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Author Topic: Title Thoughts  (Read 737 times)

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October 01, 2013, 07:47:49 PM

Evreka

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A visit to "Robert Galbraith"'s website promise an interesting read, not least the FAQ section in which Jo replies to some questions, in the straight-forward way of her old HP themed site, rather than the carefully worded info of her new one.

One particular answer, however, raises more questions to me than it answers:

Quote
(From the FAQ section at http://www.robert-galbraith.com/ )
Why the title 'The Cuckoo’s Calling'?
The title is taken from the mournful poem by Christina Rossetti called, simply, A Dirge, which is a lament for one who died too young. The title also contains a subtle reference to another aspect of the plot, but as I can’t explain what it is without ruining the story, I’ll let readers work that one out.

I've read the book once straight through, and I have no idea what the subtle reference might be? Possibly this is because English is not my first language, but I am really curious. What do YOU make of the title, having finished the book? What is this subtle, but spoilerific, reference?

Do you have any other thoughts on the title?
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October 02, 2013, 10:31:47 PM
Reply #1

roonwit

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As I was reading the book I thought Cuckoo's Calling might reference the repeated phone calls Lula attempted on the day she died, as a cuckoo egg is laid in another bird's nest so could refer to Lula as an adopted child. Then in Part Three, 1 Lula refers to herself as Cuckoo in an email.
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October 03, 2013, 06:07:23 PM
Reply #2

HealerOne

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The poem "A Dirge" by Christina Rossetti, found in the front of the book, has this line "You should have come to the cuckoo's calling." I wonder that it means when she called her uncle and Evan Duffield on the day she died - that they should have answered her calls fro help because she knew Bristow was angry enough to kill her? To me, the rest of the poem surely means that she had died in the prime of her life rather than in the "Fall' of her life.
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October 05, 2013, 10:51:10 AM
Reply #3

Evreka

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As I was reading the book I thought Cuckoo's Calling might reference the repeated phone calls Lula attempted on the day she died, as a cuckoo egg is laid in another bird's nest so could refer to Lula as an adopted child. Then in Part Three, 1 Lula refers to herself as Cuckoo in an email.
The poem "A Dirge" by Christina Rossetti, found in the front of the book, has this line "You should have come to the cuckoo's calling." I wonder that it means when she called her uncle and Evan Duffield on the day she died - that they should have answered her calls fro help because she knew Bristow was angry enough to kill her?

Ah, that makes a lot of sense! Thank you both! :flower:


You should have come to the cuckoo's calling. - What did you make of what Yvette told her earlier in the day? Why tell her then? Would it have been better if she had kept her mouth shut? Why did Lula open for her brother instead of calling security that night?
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October 08, 2013, 12:32:06 AM
Reply #4

Dreamteam

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Rossetti's "A Dirge" is a poem mourning for someone who has died young.  The beginning of the poem made me wonder whether it might have even been written for a child born prematurely "when the snow was falling" rather than in spring when cuckoos are heard and then dying soon afterwards in the spring of their life ("when the lambs were cropping") rather than in their autumn of their life expectancy ("at the apples dropping").  This fits well with the death of a young woman who had a successful and promising career who was happy with her life and was looking forward to getting to know her brother.  Lula was the cuckoo, and John Bristow wanted her out of the nest, but the calls she made to Evan Duffield and Guy Somé could have changed the course of things if the fact that she'd found her brother had been known so the cuckoo's calls were a key part of the plot. 

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