Vendetta is divided into three parts. Each one begins with a quote that foreshadows what’s to come. As you might expect, each section is darker than the one preceding it, as the protagonist, Sophie, is propelled further into the underworld that begins to surrounds her.
Music played a big role in writing Vendetta. Sometimes a song would get me into the right mindset, and other times if I was feeling sluggish or starting to procrastinate, I’d click onto Youtube and let myself be inspired by something.
I made an official playlist of the music that relates to Vendetta (see Wondrous Reads blog today for that playlist), but there are three songs in particular that stand out, and each one is linked to a different part of the book. When I close my eyes and imagine pivotal scenes from these sections, it is these songs that come to mind. Here are the songs that encapsulate the atmosphere of Vendetta most wholly in my mind.
This song is the ultimate backdrop to Sophie’s surroundings as we first encounter them – everything in her life is stagnant, seemingly innocuous, and utterly boring.
Like the lulling tempo of Devil Town, the beginning of Vendetta is a slow build to the danger that first arrives on the day the old Priestly mansion is restored to its former glory. Like the song, the unassuming, mellow nature of the opening pages quietly hints at something bigger.
I think the song is about realizing the world around you can be something completely other than what you think it is. Places and people aren’t always as they first appear, and your role within the framework that surrounds you might not be either. This is the case with Sophie. When certain things are brought to light, everything shifts, and what was once a safety net becomes something else entirely.
(It is also worth mentioning that there are no vampires in Vendetta, as there are in this song, though that’s not to say that there aren’t people who are out for blood!)
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies
I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death
Good God, let me give you my life
I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side
She demands a sacrifice
Described as both a ‘love song’ and a ‘contemplation of sin’, Hozier’s debut is the perfect fit for Vendetta, where the line between right and wrong grows ever murkier. Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore this new Irish singer-songwriter and everything he writes. He’s the next big thing, and this song has rightfully catapulted him to the top of the Billboard charts in America. Take Me to Church is eerie and intense; it builds and builds, while retaining a wonderfully haunting quality. The tempo, the depth and the darkness within reminds me of the progression in Vendetta, as Sophie becomes ever more entangled with the web of darkness that looms over her quiet little town. The tone of this song matches part two of the book so well that it became the ultimate Vendetta song when I was writing. I must have listened to it a thousand times, and still it doesn’t get old!
If there’s no one beside you when your soul embarks
I’ll follow you into the dark
Rather than simply being about the idea of death, this song is about devotion, about loving someone so much that you would walk into darkness so they won’t have to face it alone. This is very much the theme of the closing chapters of Vendetta when the chips are down and big decisions must be made. Danger is closing in, and several characters have to decide whether to walk into the darkness or to stand by and watch as the world crumbles around the people they care about. This song is a quiet ode to loyalty, love and the more difficult parts of life, and I hope in some small way, Vendetta is too.