At first I wasn’t sure why exactly it was that seemingly unrelated recipes and descriptions of herbs were for, but later on I came to suspect that it is probably a collection of excerpts from Beatrice’s journal. Elvis seems to find great importance in it to the point where he uses it as a memoir for his mother. Coupled with the explanation that her journal was a collection of recipes and herbs that would be useful to her in the next life, it soon becomes apparent that this is why these excerpts are suddenly dropped in after each chapter. The described herbs sound incredibly helpful, such as aerva lanata juss for sore throats and crassulaceae for abscesses and swellings. There were even mentions of ritualistic herbs and helpful  concoctions, so it would make sense why Beatrice would want to remember them, whether it be in the afterlife or for the time being. To Elvis, however, the journal seems to serve a different purpose. Not only does it give him access to the helpful knowledge that his mother collected, but it also serves as a memoir. He always takes the journal with him, no matter where it is that he goes, keeps it under his pillow so that he can contact her soul in his sleep, and there are constant mentions of how he is always rubbing its leather skin. While it could be argued that this suggests an Oedipus complex, however, I completely disagree with this notion. It honestly just seems as though he just really misses both his mother and the sense of family that he’s been lacking since her death. It gives him an almost child-like quality and reaffirms how important Beatrice was to him. Not only to him, however. It shows that she was essentially the glue that held the family together.

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