Alistair's Gift to Grace
by Articman on 1/29/2001:

During the first Christmas season that Passions was on, Ivy invited Sam, Grace, TC and Eve to a Christmas party at the mansion. This was part of her plan to get Sam back into her life and into her bed. However, Alistair used this opportunity to give some gifts to her guests. These gifts were a demonstration of his power, status and knowledge of the individuals and their pasts. It is also, the first time we see Grace and Alistair talk.
To Sam, he gave a photograph of the old Bennett Farm, which the Cranes stole during the depression. To TC, he gave a photograph of his father, who was a Caddie at the Country Club and reminded him of his lost dreams and how his father was a servant to Alistair and his Cronies. To Eve, he gave a trip to Bremuda for two, first class all the way, at a exclusive resort. To Grace, he gave a pencil drawing of a woman. This was the orginal and over a hundred years old. With the portrait came it's said story, related by Alistair. The woman in the drawing was sad because her husband had been unfaithful and her sorrow ate at her until she died of a broken heart. Alistair mentioned how different this was from Grace and her life, how this would not happen to her.

Each of these gifts revealed or hinted at soemthing in the past of each person. Sam the lost of his family's farm to the Cranes and the begining of their lives as public servants. TC a reminder of his origins, son of a caddie, a humble servant and how TC became a public servant, a Teacher, after his dreams of glory were taken from him in an accident. Eve's gift was a reminder of her past with Julian her sordid affair and her lost baby boy. Alistair's gift was proof that he knew the details of her affair, when and where it happened. Yet Grace's gift, seemed to have nothing to do with Grace. On the surface, it appeared to be a warning to Sam about the consequences of having an affair, renewing his affair with Ivy. That Alistair was aware of Sam and Ivy's past affair. Ivy picked up on this possible warning as well.

Yet, this whole scene felt off. While Alistair's gifts were meant to warn and humble the reciepants, Grace's wasn't directed at her. Alistair's tone when talking with Grace seemed to be warmer, gentler, kinder. I picked up on this again the next time he and Grace talked. Perhaps, it is simply that Alistair was responding to Grace's gentle, loving nature. However, it hints at a connection of some sort between Alistair and Grace. Or Grace and Katherine Crane.

In 'Hidden Passions', there is a four year gap between Grace leaving home and Sam saving her from the fire. What she was doing during this time is unknown. Prior to leaving home, Grace volunteered to help with the sick and the elderly and after being saved by Sam, she engaged in the same activities. So, it is possible that Grace was volunteering at a hospital, visiting the sick at the same time Katherine Crane was there. That Grace met Alistair and or Katherine during these four years. With Grace's ammesia, she would not remember any past relationship that she had with the Cranes, but Alistair would. I can see Grace being there for Alistair and or Katherine during a trying time of her treatments, offering them love, support and compassion, being a friend.

It is possible that Alistair sees Katherine's ghost in Grace. From the way Katherine is described in the book, she and Grace are alot alike. Then there is some striking similarites between Grace's life and Katherine's as well as the main difference. Grace is happy in her marriage. Katherine wasn't. Katherine felt unloved by Alistair and died unable to believe that Alistair really loved her. Katherine's story, as told in the book, reminded me of the Drawing that Alistair gave Grace and the story behind it.

How the woman in the drawing's husband was unfaithful to her and she believed that he didn't love her. This broke her heart and stripped her of the will to live and she died of a broken heart. Alistair was too busy running Crane Industries to show Katherine his love and she came to believe, after hearing him talk to Julian about their marriage, that he never loved her. Katherine was heartbroken to hear this and she lost her will to live, to fight for her life and the complications from her pregancy with Sheridan took their toll. Eventually killing her. Alistair never cared enough to find out why Katherine was so sad, why she lost the will to live. It was only on her deathbed that she told him the truth and then it was too late for any of them. In short. Alistair had been unfaithful to Katherine by neglecting her and letting her believe, thru his words and actions, that he didn't love her. This broke Katherine's heart and like the woman in the drawing, she lost the will to live and died of a broken heart.

The only question is: Why did Alistiar give Grace this drawing? Does she in some way remind him of his late wife, Katherine? Was it some sort of warning to Sam, not to break Grace's heart, like he did Katherine's? Is there some connection to the Cranes that Grace doesn't remember, but Alistair does? Was it his way of admiting to why Katherine realy died? Or some strange combination of these reasons?

What do you think?