I can’t tell you what I’m reading without spoiling the ending, so please forgive the vagueness as I cannot use character names.

So I’m reading a novel with Romeo and Juliet undertones. Warring families, forbidden love. Actually, probably a little more like Lord of the Rings… sorta. In the recent novel, a faerie is in love with a half breed. Being with her means being banished from Faerieland, which will slowly kill him.

What is wrong with his mother? I was aghast. Arwen gave up immortality for her love, but it was entirely her decision. There wasn’t a law forcing her into exile (okay so she couldn’t leave on the boats with the others, but I don’t think it’s the same thing.) In this novel, rather than changing the laws and letting their children be together, both parents cast them off–banish them. The half breed was mortal anyway, but the faerie’s mother made him choose between love and immortality. It was totally unnecessary. At least in both of those cases, it was not a spur of the moment decision. I’ve always considered Romeo and Juliet a story of impulsive teenage lust.

But back to the topic at hand. Whether the slow death is parent inflicted or not, it makes me think of kintsukuroi, a Japanese practice of repairing clay pottery with gold. In Japanese culture, the fragility and impermanence is what makes something beautiful. Does being mortal make love more intense? Is it more meaningful because you’re going to grow old together and that it’s going to end? Do you appreciate it more?