I have been rereading Discworld books with the book club I’m with a year now, and each book has reminded me why I loved the series when growing up and why it shaped me and a lot. Some books have had a greater impact, but all of them have taught me a thing or two about life and humans. The first time I read Carpe Jugulum, I was around eighteen years old and had a hard time being comfortable with my own skin, reading about Agnes helped me to accept my insecurities better and to understand I am not the only one struggling here. This made me respect Pratchett even more, already starting with how he had portrayed Agnes in Maskerade, and I was delighted to find out that he had taken the character and her dual personality further with this book.
After fifteen years, ye gods, visiting Agnes brought back memories of that insecure girl, and while “Agnes” still lives inside me “Perdita” has gotten a bigger hold, and I feel more balanced with my life after I began to know my self-worth and understand that we all have weaknesses and none of us have to be perfect. I guess that is called growing up. And this growing up and finding who you are is one theme in Carpe Jugulum, mirroring what Agnes is going through, through Granny and vice versa. Finding that importance in your society/village (plus with your life) isn’t an easy road to go ahead. Usually, it is the middle-aged who are more content with their lives and who they are as their families and jobs keep them busy and satisfied. But then there are the young like Agnes who doesn’t know where she fits and the old like Granny who struggles with the thoughts of their importance and relevancy. In our day and age, it is easy to look past the old and forget they hold the wisdom what is to be a human (and how to kill evil bastards,) but luckily, this isn’t the case in Carpe Jugulum. Where would Lancre be without Granny? But it needs its Agnes and Magrat and her baby too. New blood might change a thing or two, but they also carry on the useful customs with things like ointments for the boils.
Of course, you can ignore all this and enjoy the great darker than usual plotline with the Vampyres and witches and kings and queens and Nac Mac Feegles. (I had forgotten they were in this book, holy space aliens I love them. Can’t wait to reread Tiffany Aching books.) I think Pratchett got his story right with this book. It was engaging. It kept me reading, and it never disappointed me, and I loved all of it, including the Magpies.
Thank you for reading, have a witchy day ❤