Dear Laurell K. Hamilton,
Your book, The Harlequin helped me find a reason for the behaviors of those around me. Though this may not make sense, it is true. You portray the Harlequin as the vampire form of our society's police, but they choose to hide themselves by using masks. At the time, I thought nothing of this, and just continued to read your book, once again trapped by the tale of Anita, and how she is handling her life, and her job. I can't exactly say that I can relate to that part of the story, I find now, however that I can relate to the Harlequin, and their masks, and I'm sure other people can too.
All my life I have spent it, not exactly hiding, but not showing everything that I am, or can be. The impression of the Harlequin that I get is that, despite the rules, they do the bidding of the person in charge, but they wear masks to protect themselves from identification, because their identity can be used against them, as was shown when Pantalone recreated two of the Harlequin, which is against vampire law. When Columbine and Giovanni died, he chose to remake them, though their names and masks should have been "retired." I found it very interesting when I read the "rules" of this elite force, and even more so when it turned out that the very enforcers of the rules, were breaking them.
Although there is no sequence in life where people are given warnings, like a white, black, or red mask, there are still warning signs of what may happen in the future, or to what may be going on. I think that your book taught me how to identify these things, because, though getting a color-coded mask would be easier, it is much more useful to just observe what is happening in life, and then make a decision. By doing this, it is possible to learn from what has happened, instead of just having it happen, and then continue on with life.
I must say that I have never lost the life of someone due to another's actions, but your book made me sympathize with Anita, so I was able to see and understand her view of the Harlequin after the attack on Remus, who despite his flaws was a very good person. He helped to protect her, as any good bodyguard would, but he in the end, dies. When you talk about Claudia, and her reaction, I was able to almost "feel" what she must have been feeling, and understand it even more, especially when you mentioned the possibility of their relationship.
Now, I can't say that your book gave me an "ah ha!" moment, or anything special like that, but I can say that your book has made me want to rethink my previous opinions about people. What if they were just like the Harlequin, and simply wearing a "mask" to hide the person that they really are? With these thoughts in mind, I try to not judge people based off of what I have heard, or scene. In fact, one of my very good friends taught me a lesson like that, because she doesn't look like the type of person who I would want to be friends with, but she and I are always together. Its things like that, things that make me realize that people aren't always the way they look, that make me feel better. I know that I am not judging them, because I know that I'm at least giving them a chance to show me who they are.
There is no one in my life like Marmee Noir, telling me who I can and can't be. Because of this, I am able to choose the path that I want to lead, and I think that I'm on a good one. I have friends who help me, much like Anita does, and people who care. Marmee Noir controls the Harlequin, but she lost control, which is something that should never happen. I think that everyone needs to control their own life, because if someone is controlling it, and they lose the control necessary, then that person's life could possibly be ruined. My life, I am hoping, is as controlled as any fourteen year-olds life can be. So I must thank you, Ms. Hamilton, for helping me come to this realization. It really has made me look at people, and situations differently.