I’ve been doing a little bit of work on my novel, Heart’s Desire (this is just a working title) and changing the POV. I haven’t been doing it in the order I have written, when I sit down to have a look at it I simply read a section and consider how Rose would react in that situation, how she would feel and what she would say.
Today I was looking at the first chapter where Thomas is arguing with his grandmother, with him making it clear that Rose is part of the family whether she likes it or not.
I thought this argument provided an important insight into Agnes’ feelings about her grandson’s choice of wife and her feelings towards Rose, a woman who in her eyes is nothing more than a stain on the family name.
I began considering the feelings Rose would have if she overheard this conversation. I decided she would be aware of the animosity Agnes felt towards her, but Agnes’ words would still hurt. I considered that Rose would storm into the room and give Agnes a piece of her mind, but I decided that despite Rose’s “common” upbringing, storming into a room and yelling at an elderly woman is definitely not something that she would do. Rose may not have the breeding and social standing that is associated with the Heath family, but she is polite, kind and well educated due to her love of reading.
So instead I decided that Rose would overhear the argument, after hearing the unfamiliar and stern tone of Thomas’ voice and feeling guilty for eavesdropping, she can’t help but listen to the argument between Thomas and his Grandmother.
It is in this early moment that Rose begins to fully understand Agnes’ opinion of her, she also sees a side of Thomas that she has never really seen, one of anger and frustration as she witnesses the strain of the relationship between Thomas and his grandmother.
So here is a small excerpt that I have been working on, you may recognise the dialogue from earlier blog posts, but this time Rose’s POV is included.
“Grandmother, she is my wife now, she is part of the family whether you like it or not. And she is coming with us. I don’t want to hear another word about it. This discussion is over.”
I don’t make a habit of eavesdropping, but the tone of his voice caught my attention and I took a tentative step towards the sitting room door, which was left ajar. I knew his relationship with his grandmother was strained, but I have never heard him speak to anyone in that manner. The stern tone was not to be argued with, but Agnes Mary Heath is not one to back down so easily and I knew the discussion was not over.
“Thomas William Heath, I am not finished. That girl may be your wife, but she is also a commoner, she is from a working class and she would be more comfortable with her own people. The girl must feel terribly out of sorts in the surroundings that we have grown accustomed to. It wasn’t fair on her, on you, bringing her here like you did. You should have let her go. She is just a girl.”
Her words stung, she had never made an effort to hide her dislike for me. She detested my common background and lack of social standing. Her main concern being the fallout on her own social standing with her grandson’s choice of wife being looked poorly upon by others who believe it wrong and uncouth to mix with commoners such as myself.
Our courtship and recent marriage was a much gossiped about topic in his grandmother’s social circles.
For a brief moment I thought about storming into the room and letting her know that I did not appreciate the way she spoke about me, but I am not the type of person who enjoys confrontation. Also, it would not help her opinion of me if I went storming into a room and yelled at an elderly woman, effectively incriminating myself for eavesdropping. Instead I stood quietly and listened.
“Rose is not a girl, she is a woman and I am a man. It was my choice to court her, it was my choice to ask for her hand and it was her choice to accept my proposal. The choices we made were for love, not for social standing, something which you would clearly not comprehend, dear grandmother.”
I slowly let out the breath that I was subconsciously holding, I knew he would be at my defence, but actually hearing him say the words was a relief, something that reinforced his love for me.
“Did you ever stop and think maybe it’s not love that your Dear Rose is after?”
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