Study Guide

Blood Red Road Love

By Moira Young

Love

Chapter 1

Lugh's gone.

Gone.

My golden heart is gone. (1.312-314)

Saba puts on a tough front, but it's achingly obvious that she loves Lugh with an intense passion. For real—most people would save language like this for a romantic partner.

Lugh thinks fer a moment. Then he says, Love makes you weak. Carin fer somebody that much means you cain't think straight. (1.101)

That's a pretty messed up thing to say, especially to your twin sister. But it also shows us how harsh the world these characters are inhabiting is, and how significant of an effect that has had on Saba and Lugh. Love is a luxury they can't afford.

Chapter 2

My missin him makes my whole body ache. It's like...emptiness. (2.92)

Maybe this is what Lugh meant when he said that love makes you "weak." Do you agree with him? Based on just the events in the book, we're not sure if Lugh is right. There are plenty of examples of love making Saba strong, for example.

Chapter 6

Heat burns into me. Crawls over my skin. A trickle of sweat runs down my chest. I pull out the heartstone tucked safe inside my vest. It's warm. No. Hot. (6.285)

If you recall, heartstones are said to get warm when the wearer gets closer to the object of their desire. And Saba is getting close to Jack at this very moment. Coincidence? No way. Saba doesn't realize it yet, but she's just landed herself somewhere far more frightening than a fighting cage: in love.

I'm lookin fer one person but I cain't see him nowhere. Silver gray eyes an a crooked smile. (6.599)

Saba becomes obsessed with Jack before she really gets to know him, even putting her life at risk to save him from a burning prison. You don't do that for just anybody.

Chapter 8

I hold my hands away from me, stiff. At first, from shock. But now to keep 'em away from Jack. They're itchin to touch him. All over. (8.507)

That didn't take much, huh? As much as Saba wants to hide from her feelings, or even pretend that they don't exist, she's not going to be able to withstand Jack's advances. And why should she? What's keeping her from just diving straight into the deep end?

A flutter in my belly. Jack gone. Not bein able to see him no more. I hadn't really thought about it before now. What might happen after we find Lugh. (8.706)

Well, we've got a spoiler for you, Saba: you're going to get really, really sad. Like, you're going to relate to Adele lyrics for the first time. That's how sad you're going to be. Given that this is Saba's first experience with romance, however, we'll cut her a break for being so out of touch with her feelings.

Chapter 9

I grab his face an kiss him on the lips. (9.91)

Hubba hubba. This passage doesn't have a lot going on textually speaking, but it's important because it's the first time Saba takes an active role in her romance with Jack.

Suddenly I see him. Not the Jack of the jokes an the flirtin and the shyin away. The real Jack. The...truth of him. The stillness at the heart of him. (9.74)

Saba frequently refers to the "stillness" at the center of Jack. That's kind of odd given that the dude is a charming, loquacious con artist, right? More than anything, this gives us the sense that Saba is looking past Jack's exterior and truly getting to know the person underneath.

What I mean is...him an Ma made this place together an, in his mind, she's still here. He cain't leave her memory, that's what I'm sayin. (1.98)

The kids' first experience with romantic love is profoundly negative, as their dad's love for their mom ultimately had awful consequences on their lives. With that as an example, it's no wonder Saba has such a hard time dealing with her feelings of affection.