GENRE: YA Fantasy
No one was very happy when Clarissa Euler was born. That should have been her first clue: it would all be downhill from here. But she was too busy crying and hollering to pay any sort of attention.
She didn’t notice the midwives exchange an exasperated look that said, “Great – another spoiled green-band in the world.” She didn’t know that her mother had given birth to six children already, or that she’d buried just as many. She didn’t hear her father’s first words at the sight of her (“Oh, for God’s sake!”) or see him fling a wine glass across the room.
In his defense, Henry Euler had been hoping for a son for a very long time. Fifteen years he’d been waiting now. Fifteen years of false alarms and miscarriages and sickly male babies who’d shriveled away before their first birthdays. Fifteen years, and what did he have to show for it?
“A girl,” confirmed one of the midwives, presenting Clarissa with a brave attempt at a smile. “And a healthy one, by the look of it – would you listen to the lungs on her?”
The woman’s smile faded at the sight of Henry’s face. No need to tell him it was healthy. He had seen quite enough unhealthy babies to recognize a healthy one. Look at it, with its even, pink skin, its fists tightly clenched, its pudgy legs already kicking. This was a baby that would survive its childhood. But what use was a healthy baby girl?