Like most people my age, I watch too much YouTube. I'll admit that. I'll even watch the weird things that pop up on my "suggested videos" feed for no reason, like that one song about an axolotl that turned into a salamander by drinking something. While axolotls actually do turn into salamanders if they consume a large enough quantity of iodine, why someone felt the need to make a song about it is beyond me.
I prefer to stick to videos that are a bit more sophisticated. Like movie theories.
One of my favorite channels at this point is The Theorizer. He does theories on everything from Disney and Pixar movies to live-action movies. He analyzes physics, genetics, and nearly impossible-to-see details in a way that's compelling and convincing, not to mention extremely interesting. (Except for when he gets into science stuff--go ahead and point out the attached earlobes, Mr. Theorizer, but don't spend half the video on them.)
One thing people don't really talk about, though, are book theories.
Of course, the great sagas like Harry Potter get some noteworthy mentions on the internet. Stuff like "What went on in the Hogwarts dormitories that no one mentions in the books?" But your average book, or one that hasn't hit its moment of greatness quite yet, gets rather little attention from theorists. That's why I'm making things a bit easier for you.
This will do at least for a mental exercise. For those of you who have read Where the Clouds Catch Fire (which is available in softcover and on Kindle by clicking the "purchase" tab above), you may recall this line from Alynn's father, Rowan McNeil:
"Last night, I told everyone good-bye. My parents, Libby, Louisa and Britta--everyone else I've seen buried here. It--it really makes you think, how blessed you are to have what you still do."
Quite obviously, everyone mentioned in that quote is dead. Louisa and Britta are later mentioned as Alynn's sisters--Rowan's daughters--who died in infancy. Rowan's reference to his parents is self-explanatory, but who is this Libby?
When asked about her family, Alynn never mentions her. It could be that Libby died before Alynn was born, or before she was old enough to really know her. Alynn does mention her mother, but not by name. Could it be that Libby was the name of Alynn's mother? You'll figure out the answer to that once you get to chapter five, so while we're here, let's bounce around a few more ideas.
The strange thing about Rowan is that we don't know much about him at all. Alynn's mother came from a large family that had lived in Limerick for many generations. Rowan was just a drifter who ended up there. We don't know where he came from, or what family he had. It might be that Libby was a sister, a cousin, a niece, or a young aunt--large Irish Catholic families tend to be a bit confusing. But why mention only her? Surely he had more than one sibling or cousin.
Perhaps Libby wasn't related to the family at all, but more of a friend. Perhaps Rowan had loved someone before he had met Alynn's mother, but she had died before or shortly after their wedding. It would explain why Rowan took the loss of Alynn's mother as hard as he did. To lose one bride is devastating enough, but to lose two? Ouch.
I know who Libby is, of course. Perhaps I'll give you some new clues in my next book.
Who do you think Libby is? What's your favorite theory about a book or movie? Let me know in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.