Sometimes a character will make a brief appearance in a story and disappear. That's what happened with Bree Tanner in Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse, book three of the Twilight saga. Bree's appearance was a way to show us the vulnerability of the newborns, to help us empathize with them despite their horrific and violent ways.
But Bree was more than that to her author. Meyer wanted to dig deeper into the backstory of this young girl and how she ended up in a field with Edward, Bella and their family.
In the Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, dubbed "an eclipse novella" and weighing in at 178 pages, Meyer explores the days leading up to the battle between the newborns and our friends from Forks and La Push. In true Twilight fashion, her story is gripping and emotional, and had me immersed from the first few pages.
It's been a while since I read the saga, but I was quickly reminded of why I loved these books. Like Anne Rice before her, Stephenie Meyer has a way of capturing the humanness of inhuman creatures and ironically bringing them to life. Even when you know where this story leads, which anyone who has read Eclipse will, it's impossible not to wish things turned out differently for Bree. After the last page, I was compelled to read the companion chapter in Eclipse from Bella's point-of-view -- which was interesting.
At the moment, the entire novella is available online to read for free, but $1 from each hard copy purchase goes to the Red Cross so I encourage you to make your Twilight Saga collection complete by buying one. No doubt sales will go through the roof without my encouragement, as Meyer has another hit on her hands with Bree Tanner.