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Inspired Contributor
gosox
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎10-14-2007

Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

[ Edited ]


 While I was looking back on some passages I had marked, I came across the following passage that seemed to give the reader a foreboding of how things may go for Daniel and Meridia's relationship. Talking about his dad, Daniel states, "He thinks the secrets of the universe are far easier to understand than a woman's heart." Daniel said this with such a straight face that Meridia laughed. Little did she know that many times in the years to come the words would return to haunt her." (54)

 

Although I do get frustrated with Daniel, I do try to keep in mind that he is really just a kid. (approx 18?) In spite of that, I find it hard to warm up to him when he ignores Eva's treatment of Permony. I feel that action speaks volumes about the type of man he may become. I hope I am wrong! Eva has created an atmosphere where her children seek her attention at the expense of their own siblings. It is hard to see the young and hopeful Meridia leave her home for one that is far more dysfunctional.

Message Edited by gosox on 06-12-2009 10:42 PM
Message Edited by gosox on 06-12-2009 10:43 PM
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tabcat
Posts: 100
Registered: ‎09-17-2008
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

JerseyAngel,

Daniel was 18 when he and Meridia met (p.52).  I agree with you that they were awfully young to marry, but I am looking at this from present day American culture and since there is such a blend of cultures and no set time frame in the novel...hard to say if this is the norm for the world in OBAM.

Tcat

 


JerseyAngel wrote:
I think we do forget that they are very young so he does have growing up to do. Meridia was only 16 when they married. I don't recall Daniel's age being mentioned? If someone does, please let me know! I would imagine he's not too much older then her though. When you go from being a boy who does everything his parents say, to suddenly being married & stilll living at home & being under your parents thumb, it's a transition that I would think is not easy. Especially with Eva as your mother. My view is that Daniel is slowly finding how to go from being the obedient son to the faithful husband. At first he just wants everything to go on as it has & everyone to be happy but suddenly everything turns upside down. As each chapters goes he grows up a little more & becomes his own man. I think as the story continues we will continue to see him grow.

 

 
Frequent Contributor
BookBobBP
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎04-30-2009

Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

I have really enjoyed reading this book the middle chapters got me hooked.  The conflict between Meridia and Eva is such a strong force throughout this book.  Meridia seems to win whenever she takes the high road but when she plays by Eva's rules Eva gets the upper hand.  Now the question concerning her parents yes my opinion of them changed when they came to her aide when Eva was being so heartless to her.  It is amazing how Merida's mother seems to show up just when she needs her. Though I think all of our opinions change of our parents when we are on our own and have our own children.
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Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19


AnnJE wrote:

  The scents tell us who is coming into the room/house.  I definitely associate scents with certain people - in a good way.

 


I kind of had to laugh at this part of your post.  I tend to associate scents of people in a bad way.  I have an aunt and a good friend who both wear the same overwhelming perfume.  We usually hug when we see each other, and although I love them dearly, I dread that hug because I smell like that perfume (that I cannot stand) for the rest of the day.  For Meridia, I agree...Verbana, Ravena's scent, is calming for Meridia and something she looks forward to.

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19


Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:

Zeal wrote:
Eva is one of the most horrible characters that I have encountered in a long time.  I can think of several "real" individuals that remind me of her.  You would think that Noah's birth would cause her to change her ways, but I don't think she has it in her.  The fact that Eva loves Daniel, but treats Meridia so poorly fascinates me also.  Why would she want to ruin Daniel's life by making those that he loves miserable?  I am sure it will not end with Noah.

I don't think that Eva does love Daniel... I actually don't think she loves any of her family members aside from herself (and her roses).

 

None of her actions come out of misguided love, they are all built from her own selfish intentions. Part of it I'm sure comes from feeling unloved by her own birth mother who allowed Patina to raise her as her own - and knowing what we do of the woman we know that Patina cherised baby Eva so it's not like she grew up neglected by her adoptive family.

 

And as much as I dislike Eva I see the majority of her antics as a spoiled child who doesn't know how to socialize rather than pure evil hatred of others. She has to feel like she is in power, holding all the cards, and that everyone is paying attention to her. If she feels the power slipping she throws a temper tantrum (the bees) until things start going her way again.


 

Ah...good points!  Thanks!
"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Time


meme1 wrote:

bookloverjb85 wrote:
Thanks for pointing out that both Verbena and Roses are thorny.  I didn't even think of that, but now that you mention it, it makes sense that these are the smells for each mother.

PinkPanther wrote:

 

Just wanted to add a "cute" story:  My granddaughter lives across the country from me.  I always were Red Door perfume and didn't realize that the "aroma" was so distinct.  The five year old was sitting by a lady at a basketball game when she leaned over to the lady and said, "You smell like my grandma".  I'm not sure that the lady took that as a compliment until my daughter explained the reason for the statement!

Great story!!  Out of the mouth of babes!


 

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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nicole21WA
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Registered: ‎03-22-2009
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19


tabcat wrote:

JerseyAngel,

Daniel was 18 when he and Meridia met (p.52).  I agree with you that they were awfully young to marry, but I am looking at this from present day American culture and since there is such a blend of cultures and no set time frame in the novel...hard to say if this is the norm for the world in OBAM.

Tcat

 


JerseyAngel wrote:
I think we do forget that they are very young so he does have growing up to do. Meridia was only 16 when they married. I don't recall Daniel's age being mentioned? If someone does, please let me know! I would imagine he's not too much older then her though. When you go from being a boy who does everything his parents say, to suddenly being married & stilll living at home & being under your parents thumb, it's a transition that I would think is not easy. Especially with Eva as your mother. My view is that Daniel is slowly finding how to go from being the obedient son to the faithful husband. At first he just wants everything to go on as it has & everyone to be happy but suddenly everything turns upside down. As each chapters goes he grows up a little more & becomes his own man. I think as the story continues we will continue to see him grow.

 

 

 

Since no one voiced any concern about their ages I decided that the norm of this culture was to marry young.  This is quite obviously not modern-day Western society--they have dowries and give birth at home rather than a hospital.  When those two things were common practice, people also married at a much younger age.  So while we may think they are young, I don't believe that is supposed to be an issue here.

 

I'm trying to figure out if it is a cultural norm for them to live with the husband's family.  I don't see any mention of anyone else doing so.  If it's not the norm, then it really says something about Daniel.

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JerseyAngel
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19


nicole21WA wrote:

tabcat wrote:

JerseyAngel,

Daniel was 18 when he and Meridia met (p.52).  I agree with you that they were awfully young to marry, but I am looking at this from present day American culture and since there is such a blend of cultures and no set time frame in the novel...hard to say if this is the norm for the world in OBAM.

Tcat

 


JerseyAngel wrote:
I think we do forget that they are very young so he does have growing up to do. Meridia was only 16 when they married. I don't recall Daniel's age being mentioned? If someone does, please let me know! I would imagine he's not too much older then her though. When you go from being a boy who does everything his parents say, to suddenly being married & stilll living at home & being under your parents thumb, it's a transition that I would think is not easy. Especially with Eva as your mother. My view is that Daniel is slowly finding how to go from being the obedient son to the faithful husband. At first he just wants everything to go on as it has & everyone to be happy but suddenly everything turns upside down. As each chapters goes he grows up a little more & becomes his own man. I think as the story continues we will continue to see him grow.

 

 

 

Since no one voiced any concern about their ages I decided that the norm of this culture was to marry young.  This is quite obviously not modern-day Western society--they have dowries and give birth at home rather than a hospital.  When those two things were common practice, people also married at a much younger age.  So while we may think they are young, I don't believe that is supposed to be an issue here.

 

I'm trying to figure out if it is a cultural norm for them to live with the husband's family.  I don't see any mention of anyone else doing so.  If it's not the norm, then it really says something about Daniel.


I understood it to be the "norm" since there was no mention of any objections by anyone that they marry young or live with his parents. He worked for the family business and they were both young so it kind of made sense that they live there, at first at least. Since this book has no time or place, anything goes I guess. I only pointed out the ages because I think it explains a lot of Daniel's behaviour. I think Meridia, even though she is younger, has shown more strenth & independance because her parents neglected her for so many years that she was already taking care of herself, making her own decisions, etc Daniel on the other hand was raised in home where everyone did as Eva said & you didn't dare stray from that. So it's a much bigger adjustment for him to find his own two feet & go against here. If he had been older & already on his own when they married, it probably would have been easier.

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JerseyAngel
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19


tabcat wrote:

JerseyAngel,

Daniel was 18 when he and Meridia met (p.52).  I agree with you that they were awfully young to marry, but I am looking at this from present day American culture and since there is such a blend of cultures and no set time frame in the novel...hard to say if this is the norm for the world in OBAM.

Tcat

 

 

Thanks Tcat! For the life of me I couldn't remember and knew it would take awhile to flip through & find it.

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dleigh
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎05-05-2009
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

Just a quick thought....I think the story of our birth does become a part of our mythology. As you read further in the book, you begin to realize how the story of Meridia's birth & babyhood, Daniel's birth and even Eva's birth/babyhood help to form who they are (trying to not put any spoilers in, so I am being a little ambiguous).
DH
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AnnJE
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

Ponie - wonderful post!  You are right on with our cast of characters.  I hope the author sees your list!!
Correspondent
mamawli
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎03-13-2009

Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

Eva is similar to a two faced person that we have met many times in real life.  She appears to be sweet when she wants something from someone or when she wants others to appreciate her.  References have been made about her concern for what others will think of her family.  While she is evil to her family members.  It was Malin who pointed out her two-faced personality to Meridia.

 

The bees reinforce the double personality of Eva.  They produce the sweet honey that abounds her personality sometime and they have an evil sting.  It is this sting and the venom that springs forth from her towards Meridia and Elias.

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ladybug74
Posts: 89
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

When I mentioned that I had a hard time following the first chapters, someone mentioned that I should keep reading because the book would get much better. I would have to say now that I agree 100% with the person who told me this. (Please forgive me for forgetting your name, but you know who you are.) The first chapters had me a bit confused because I was trying to figure out the whole thing with the mists and other things that were confusing me. Now that I have read further, I have been able to really get into the story. I am enjoying it now and having a hard time stopping at the end of this section. Since I'm a little late posting, I am happy that I will be able to keep reading a bit longer for next week's discussion.

 

My first impression of Meridia's new family was that it was very dysfuncitonal. As I read more about this family (especially Eva), I think the family is even more dysfuncitonal. I would never be able to live in a home with someone like Eva, no matter how much I love my husband. 

 

Meridia has grown up by learning to stand up for herself and by becoming a mother. I personally had to do a lot of growing up when my daughter was born, so I would think that having a child would force just about any woman into growing up. I was proud of Meridia when she finally started standing up to Eva, even though she did this in a sly way most of the time.

 

My feelings for Ravenna and Gabriel have changed. I did not like them very much in the earlier chapters, especially Gabriel. They let Meridia come back home when she needed a place to go, even though I had actually thought Gabriel might turn her away. Ravenna was so cold and distant toward Meridia when she was at home, but now it seems that she is missing Meridia and that she does care very much for her daughter. 

 

The scent of Verbena represents Ravenna and the scent of Roses represents Eva. I don't know if these 2 particular scents actually have any significance to each other in "real life," however. I have not yet read everyone else's responses to these questions. There are a couple of perfumes that remind me of my mother and grandmother. The scent of the perfume that my grandmother used to wear is a pleasant scent for me. The scent of my mother's perfume is unpleasant to me, but not because I have problems with my mother. I just never did like the smell of her perfume. 

 

I don't really understand the question about characteristics that make up the Willow Street House. I will have to respond to this one as I read other people's responses. 

 

If Hannah is an imaginary friend as I first guessed, I would say she returned because Meridia once again felt helpless and alone. She needed a friend, so she brought Hannah back. I am still certain that Hannah is either an imaginary friend or ghost because Daniel was unable to see her.

 

So far we have had the birth stories of Meridia and of Meridia's baby. Neither birth seems to have been very pleasant. Her baby's birth shows how strong Meridia is and that she and her son are both fighters. I do think the story of a person's own birth is a very big part of who they are. 

 

 

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AKWillett
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎05-06-2009
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

ladybug74 wrote:

The scent of Verbena represents Ravenna and the scent of Roses represents Eva. I don't know if these 2 particular scents actually have any significance to each other in "real life," however.

 

 

I don't know if the scents have a significance to each other in real life, but I believe that bees love the scent of roses and are drawn to it, which explains why the bees follow Eva. I haven't had a chance to read all of the posts yet, so someone may have mentioned it already. But I thought I'd throw it out there in case no one had!

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JerseyAngel
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19


ladybug74 wrote:

 

When I mentioned that I had a hard time following the first chapters, someone mentioned that I should keep reading because the book would get much better. I would have to say now that I agree 100% with the person who told me this. (Please forgive me for forgetting your name, but you know who you are.) The first chapters had me a bit confused because I was trying to figure out the whole thing with the mists and other things that were confusing me. Now that I have read further, I have been able to really get into the story. I am enjoying it now and having a hard time stopping at the end of this section. Since I'm a little late posting, I am happy that I will be able to keep reading a bit longer for next week's discussion.

 

 

 


I'm so happy that you are enjoying it now! I can barely put it down! I wondered recently what you thought now that you were a little further along. I think for me it's because we really have gotten to know the characters. There is still some magic involved with the bees, the mists, etc but it seems to blend in very nicely with the story so it just seems to belong.

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LISA-BRYAN
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Registered: ‎12-16-2008
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19

Daniel was 18 --- refer to 2nd sentence of Chapter 6 pg 52.
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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006

Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19 - Hannah, what's in a name?

Hannah, backward or forwards it still spells Hannah, a mirror image, there's got to be something to that.  Is Hannah Meridia's mirror image?

Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

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bookloverjb85
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Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19 - Hannah, what's in a name?

Didn't think of that, but maybe...
--Jen--

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LISA-BRYAN
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎12-16-2008

Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19 - Hannah, what's in a name?

Didn't think of Hannah being a palidrome - - the whole connection with mirrors and the possibility that Hannah may be Meridia's mirror image is interesting -- however, I still contend that Hannah is Meridia's imaginary friend that enters the story only when Meridia is in a new place and is needing some help and guidance.  Hannah makes up for what Meridia lacks in confidence at that time.
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Read-n-Rider
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎01-29-2007

Re: Middle Chapters, 10 - 19 - Hannah, what's in a name?

I, too, have been drawn into this book much more in this second set of chapters.  I was happy when Ravenna and Gabriel stood up for their daughter in her time of need (though not thrilled when Gabriel said he wouldn't come to her aid a second time--hope he didn't really mean this!).  I was proud of Meridia for standing up to Eva, and disappointed in Daniel for not supporting her more; very pleased when he acted more mature later on.

 

Eva, of course, is someone to "love to hate;" hard to believe that anyone could really be that evil.  I like the comment someone made about the bees' showing both the sweet and the terrible sides of her personality.

 

I like Permony and feel sorry for her being so obviously overshadowed in her mother's regard by Malin.  However, Elias does try to make up for this and she is certainly his favorite.

 

It's hard not to read ahead at this point; am hoping for a happy ending for the young couple, a reconciliation for Ravenna and Gabriel--and suitable comeuppance for Eva!

 

Joan