Sherri Smith’s Orleans (pgs. 70-159)

“I look down at baby Girl in my arms. She look peaceful. Probably because it so warm in here.  “What do you think?” I ask her. Ain’t like she gonna answer, though. She wiggle at the sound of my voice, and I wonder what her mama’d think of me leaving her here. “These folks used to handling babies,” I tell her. Maybe I stay on a little while to make sure it all right, then I make my own way. Lydia want a better life for her daughter. I look around the dim little church. It ain’t paradise, but it be safe above the ground, protected as a church. No blood hunters burning her out of here in the middle of the night.”( Smith p.81-82)

We see in this passage Fen talking to Baby Girl but since she cannot answer him; she’s having a conversation with herself out loud. She needs to make a big decision here about leaving Baby Girl in this church. Baby Girl isn’t just a baby to Fen; she means a lot to her being that she is Lydia’s daughter and she cares a lot about her safety. Fen also understands Baby Girl’s loss because she also lost her parents at the hands of the hunters. If it was not Lydia, Fen would have had nowhere to be and no one to look after her. There is a parallel between Fen taking care of Baby Girl and Lydia taking care of Fen.

As Fen is thinking out loud she believes this is the best place for Baby Girl to stay. She asks herself what Lydia would think of her leaving Baby Girl here. Fen realizes that this church is not the best place to put Baby Girl, but being that it is above ground and safe from blood hunters, it is a secure place for Baby Girl to stay at.

When we think of churches we think of security; since this is a place of worship where people can go to seek repentance from god and ask god for help and guidance. Smith makes the reader get a good vibe about this church being a safe place for Baby Girl to stay at. But then all of a sudden towards the end of the chapter we see a change of events occurring when, Fen finds out that the food they gave them to eat and everyone else in the church was drugged due to the smell of the incense. The reader then finds out that this church is one of Mama Gentille’s houses, and Fen explains that before she was under the care of Lydia she was one of those girls and her scars prove it. This makes the reader question what’s the story behind Fen’s scars. This serves as a cliff hanger, making the reader what to know what will happen next to Fen and baby Girl.

~ Sara Aldaghady


2 thoughts on “Sherri Smith’s Orleans (pgs. 70-159)

  1. I like how you brought up churches in this scene. Churches are mentioned numerous times throughout the novel, and are obviously significant to the main character, Fen. These places are like a safe haven and offer solace to its members, and this led Fen to even enter Mama Gentille’s church. I also like how you mentioned foreshadowing the excerpt. When Fen indicated her scars, I wondered what the story was behind them and it made me keep reading.

    Nicole Schmalz


  2. I really liked this scene in the book because I think it really put the conflict that Fen was experiencing in perspective for the readers. Fen wants Baby Girl to be safe but as she thinks about what Lydia would do she seems conflicted. I like the fact that you point out the parallel between Lydia taking care of Fen and Fen taking care of Baby Girl.


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