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Hazel’s whole persona in Chapter 18 The Message in the Back of the Book is like that of the crew of one of my best-loved movies, “Galaxy Quest.” Quick movie synopsis: The alumni cast of a cult space TV show have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help.
When the aliens proudly present their real, life-sized ship to the actors, the faux crew’s reactions are excellent. I especially love Alan Rickman, one of my all-time favorites, response. “Oh. Hmm…” he says.
And that in a nutshell is Hazel in Chapter 18. The others, even Ruth, are looking to Hazel to perform her first task as Holder and she gamely takes on the role, confidently (in appearance, at least) going to the back of The Doll Book of Rules to find the hidden message.
Hazel turned the crackly pages to the very back, even though she was curious to see the whole thing. She saw tantalizing glimpses of paper dolls and tombstones, and she found herself wondering what on earth tombstones would be doing in a doll book, even as she realized that she was somewhat avoiding getting to the very back. Mr. Horace had said, as Elizabeth had reminded her this morning, that there would be blank pages that could only be read by the right person. She had already failed to see the dolls come to life without the aid of the necklace; what if she failed at this too?
It just goes to show you. In movies, in books and occasionally in life: Sometimes you simply have to fake it until you make it.