Mark Reads ‘Wizard’s Holiday’: Chapter 2

In the second chapter of Wizard’s Holiday, YES TO ALL OF THIS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards. 

Trigger Warning: For extensive talk of death and grief.

My gods, this was just so good.

I don’t really know if I was expecting anything when I started Young Wizards. I had no idea if the books would follow one character, multiple characters, or switch in between perspectives. Would I watch characters grow up? Would it be set in a school? Even when I finished So You Want to Be a Wizard, I had no framework for the series to come. Thus, I’m continually impressed by how serialized this series is because… well, y’all know how much I love serialization. IT IS MY LIFEFORCE.

In particular, this grouping of books – The Wizard’s Dilemma, A Wizard Alone, and Wizard’s Holiday – feel intricately linked, an intense and rewarding look at mortality and grief. That story is continued here by Duane revealing that Dairine had signed herself and Nita up for a wizardly cultural exchange program… without telling anyone else. I actually got a little nervous reading this for an unintended reason. See, any of you who grew up with strict parents probably recoiled in terror at the idea of organizing something like this without telling your parents. Like, I certainly tried to sign up for a club once or twice by joining it first and then telling my mom and LET ME TELL YOU WHAT A HUGE MISTAKE THAT WAS.

Still, I could tell that Harry was super pissed at Diarine, but there was also a part of me that was like, “Wow, she got off real easy.” However, I suspect that largely has to do with his desire to do right by his daughters. There are two reasons I say that: the conversation Nita has with Dairine, and the one Nita overhears between Harry and Tom. They’re both brutally honest, which is refreshing because Duane avoids using miscommunication as a way to build conflict.

Instead, we’re given a chance to empathize with this whole family. Dairine’s honesty reveals that she feels guilty about what she’s done, but she came from a good place: she wanted to give her sister a break. It’s a frank admission, but it’s not surprising; Dairine has long been an observant person, and we know that she’s relied on Nita a great deal. Yet she’s aware just how much she and her father have relied wholly on Nita’s strength, kindness, and dependability. THUS: MY HEART WAS SHATTERED. Dairine just wanted to give her sister an honest-to-gods vacation!!!

And how much you wanna bet that Harry Callahan knew that? The conversation that Nita overhears suggested that he was keenly aware of how much pressure he was under and how hard the past few months had been on anyone. What if that is the reason he didn’t want to discipline Dairine more harshly? What if that is why he was so willing to let Nita go on the excursion anyway? You know, you always hear people make references to a “cry for help,” and I actually really like the idea that this is how their father interpreted Dairine’s action. She didn’t want to do anything malicious, and I don’t even think she expected him to say no to the program. I read her behavior as being careful. She wanted all the pieces in line before presenting it all to her dad. Unfortunately, the rejection notice that Tom got messed it all up, and it’s clear that she completely misjudged the situation.

However, a beautiful, beautiful thing comes of this: Dairine, Kit, and Harry all urge Nita to go on the exchange trip anyway. ALL OF THEM BASICALLY TELL HER THAT SHE DESERVES IT, and I may cry because of how sweet and empathetic this is. It also made me a bit sad because Nita resisted accepting it because… well, it felt like she believed she didn’t deserve it. She had important things to do! Taking time off for herself wasn’t fair, was it?

Except it is. Self-care is a huge deal, and I know from personal experience that it can be difficult to allow yourself that kindness. I punish myself too much, and I push my body and mind super hard all the time. One of the great things I discovered a couple years ago?

The value of just taking a break.


Mark Links Stuff

I am now on Patreon! There are various levels of support, from $1 up to whatever you want! You’ll get to read a private blog, extra reviews, and other such rewards. I POST A LOT OF CUTE PHOTOS, OKAY. Think of it like a private Tumblr blog that only SPECIAL PEOPLE get to read.
– I have updated my list of conventions and events for the remainder of the year and much of next year.  Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches have been announced here.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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