Great! Everything is so great! Definitely no major catastrophes this week. Just your typical, high-energy, enthusiastic Jack and Tanner having a lively discussion about the next book in the Baby-Sitter's Club series: "Stacey's Mistake!" Stacey certainly made some mistakes this week, but not ole' Jack and Tanner. Those dudes have everything all figured out. Haha! So great! Just... great.
As discussed in Boy Crazy Stacey, the previous Stacey installment, the Stacey books are often a deliberate nod to the great epistolary novels of the 18th century, and this one is no exception. In addition to format, Stacey books share with the early epistolary novel a deep concern with social order that is enacted by putting a relationship in moral peril for the ultimate purpose of upholding the social values that underpin it once the danger is overcome. I'm thinking particularly of Richardson here, whose Pamela follows this formula directly (and whose Clarissa is a more complex variety of the same set of themes), but also of Smollett's The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, which also shares with Stacey's Mistake a travel narrative and a consequent appraisal of urban versus country values. In Martin, of course, these paradigms are subverted, with the moral peril introduced by Stacey's physically and morally dangerous New York working its dark magic on the girls in a way that brings about a full reversal of the individual characteristics that had hitherto acted as their moral true north, much like what happens in a later, infamous epistolary novel that introduced the world to vampires.
What Claudia was wearing this week: What wasn't Claudia wearing? She brought a whole trunk full of clothes for a two day trip, because she knew that if anyone thought to peel back all those layers, to remove all that armor, they would find nothing at all on the inside.