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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
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Meridia

 

What kind of person does Meridia show herself to be?

 

What chances for real warmth and affection has Meridia had in her young life?

 

How strong a person is she?

 

Again, the budding relationship that Meridia develops with Daniel is full of magical

properties--how do those fantastical elements describe what early romance is really like?

 

 

What is your early impression of Daniel's family and family life, and how do you think Meridia fits in with them?

 

Are you surprised by Gabriel and Ravenna's responses to her relationship?

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Shadowwolf36
Posts: 76
Registered: ‎09-16-2008
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Re: Meridia


rkubie wrote:

 

What kind of person does Meridia show herself to be?

 

What chances for real warmth and affection has Meridia had in her young life?

 

How strong a person is she?

 

Again, the budding relationship that Meridia develops with Daniel is full of magical

properties--how do those fantastical elements describe what early romance is really like?

 

 

What is your early impression of Daniel's family and family life, and how do you think Meridia fits in with them?

 

Are you surprised by Gabriel and Ravenna's responses to her relationship?


 

I find Meridia to be an extremely strong person.  She had not seen much love in her life except for a few glimpses when Ravenna is lucid.  She seems loving and curious despite having only her nurse to give her comfort. Daniel's family seems warm and inviting and just what Meridia herself would have loved to have growing up.  I think a big part of her growing up was the new friend she made, Hannah. I do believe Hannah did not exist however. Others looked at her funny when she was supposed to be having conversations with Hannah. I was thinking multiple personality at first but now feel more like she was having her imaginary friend later in life...like the mists created a friend for Meridia to experience a little bit of freedom perhaps because she and Daniel were fated to meet and would not have met otherwise. I was not surpised by Ravenna's response but Gabriel's shocked me. It would seem to me that he despised her so much that having her leave would be the best thing for him...I have to wonder what he gets from keeping her around.
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scarpettajunkie
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎03-23-2009

Re: Meridia

Meridia is a careful, lonely, guarded, curious person under which beats a heart eager to love.  The only chance Meridia has had for love and warmth has been with her nurse and her own imagination.  Meridia is very strong because of all she has put up with. 

 

When you are in love everything is more vivid and warm and colorful.  That is why it is appropriate that they first meet at a magic fair. 

 

Daniel's life is more warm and causal and life continues as it has for generations.  He has a history whereas Meridia's history is unknown.  I don't think Meridia fits well because this is something she is completely unused to.  She hungers for it but does not understand it.

 

Gabriel is just Mean with a capital M.  I think he is just using Meridia for his own gain. 

Scarpettajunkie lover of Cornwell and historical fiction
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hookedonbooks09
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎02-04-2009

Re: Meridia

Well!  First of all, I'm totally enjoying this book. :smileyhappy:  On to the questions...

 

Meridia.  Well, I think her name speaks to her personality, at least to this point.  Middle, center.  She is in the middle of her parents.  Almost like the only thing that keeps them together, even though they don't pay attention to her. 

 

Her invisibility makes me sad.  Probably every child can identify with that feeling from at least one point in their life.  It speaks to the intangible, unreachable and unseeable aspects of her life.  Like the elongating stairs, the mists, the silence.

 

Speaking of names, I'm struggling with Gabriel's meaning.  Meridia is easy, Ravenna (always in black like a raven) is also easy.  Gabriel?  Not seeing it yet, anyway.

 

Their romance is typical---all young/fresh/new romance is about that magical time when you see no bad, only good.  You walk on air, feel like you're in a dream and glow!  I liked Erick's use of the word shine, instead of glow, when he described Meridia walking down the street.  It was so much MORE than glow, and as she emerges from the darkness of her own life/home, I imagine she would shine!

 

 

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
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dhaupt
Posts: 11,836
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Meridia

Meridia in the early chapters shows herself to be an odd child, a victim and an enabler, but in her defense what else could she have been. She's only shown affection by her nurse, her father despises her, her mother forgets she's even there. But as Meridia matures she also shows courage, intelligence and compassion.

 

Meridia only has been shown affection at the most basic level while growing up, first fleetingly by her mother and then by her nurse.

 

Meridia in my opinion is a very strong person to have survived through the childhood that she had.

 

I think the book reveals what early romance is like, it's all magical and giddy and ripe with possibilities.

 

My first impression of Daniel's family is that I liked the younger sister Permony and thought that Malin was a brat, but I felt it was a realistic view of siblings. I'll reserve my thoughts on the parents later as I know from the first chapter that Eva is apparently the root of all evil according to Meridia. As far as how she fits with them I think she wants to very much and she envies the love that she sees at her first visit.

 

I am not surprised any more by anything that Meridia's parents do. Although I would have thought that Gabriel would have been happy to be rid of her. 

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Shapatm
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Registered: ‎04-25-2009
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Re: Meridia


hookedonbooks09 wrote:

Speaking of names, I'm struggling with Gabriel's meaning.  Meridia is easy, Ravenna (always in black like a raven) is also easy.  Gabriel?  Not seeing it yet, anyway.

 


Gabriel - I think of an angel.  His physical appearance sounds perfect and almost a little otherworldly.  When the nurse it trying to explain what the house was like before the flash of light she described Gabriel as "handsome and clever."  It is almost like his physical perfection limits his ability to be a part of his current life.  You could keep going and it could imply that he's cold, standoffish, or removed from his life like an angel would be from the goings on the mortal world. 

 

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LISA-BRYAN
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Re: Meridia

1) What kind of person does Meridia show herself to be?

 

Very lonely girl in the beginning.  Later, as she grows up and gains confidence she becomes a stronger woman.

 

2) What chances for real warmth and affection has Meridia had in her young life?

 

As a child - little to none... only from the nurse but she is forced out by Ravenna.

 

3) How strong a person is she?

 

As a child not - later she becomes a stronger woman.

 

4) Again, the budding relationship that Meridia develops with Daniel is full of magical

properties--how do those fantastical elements describe what early romance is really like?

 

It shows that the initial relationship is not necessarily based on love but on fantasy.  But what can we expect from Meridia and Daniel considering the strange houses the two grew up in... they don't really know what love is until later.

 

5) What is your early impression of Daniel's family and family life, and how do you think Meridia fits in with them?

 

Daniel's family is a bit odd at first and things only get stranger as the story goes on.  Meridia seems to be a square peg trying desperately to fit in a round hole but crazy Eva and Malin are not supportive of this.

 

6) Are you surprised by Gabriel and Ravenna's responses to her relationship?

 

Not really considering how strange the two of them are.

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kiakar
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Re: Meridia

Meridia despite her parents and their verbal and mental abuse through her young and older years, is a very strong and intelligent person.  I wondered reading this book, does Meridia think that this is how all parents treat their children. ?  It seems she wants to find a reason for Gabriel and Ravenna's treatment of her. She asked the nurse the reason for their treatment of her? So she was aware even being alone so much that the treatment she got was not normal. Is it instinct that causes you to sense that something is wrong with the way you are treated by others? Maybe Meridia feels vibes coming from her parents as of a faint hint of affection that makes her wonder  why they aren't loving toward her.
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mgorbatjuk
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Re: Meridia

I was kind of surprised it was as easy for Meridia to find Daniel as it was since she had such a horrible childhood. How could she even know any love since none is shown at her house. Maybe it's not what we think it is and because she wants to love and be loved so badly it's been too easy for her to fall in love. Things seem to look one way but we find out things are not all they seem to be all over the book.
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LoBugs
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Meridia

Meridia has only known a world of solitude, she is raised by maids and nurses, no celebrations or birthdays, and only allowed outside once or twice a month. I would expect her to be more socially awkward with such little exposure to the outside.

 

Meridia is strong or she would not have lasted with Gabriel around

 

My feelings about Daniel and his family are that they are to good to be true. To nice to be sincere. Trying to use her up for what they can get out of her, like the gifts from the wedding

 

I am not surprised by her parents response, after all they are odd!

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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Meridia

In a world of ghosts and mists and moving staircases, and parents who either have such self loathing they can't love her or maybe they just don't know how to anymore, Meridia is either one strong child (since she has no siblings to love or depend on either) or she is a child gone mad and has created a world of fantasy in which she can explain her invisibility by living among the truly invisible, i.e. the ghosts and Hannah. I don't know yet, but I do think, as with some children who are really alone, her curiosity is her saving grace from all of this. She is so terribly sheltered tho from the world, and not in good ways unfortunately, that to find out about the world, I think she really needed Hannah to get her started! Hannah, whether she is a ghost or an imaginary friend (and even I thought she was real until you find out she's not there! wow), was the force that got Meridia to go places that she probably always wanted to but never had the nerve to alone. She wasn't alone with Hannah. And then by getting out, becoming used to it, then even without Hannah, she is able to find Daniel. She may never have met him otherwise.

 

I am leary of Daniel tho. After Hannah become "unreal", I first wondered if Daniel was even real OR was he a ghost with not the best of intentions. To me, because of the initial cat and mouse play they did, but mostly because of how she felt when she was in a place he just was, it was more than just the magic of one's first love, but there was a feeling of forboding to me that I just can't shake. Something just seems a bit off.

 

I think there are other threads about Daniel's family that i can't see from here lol, so I will check for them and post there about my initial thoughts about them so this one doesn't go on forever lol.

 

One last thought here tho, Meridia, for whatever is going on with her or who she is, in this book, she is my Hannah. She is taking me places that I am not accustomed to but I am willing to follow along with her to the things she can show me too, for as long as she can. :smileywink:

Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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LoBugs
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Meridia

I guess that I looked at Gabriel's wanting to keep Meridia in the house the same as most abuser's want to keep the ones they are able to abuse close at hand.  Not wanting to let go of the thing they feel they can control.

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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006

Re: Meridia

Well, I think Meridia is showing herself to be a strong person. She has lived through neglect. She is forgotten by one parent and verbally abused by another. she perseveres despite these obstacles; however, she is still fragile. To me, the imaginary friend at that age shows her need and longing for a better environment. Additionally, you do see the tears well and occassionally burst when Gabriel strikes deeper and deeper into her heart, mind and soul.

 

The only warmth and affection that she received as a young child was from the nurse - thank goodness. Child who do not experience any kind of affection have been known to have severe problems - emotionally and psychologically. I will add that at times Ravena did show some affection - although I could count the times on one hand.

 

Early romance is innocent and wonderful. Nothing is known and anything can happen. There is the excitement of what could be. I think that the magical element parallels this niely.

 

First impression of Daniel's family is that they atre the opposite of Meridia's. There is a mother who is involved in her children's life - maybe overly so. It appears to be warm; however, the Malin/Permony relationship is not showing warmth.  There also seems to be some fear - not sure if this is just normal childhood fear or something bigger - when Malin threatens to tell about the broken figurine. Daniel seems the most normal of the bunch but, also a little oblivious to the femal dynamics in his house.

 

Yes, I was surprised by the reactions of Ravena and Gabriel. I expected just the opposite. He would be glad for her to be gone and Ravena would not want to subject her child to a similar fate as hers.

 

 

CathyB

 

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emmagrace
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Re: Meridia

In the beginning, Meridia shows herself as being a shy;lonely girl who has self esteem issues.

 

The only form of love and warmth that she has had thus far is with her nurse.

 

Meridia is so much stronger that I think she realizes!

 

Daniel seems like a nice young man and his family seems very welcoming at this point in the story!

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jclay26
Posts: 74
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Meridia

Meridia seems to be very strong and resilient. Though she was shy in the beginning she seems to be opening up. Her friendship with Hannah and her decision to carry on as if Hannah had never left opened her up to a whole new world. Sadly, she has been caught in the middle of a feud between her mother and father since she was born. She was very aware that things were not right within her home even at an early age. She trusted her mother enough to ask her what the visions/memories were about but she was continuously shunned and told that she was just dreaming. It was heartbreaking when she was just on the verge of finding out what was going on and then the nurse disappeared. Though she is being sheltered from the truth, however horrid it may be, the protection is doing her more damage.

 

Her relationship with Daniel seems too good to be true and as we close in the ninth chapter we begin to realize this is true. We get a glimpse that Daniel's mother and father are not what they seem - first by the daughters' behavior when Meridia visits and then by the mother's behavior after the wedding. Of course, there are the bees.

Meridia is desperate to fill the void that was left by her family, believing that she is capable of loving Daniel and not ending up like her parents. Her mother warns her not to make the same mistakes that she and Meridia's father did, but Meridia has never been told about the mistakes they have made - that is the big secret.

What you have to do...is trust your own story. Get the hell out of the way and let it tell itself. - Tim O'Brien; The Things They Carried
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fordmg
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Re: Meridia


mgorbatjuk wrote:
I was kind of surprised it was as easy for Meridia to find Daniel as it was since she had such a horrible childhood. How could she even know any love since none is shown at her house. Maybe it's not what we think it is and because she wants to love and be loved so badly it's been too easy for her to fall in love. Things seem to look one way but we find out things are not all they seem to be all over the book.

 

I think Meridia found Daniel BECAUSE she had such a horrible childhood.  Who else was there for her?

MG

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Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Meridia

Much of a child's time is spent in school. Why do we know so little about Meridia's school days?

 

Besides the words of teachers (some teachers like the silent child, as long as it is polite and does not create problems) who use her shyness as excuse for her behaviour, Meridia is viewed in three different ways by her peers:

1. Kids are "awed" by her intelligence and respectfully stay away from her.

2. Some dismiss her as odd and dull.

3. Some talk about her behind her back. They fear her because she is not needy.

 

Obviously she does not go to any of their slumber parties or she would have something to compare her own family to.

 

I wonder where her playfulness toward "first love" comes from. Does she read romance novels? Or is it innate knowledge?

 

I have to rely on my belief that archetypes are preprogramming us, because I don't see any possibility for Meridia to learn about "healthy" human behaviour. The spiritual festival with all its fake, commercial trappings brings her closer to Daniel, but does she have any reliable guidance to deal with her emotions? She is easily trapped by the heat he generates. To me it feels as if she does not ask questions of herself or him; she simply accepts his presence as seen on page 55: "In a short time Meridia fell into devastating love."

 

I begin to wonder if the coffin that washes ashore is one that should have held Meridia at birth. But she feels something crawl in her belly; her womb is pecked by a thousand birds; she falls on her back. Is it the birth of her own child that is foreshadowed?

 

And, of course, here is the perpetual denial that sets in when we think we are in love: "It doesn't hurt anymore," she says.

The omens disappear on page 58. "They make love on the beach and the omen of the dead, decaying fawn in the casket disappears into the sea's horizon."

 Yes, bad signs disappear when we fall in love.

 

 

 

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ScribeMK
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎03-30-2009

Re: Meridia

I believe that the amount of information of her schooling is really imaterial considering the context of what it was. No more needed to be said. Enough was said to set the ground work for her personality.

 

Daniel came along when she was needing someone. Whether he was sent to her by some mystical whim or was it planned by his family? That is what puzzles me. She loves him there is no doubt about that but am not sure as to whether Daniel really loves her or if it is a plan.

 

When Daniel and Meridia ran off from the fortune teller it may well have put a bad omen on them. Was it real or just part of the plan?

 

 

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eadieburke
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎01-27-2007

Re: Meridia

[ Edited ]

What kind of person does Meridia show herself to be? 

 

Meridia shows herself to be very sensitive and shy. She is very upset that her mother seems like she doesn’t even exist. Even though she is fearful of her father, she still respects him. She wonders if all fathers were cruel and all mothers forgetful. She is very curious about the things going on in her home. She sneaked into her father’s study to check everything out and never remembered ever being in there before. She has very low self-esteem because of the way her father and mother treat her. She felt very shameful and sad after the woman with the sea-green hat gave Ravenna a sharp look for losing Meridia at the market. All these personality traits lend themselves to Meridia possibly having a very troubled life.  

 

What chances for real warmth and affection has Meridia had in her young life? 

 

The nurse seemed to be the only one who ever showed any real warmth and affection for Meridia. She was about to tell Meridia a secret about what happened with her mother and father’s relationship but before she could, the nurse was gone, never to return back to the house. Imagine how Meridia felt after the only person who seemed to care about her was gone for good!    

 

How strong a person is she? 

 

Meridia was taught how to be a very strong person. Her mother told her: “Keep your spine stiff at all times. Never show anyone your tears. Never be at anybody’s mercy.” Even though Gabriel’s hatred prevented her from breathing, she managed to assemble an unflappable front before him. She would just remember her mom’s advice to hold her shoulder up and not even think about crying. Her pride would not allow her to act otherwise – she endured his torment bravely.  

 

Again, the budding relationship that Meridia develops with Daniel is full of magical properties--how do those fantastical elements describe what early romance is really like? 

 

When she first meets Daniel, she saw only a pair of hazel eyes which were so pale and luminous they seemed to float without a face. He seemed to disapppear before her until he touched her and the spot he touched seem to burn with a thirst that brought sweat to her face. When she returns to the Festival the next day, the chrysanthemums bordering the Plaza never looked lovelier. Then she realizes that Daniel is close by and a fever broke over her. She finds it very difficult to concentrate while the woman is talking to her about her afterlife. Daniel suddenly disappears again and a band of fire snaked up from the ground and latched onto her thighs. She brushed the spot where he had stood and her flesh was soaking up the heat he had left behind. A most splendid song is playing and she realizes that Daniel might be nothing more than a lonely product of her imagination. The song leads her to a dove-blue tent where she finds the figure of a young man, Daniel, who advances toward her and smiles while saying: “I have been dying to meet you.” He continues to tell her: “Yesterday when you stepped on my toes, you not only hobbled me but also stole my heart.” These strange happenings seem to be the beginning of her romance with Daniel.  

 

What is your early impression of Daniel's family and family life, and how do you think Meridia fits in with them? 

 

Daniel and his family seem to be the exact opposite from Meridia’s family. Daniel’s house pulsated with undeniable warmth. When Meridia meets Daniel’s mother, Eva says to Meridia: “I know everything about you. You’re the siren who has stolen my boy’s heart. But the two sisters, Permony and Malin, did not share in their mother’s merriment. Eva refers to her daughters as monsters. When Eva asks Meridia about her family, Meridia is surprised at how smoothly the lies rolled off her tongue. Meridia views Daniel’s family as a refuge from the ghosts and mists and they held the power to dispel neglect, loneliness, and the unremitting curse of forgetfulness. We will have to wait and see how well Meridia fits in with this family. Her life seems doomed to be troubled.   

 

Are you surprised by Gabriel and Ravenna's responses to her relationship? 

 

Yes, I was surprised at the fact that Gabriel was very resistant to Meridia getting married and leaving home. It was also surprising that Ravenna was in favor of the marriage and actually came to Meridia’s defense. Ravenna told Gabriel: “What you owe me, I will use to buy her freedom. I will add up all the damage you’ve caused to purchase her passage out of this mad house.” 

 

Message Edited by eadieburke on 06-01-2009 05:24 PM
Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Meridia

Meridia is a lonely, inquisitive young lady. She is longing to understand why no one seems to like or love her. But, she willingly does what they say hoping to do it right. I find her to be a very compelling character. I think she is a strong person because she is surviving at home. With only an over-protective nurse to nurture her, Meridia doesn't seem to stand a chance. Yet, she survives situation after situation. We will see what happens to her once she settles into married life.

 

The opportunities I see that Meridia has for real warmth and affection are from:

the nurse- Yes, she is over-protective, but I think she loves Meridia and is trying to be a shield for her.

Hannah - Hannah is her friend, real or imaginary, human or ghost. She is the one who helps Meridia learn to step out and explore; to enjoy her surroundings. Hannah is Meridia's first real friend, the one who teaches her that she is worth loving.

Daniel -  Daniel accepts Meridia as she is and makes her feel pretty and loved. Through his eyes, Meridia sees a future of happiness and love. One very different from her world. They have fun, explore, and enjoy each other's company. That said, we have to wait to see if he is for real, or if he changes after the wedding. While I like him, nothing seems to be as it appears in this book.

Ravenna - When Ravenna fought for Meridia to be free to marry Daniel, I thought I saw concern and possibly love. We will see how their relationship shakes out.

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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