The Threshold is definitely not a romantic story. It blends reality TV, horror, urban legend and old-style literature; at least that’s what I’ve been told. Despite the eerie role of the threshold in the story, and the villains dominating it, there is a lady in that story who I really love. She only appears in the last two parts, and yet she is one of those characters who you can never quite peg for a side character, or a leading one. Still, Sally Jenkins links the entire story together. She is the reality.
Why I love Sally Jenkins?
Let me introduce her with an excerpt…
“Sally Jenkins was a 32-year-old divorced mum and ambitious producer. She didn’t mind being divorced at all. She had entered her marriage too immature, a complete mess of a person, a work in progress. During the marriage, she felt like moist washing powder tossed carelessly into the washing machine shaft, and sucked into the fast and noisy tumble-dryer. By the end of the marriage, she felt like leftover traces of that powder mash, splattered undissolved all over clothes like a proper nuisance, not really having done what it was supposed to have done, but still sort of there. Her 6-year-old son was her only secret treasure, bounced around on the rollercoaster of her love, her own mum’s care, the kindergarten and the occasional glimpses of the boy’s father, her distant ex-husband, passing through town. She had been working as a producer for a couple of years, but this reality show was her first really big break. Providing ratings were good, Sally was promised a nice bonus and even a considerable steady raise, and it would be so nice not to have to blush in the principal’s office because her ex failed to pay another monthly fee for their son’s preschool.”
Sally, unlike many characters in the story, knows pride and vanity, including her own, but they do not drive her. She respects authority, but without blind adoration. There is no ambition in her, no greed or hunger, although the dreams are still there. Her driving force, which turns her into a compromising survivor, are her motherly instincts. Both feet on the ground, she knows what she wants for her son, but still knows right from wrong. Still young, but touched by bitterness of disappointment and disillusion, she steers through life as best she can, biding her time and not giving in.
I would love to see what happens to her next, and I’d love to see her happy, not just surviving. I can envision her tender moments with her son, and I know he makes her laugh with his sense of humour and endless questions. I’d love to see her chat with Mrs Poole, the quaint old lady from the first part. That would indeed be an interesting conversation!
Sally is one of the few people who I don’t want to cross the threshold – she has seen herself through thick and thin, and suffered enough. But she’s too smart for that, my Sally is. She has no desire to cross it, to prove anything to anyone, to conquer the demons. She’s lived with her own demons long enough to know how to respect them.