidled past the group and scanned the huge room. The important thing was not to slow down. Slowing down attracted people.
He saw a thin plume of blue smoke rise above the crow, and forced his way through.
Mis Dearheart was sitting alone at a very small table with a very small drink in front of her. She couldn’t have been there long, the only other stool was unoccupied.
“Do you come in here often?” said Moist, slipping onto it quickly.
Mis Dearheart raised her eyebrows at him.
“Yes. Why not?”
“Well, I . . . I imagine it’s not very safe for a woman on her own.”
“What, with all these big strong men here to protect me? Why don’t you go and get your drink?”
Moist got to the bar eventually, by dropping a handful of small change on the floor. That usually cleared the crush a little.
When he returned, his seat was occupied by a Currently Friendly Drunk. Moist recognized the type, and the operative word was “currently.” Miss Dearheart was leaning back to avoid his attentions and , more probably , his breath.
Moist hear the familiar cry of the generously sloshed.
“What . . . right? What I’m saying is, right, what I’m saying narhmean, why won’t you, right, gimme a kis, right? All I’m saying is —“
Oh gods, I’m going to have to do something, Moist thought. He’s big and he’s got a sward like a butcher’s cleaver and the moment I say anything he’s going to go right into stage four, Violent Undirected Madman, and they can be surprisingly accurate before they fall over.
He put down his drink.
Miss Dearheart gave him a very brief look, and shook her head. There was a movement under the table, a small, fleshy kind of noise, and the drunk suddenly bent forward, color draining from his face. Probably only the man and Moist heard Miss Dearheart purr: “What is sticking in you foot is a Mitzy ‘Pretty Lucretia’ four-inch heel, the most dangerous footwear in the world. Considered as pound pre square inch, it’s like being trodden by a very pointy elephant. Now, I know what you’re thinking: you’re thinking, ‘Could she press it all the way through to the floor?’ And, you know, I’m not sure about that myself. The sole of your boot might give me a bit of trouble, but nothing else will. But that’s not the worrying part. The worrying part is that I was forced practically at knifepoint to take ballet lessons as a child, which means I can kick like a mule; you are sitting in front of me; and I have another shoe. Good, I can see you have worked that out. I’m going to withdraw the heel now.”
There was a small pop from under the table. With great care, the man stood up, turned, and lurked unsteadily away, without so much as a backward glance.
“Can I bother you? said Moist. Miss Dearheart nodded, and he sat down, with his legs crossed.
“He was only a drunk,” Moist ventured.
“Yes, men say that sort of thing,” said Miss Dearheart. “Anyway, tell me that if I hadn’t done that you wouldn’t be now trying to collect all your teeth in your hat. Which you are not wearing, I notice. this must be your secret identity. Sorry, was that the wrong thing to say? You spilled your drink.
Moist wiped beer off his lapel.
“No, this is me,” he said. “Pure and unadorned.”
“You hardly know me and yet you invited me out on a date,” said Miss Dearheart. “Why?”
Because you called me a phony, Moist thought. You saw through me straight away. Because you don’t nail my hear to the door with your crossbow. Because you have no small talk. Because I’d like to get to know you better even though it would be like smooching an ashtray. Because I wonder if you could put into the rest of your life the passion you put into smoking a cigarette. In defiance of Miss Maccalariat I’d like to commit hanky-panky with you, Miss Adora Belle Dearheart . . . well, certainly hanky, and possibly pay when we get to know each other better. I’d like to know as much about your soul as you know about mine . . .
He said “Because I hardly know you.”
“If it comes to that, I hardly know you, either,” said Miss Dearheart.
“I’m rather banking on that,” said Moist. This got a smile.
“Smooth answer, slick. Where are we really eating tonight?”
“Le Foie Heureux, of course,” said Moist.
She looked genuinely surprised. “You got a reservation?”
“You’ve got a relative that works there then? You’re blackmailing the maître d’?”
“No. But I’ve got a table for tonight,” said Moist.
“Then it’s some sort of trick,” said Miss Dearheart. I’m impressed. But I’d better warn you, enjoy the meal. It may be your last.”
“The Grand Trunk Company kills people, Mr. Lipwig. In all kinds of ways. You must be getting on Reacher gilt’s nerves.”
“Oh come on! I’m barely a wasp at their picnic!”
“And what do people do to wasps, do you think?” said Miss Dearheart. “The Trunk is in rouble, Mr. Libpwig. Th company has been running it as a machine for making moeny. They thought repair would be cheaper than maintenance. They’ve cut everything to the bone, to the bone. They’re people who can’t take a joke. Do you think Reacher Gilt will hesitate for one minute to swat you?”
“But I’m being very —” Moist tried.
“Do you think you are playing a game with them? Ringing doorbells and running away? Gilt’s aiming to become Patrician one day, everyone says so. And suddenly there’s this . . . idiot in a big gold hat reminding everyone what a mess the clacks is, poking fun at it, getting the Post Office working again —”
“Hang on, hang one,” Moist managed. “This is a city, not some cow town somewhere! People don’t kill business rivals just like that, do they?”
“In Ankh-Morpork? You really think so? Oh, he won’t kill you. He won’t even bother with the formality of going through the Guild of Assassins. You’ll just die. Just like my brother. And he’ll be behind it.”
— This is some of the best writing ever! If you haven’t read the book, you won’t see all the little clues, and foreshadowing, and more, but I’m not going to spoil that delight for you.
Page 237+ has the next best bit:
Attitude was everything. Moist had studied attitude. Some of toehold nobility had it. It was the total lack of any doubt that things would go the way they expected things to go.
—They go to dinner at the fancy restaurant that was the subject of a bet earlier. They have been seated. Moist pulled a bit of a scam to get the seats by using the Evil Protagonist, Gilt’s name. He unexpectedly arrives at the restaurant as well.
She froze, staring over his shoulder. He saw her right hand scrabble frantically among the cutlery and grab a knife.
“That bastard has just walked into the place!” she hissed. “Reacher Gilt! I’ll just kill him and join you for the pudding . . .”
“You can’t do that!” hissed Moist.
“Oh? Why not?”
“You’re using the wrong knife! That’s for the fish! You’ll get into trouble!”
She glared at him, but her hand relaxed, and something like a smile appeared on her face.
“They don’t have a knife for stabbing rich, murdering bastards?” she said.
“They bring it to the table when you order one,” said Moist urgently. “Look, this isn’t the Drum, they don’t just throw the body into the river! They’ll call the Watch! Get a grip. Not on the knife! And get ready to run.”
“Because I forged his signature on Grand Trunk notepaper to get us in here, that’s why.”
Moist turned to look around at the great man in the flesh for the first time. He was great, a bear-shaped man, in a frock coat big enough for two, and a gold-braided waistcoat. And he had a cockatoo on his shoulder, although a waiter was hurrying forward with a shiny brass perch, and, presumably, the seed-and-nut menu.
there was a party of well-dressed people with Gilt, and as they progressed across the room the whole place began to revolve around the big man, gold being very dense and having a gravity all of its own. Waiters bustled and groveled and did unimportant things with an air of great importance, and it was probably only a matter of minutes before one of them told Gilt that his other guests had been seated. But Moist was scanning the rest of the room for the — ah, there they were, two of them. What was it about hired muscle that made it impossible to get a suit to fit?
One was watching the door, one was watching the room, and without a shadow of a doubt there was a least one in the kitchen.
— and yes, the maître d’ was earning his tip by assuring the great man that his friends had been duly looked after —
–the big head, with its leonine mane, turned to stare at Moist’s table —
–Miss Dearheart murmured, “Oh gods, he’s coming over!”–
–and Moist stood up. The red fists had shifted position. They wouldn’t actually do anything in here, but nor would anyone else be worried if he was escorted out with speed and firmness for a little discussion in some able somewhere. Gilt was advancing between the tables, leaving his puzzled guests behind.
This was a job for people skills, or diving through the window. But Gilt would have to be at least marginally polite. People were listening.
“Mr. Reacher Gilt?” said Moist.
“Indeed, sir,” said Gilt, grinning without a trace of humor. “But you appear to have me at a disadvantage.”
“I do hope not, sir,” said Moist.
“It appears that I asked the restaurant to retain a table for you, Mr. . . . Lipwig?”
“Did you, Mr. Gilt?” said Moist, with what he knew was remarkable persuasive innocence. “We arrived in the hope that there might be a spare table and were astonished to there was!”
“Then at least one of us has been made a fool of, Mr. Lipwig,” said Gilt. “But tell me . . . are you truly Mr. Moist von Lipwig, the postmaster?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Without your hat?”
Moist coughed. “It’s not actually compulsory,” he said.
The big face observed him in silence, and then a hand like a steelworker’s glove was thrust forward.
“I am very pleased to meet you at last, Mr. Lipwig. I trust your good luck will continue.”
Moist took the hand and, instead of the bone-crushing grip he was expecting, felt the firm handshake of an honorable man and looked into the steady, hones, one-eyed gaze of Reacher Gilt.
Moist had worked hard at his profession and considered himself pretty good at, but if he had been wearing his hat, he would have taken it off right now. He was in the presence of a master. He could feel it in the hand, see it in that one commanding eye. Are things otherwise, he would have humbly begged to be taken on as an apprentice scrub the man’s floors, cook his food, just to sit at the feet of greatness and learn how to do the three-card trick using whole banks. If Moist was any judge, any judge at all, the man in front of him was the biggest fraud he’d ever met. And he advertised it. That was . . . style. The pirate curls, the eyepatch, even the damn parrot. Twelve and a half percent, for heaven’s sake, didn’t anyone spot that? He told them what he was, and they laughed and loved him for it. It was breaking. If Moist von Lipwig had been a career killer, it would have been like meeting a man who’s devised a way to destroy civilizations.
All this came in an instant, in one bolt of understanding, in the glint of an eye. But something ran in front of it as fast as a little fish ahead of a shark.
Gilt was shocked, not surprised. That tiny moment was barely measurable by any clock, but just for an instant the world had gone wrong for Reacher Gilt. That moment had been wiped out so competently that all that remained of it was Moist’s crating that it had happened, but the certainty was ridig.
He was loath to let go of the hand in case there was a flash that might broil him alive. After all, he had recognized the nature of Gilt, so the must certainly have spotted him.
Thank you, Mr. Gilt,” he said.
“I gather you were kind enough to carry some of our messages today,” Gilt rumbled.
“It was a pleasure, sir. If ever you need our help, you only have to ask.”
“Hmm,” said gilt. “But the least I can do is buy you dinner, Postmaster. The bill will come to my table. Choose whatever you wish. And now, if you will excuse me, I must attend to my . . . other guests.”
He bowed to the simmering Miss Dearheart and walked back.
“The management would like to than you for not killing the guests,” said Moist, sitting down.. . .
–I think it is marvelous that he doesn’t bring out the antagonist until page 238! And then has such a great meeting between the two of them, Moist the hero and Gilt, the bad guy.
Finally we get to learn the nickname Moist decides on for Miss Dearheart, with her permission of course.
“My lovely Miss Dearheart,” said Moist, smiling madly at her. “Do you have any other name? Some pet name or nickname, some delightful little diminutive you don’t mind being called?”
“Are you drunk? she demanded.
“Unfortunately, no,” said Moist. “But I’d like to be. Well, Miss Dearheart? I even rescued my best suit!”
She was clearly taken aback, but an answer escaped before natural cynicism could bar the door. “My brother used to call me . . . er . . ”
“Killer,” said Miss Dearheart. “But he meant it in a nice way. Don’t you even think about using it.”
“How about Spike?”
“Spike? We-el, I could live with Spike,” said Miss Dearheart. “So you will, too. But this is not the time for dancing — ”
“On the contrary, Spike,” said Moist, beaming in the firelight, “this is just the time. . . . .
–Not to hammer the point, but isn’t that delightful! Spike with the reference to her spiked heel shoes about a hundred pages ago? I just love how he does this throughout all his books.
Just to end on a few of my favorite mannerisms that the author gave to the principle character controlling all of Ank-Morpork, Lord Vetinari, here are two of his droll comments:
p. 358 he orders and audit, the banks and other businesses of Gilt shut down, and jailing the board members of Gilt’s businesses:
“You can’t do that!” Greenyham protested weakly, but the fire had drained out of him. Mr. Stowley had collapsed on the floor, with his head in his hands.
“Can I not?” said Vetenari. “I am a tyrant. It’s what we do.”
and a bit later on p. 362:
“The Grand Trunk will remain closed in the interim,” said Lord Vetinari.
“It’s private property!” Greenyham burst out.
“Tyrant, remember,” said Vetinari alsmot cheerfully. ‘But I’m sure that the audit will serve to sort out at least some aspects of this mystery.
It probably would be good to start the Discworld series at the start because the characters all form a cast that carries on throughout so that way you get to know them and the sly witticisms derived from the characters are even more funny.
But Going Postal is a work of genius worth owning and reading and rereading. I would also recommend the cd that is so very well read if you can afford it or check with your library. Ask them to buy it if they don’t have it on cd already or use interlibrary loan. Worth every minute to hear the story.
Oh my gosh. I am sure I figured this out the first time I read it too, but something about Miss Dearheart’s name was nagging at me to mention, beyond the obvious use of a charming name to indicate her as a love interest. Her first name is Adora and her middle name is Belle. Get to? Adorable!
Similarly, Gilt is aptly named. One letter away from Guilt. Gilt makes me think of gold trimmed edges and surfaces that are done with gold, so that makes me thing of riches of places and another variation, gilding. Then his first name is Reacher, which has all kinds of associations: grasping, striving, reaching, and so on, so you get all kinds of subliminal associations with his name demonstrating that he is a man who is guilty of grabbing gold from others by “reaching out and taking it.”
Fantastic book, author, and series. Check it out!