We’re going to jump right into the last section of Dust: Heirs of Neverland #1, by Kara Swanson. There were a few big reveals and the two main characters (Peter and Claire) both had big defining moments.
First, let’s try to get the background straight, thanks to many answered questions…
Claire and Connor are from Neverland. Peter was jealous of their magical connection to the place, and he brought them to the real world and abandoned them. But for some reason Neverland couldn’t survive without them, so he tried to get them back, but Claire didn’t believe. Peter told Connor to stop crying about something he doesn’t specify and to grow up (the worst!). And then Connor “went on a rampage, nearly splitting the island in two.”
N/Nibs was to keep tabs on Claire so that they could use her to get back to Connor. After she jumped out of a window, they realized they had to wait for her to be ready. And so way back in chapter 1, Nibs sent Claire the security camera footage of Hook and Connor at the airport, as well as their destination.
Peter’s story is about learning to take responsibility. He has great power in Neverland, but because he refuses to grow up, he doesn’t have the maturity to handle that power responsibly. In the beginning of these chapters, he again drove Claire away with his emotional immaturity. He suddenly realized that it was his fault – and he had never admitted that anything was his fault before.
In the last chapter, Jeremy Darling got involved. He wanted to keep the peace between the two worlds without having anything to do with Neverland. Lily convinced him that his interference was needed in this crisis. But first, Peter had to come clean. He remembered Claire’s words to him earlier: “You live in this made-up place where you can do whatever you want and don’t have to bother with how it may hurt others.” And he realized that to save Neverland, he had to take responsibility for his part in destroying it, for what he did to Connor.
Claire’s story is about hope. “Hope is a little like pixie dust—it shines brightest in the darkness and makes the soul soar.” Despite being betrayed, lied to, manipulated, and fought over, she still believes that she can save her brother. It is the hope of being reunited with him and belonging somewhere that keeps her going. Her self-doubt could keep her from being able to do any of this, but the hope she holds onto overcomes.
She was thrilled to identify herself with the gold, healing, gravity-defying pixie dust, after seeing her dust only as deadly and destructive before. Reconciling the two halves of the dust was difficult for her. She remembered her conversation with Lily (was that just the night before?): “You were created for more than to bear the weight of your shadows—but you have to choose to no longer let them define you. You have to choose to let the light shine through the shattered pieces.” After losing control of her dust again, she was able to choose light and heal the injuries she gave Peter. She said, “If the stars could speak, maybe they’d say this is who I really am. A girl of stardust and shadow, who chooses to let light heal the broken pieces.”
Claire’s story doesn’t end here because there’s another book expected to release next month (Shadow: Heirs of Neverland #2). But this half of her story at least ends with more hope: “And despite the strangeness of it all, despite this world that I have never set foot on…Here there is hope.”
Join me in the comments! What are your thoughts as we close this book? Will you be reading the second one?
June 27-July 3 will be Sabbath week at Velvet Ashes. We will be pausing our normal rhythms to give space for rest and refreshment.
July our focus will turn to the Olympic Games! We will be reading Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian- My Story of Rescue, Hope and Triumph by Yusra Mardini.
“The inspiring story of how one woman saved fellow refugees from drowning—and how she went on to become an Olympic swimmer and competed in 2016 on the Refugee Olympic Team in Rio de Janeiro.
Butterfly tells her story, from Syria to the Olympics to her current work with the UN as a Goodwill Ambassador. Mardini is eager to tell her story in the hopes that readers will remember that refugees are ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, chased from their homes by a devastating war.
Here’s our schedule for the book:
July 6- Introduction, Chapters 1-6
July 13- Chapters 7-12
July 20- Chapters 13-17
July 27- Chapters 18-22, Conclusion