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ladybug74
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30/ Leah and Rebecca - Black and White


Carmenere_lady wrote:

Just a couple of ?'s that I haven't figured out yet:

 

Does anyone out there have any ideas as to why Leah sees Ravenna wearing black and Rebecca sees her wearing white?  What is it supposed to mean?

 

Another ?, can we be sure it is Ravenna putting the blue envelopes by Meridia's door even though Meridia assumes that is the case?


It was actually revealed in this section that it was not Ravenna who put the envelopes by Merida's door. Gabriel sent Pilar to put the envelopes there and sprayed them with Ravenna's perfume so Meridia would think she left them. He also left the bars of gold.

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ladybug74
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30


chris227 wrote:

 

Another character who has changed drastically is Malin.  Initially it seemed that she despised Meridia but she ended up, in the previous chapters, being the one to help Meridia see the truth about Eva.  Malin has come to admire Meridia.  I love that she has come to invite Meridia into her house as a friend and calls for her when she goes into labor.  Malin became less proud and less arrogant during her pregnancy.  She treats Permony better and actually sees her as a friend. Her labor (another horrible birth experience!!) was devastating.  How horrible that her child died!  This event changed Malin, as it would any woman, greatly.  She now understands whats really important in life.  Fashion and hair are no longer important.  She visits her child's grave every morning.  This is all a complete turnaround from the spoiled child we see in the begininng of the novel.  Malin too has moved up on my list of favorite characters.  I fear for her though, she ignores her husband when he seeks comfort from her, will she suffer a similar fate to Ravenna?

 

 



I agree with your comments about Malin. Don't you just know it ticked Eva off when Malin said that Meridia would sit at her table at the wedding and she didn't care if Eva sat there? She has definitely changed for the better. 

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nfmgirl
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30/ Leah and Rebecca - Black and White


LISA-BRYAN wrote:

In my opinion - Leah and Rebecca seeing Ravenna in 2 different forms reminded me of the ying and yang symbol ... and considering the author's parents being chinese -- the connection was reinforced.


That is an interesting concept. We saw the black/white thing appear again later on after Gabriel died. Leah saw Ravenna eating with a great black beast, and Rebecca saw her leading a white horse. Perhaps there is a little yin/yang going on here.


Heather
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MCondon
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30/ Leah and Rebecca - Black and White

I believe Ravenna is in black then Pilar is in white.  Each time Ravenna visits Gabriel has Pilar deliver the envelopes.

 

This book gets better and better towards the end.

Mary C
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Read-n-Rider
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30/ Leah and Rebecca - Black and White

Back to the shelf question for a moment--I would put this book in the fantasy section, too.  I am awed by Erick's imagination and his ability to integrate all the characters in a story that is believable in itself, and then to introduce the bees and the mists and the magical happenings that definitely "spice it up."

 

Joan

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MCondon
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30

I thought he was talking about saving Permony from Eva's bee's.
Mary C
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AKWillett
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30


lmpmn wrote:

As much as I despise Eva, I have to think that some of her qualities rubbed off on Meridia and helped her to become a strong woman.  For example, how did Meridia become such a savvy businessperson?  I think she was born with high intelligence, but she got the wheeling & dealing from Eva at the marketplace.  Before she met Eva, I don't recall Meridia's character being described as manipulative or devious.  But after she met Eva, she was able to come up with ways to save money for the business by "cooking the books" (for lack of a better term).

 


I hadn't thought of it like this, but now that you've mentioned it, that's right! I guess Eva served more of a purpose than just to torment everyone around her. And, while Eva used these tactics for evil, Meridia backed them with good intentions (to protect her family, not hurt them), so they were more successful for her, I think. Does that make sense?

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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30

The house cleared of the mists and fogs and such after Gabriel thawed from his freeze.  If you read alot of Erick's answers to the reader's questions, he saids he does not bluntly reveal the meaning behind all the magical and mystical phrases, he wants the read to decide what they mean. When someone is cold and distant, and his or her partner does not understand the meaning for it, this can prolong making it difficult to show warmth within the walls of the house they dwell in.  To me the mists and fogs have gathered very strongly through the house and many years of not communicating together and not discussing or talking it over and not trying to understand where their problems began and how to end them.  Did it start when Ravenna was pregnant with Meridia? With her difficult birth and maybe post parteum depression that lingered on through the years. Neither partners understood what the other one was going through. With not understanding such a serious emotional problem, the barriers came up immensely and stayed until there was a presense of fog, mist and deep cold that surrounded the house.  Gabriel had given up when he went to bed at Pilar's house and sunk into a state of not caring and a will to die. And of course, alot of people will see this quite different from me and probably from you also. But this is the way I feel the author wrote it. We have to decide by the facts we have read and the way we have taken these facts as to what they mean.
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EbonyAngel
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30/ Leah and Rebecca - Black and White


LISA-BRYAN wrote:

In my opinion - Leah and Rebecca seeing Ravenna in 2 different forms reminded me of the ying and yang symbol ... and considering the author's parents being chinese -- the connection was reinforced.


 

Maybe what they were really seeing is their perception of Ravenna.  Sorta like eye witness accounts.  No 2 people ever see the exact same thing.
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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007

Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30

I have to say that this group of chapters was much more enjoyable to read than the first nine!  I was very very close to putting down the book and asking for a pass on this one...but I didn't and at this point with about five chapters left to go I think that might have been a good decision.  I am still not convinced that it needs the mist and the bees and the strange stairway and the images in the mirrors to be a good story.  Could they all just be considered gratuitous mystical images?

 

As for Eva - perhaps based on my former mother-in-law, perhaps not - I can't see her changing one bit.  She continues to be a conniving bitch and a personality like that is hard to change.  Even when her daughter suffered the loss of her child - she was terribly mean and insensitive.  That was the only time in the first 35 chapters where if she was going to change she might have had the ability.  Perhaps on her own death bed she will realize that there won't be a big crowd at her funeral!  Who knows, I'm not quite there just yet.

 

Daniel isn't a strong enough man to stand up to his mother, see her for who she is and stand up for his wife and family.  What does he think Meridia will gain by making up stories about his mother?  My lesson's learned -- be sure you know the family you are marrying into - do your homework and be sure your future husband isn't a mama's boy and doesn't have any mama issues!  If Meridia would have done her homework - she may not be in that circumstance.  But then - she was escaping from an awful homelife....never a good position to be in, ever.

 

Susan 

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nicole21WA
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30/ Leah and Rebecca - Black and White


MCondon wrote:

I believe Ravenna is in black then Pilar is in white.  Each time Ravenna visits Gabriel has Pilar deliver the envelopes.

 

This book gets better and better towards the end.


That's an interesting thought.  I'll have to go back to that section with that in mind.

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TRJ4SQ
Posts: 193
Registered: ‎03-10-2009

Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30


 

Each new set of circumstances in the novel exposes us to another facet of each of the characters. In Daniel for example, we have now seen him as a lover, as a husband, as a son, as an in-law, and now, as a father. Is he a different character in his different roles? How about Meridia in each of her roles?

 

I believe the each person lives a somewhat different character in the roles that they play in life. Daniel and Merida are no different and for being a newly married and new parents, they haven't done too badly.

 

 

 

How are you thoughts about each of the characters shifting? Pilar, Gabriel, Ravenna, and others?

 

Pilar has proven herself to be deceitful and secretive. Gabriel appears more like a grieved man seeking a substitute for his true love lost (still no excuse). Ravenna seems more like a frustrated woman who cannot find her way to repair all of the faults of the past. Malin has left her mother behind and Permony is now impervious to her mother's belittling. Elias is lost in grief for causing harm to Noah, no longer seeks escape and he is also now impervious to Eva.

 

Have you reevaluated the love relationship between Gabriel and Ravenna?

 

Yes, I don't think they ever stopped loving each other. They just didn't know how to repair the damage from the past and never tried to communicate what they really felt.

 

How would you describe the end of Elias' life? Is this a man who lived a satisfying life at all? What were his biggest flaws and regrets?

 

His life was unfulfilled and his ending sad. His biggest flaw was not being able to resist Eva or show disagreement for her behavior. His biggest regrets were not expressing his true love for Permony or defending her and for his causing harm to Noah.

 

How have Eva's tactics changed so far in the novel? Is there a chance we will see a better side of this woman?

 

I'm not sure if she has a better side. I think she knows that she is loosing her grip as the all mighty matriarch nor will she soon have anyone to bully. Her tactics haven't really changed, just shifted in how she goes about her meddling.

 

 


 

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ponie
Posts: 359
Registered: ‎01-30-2009

Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30

Eva's treatment of Permony (and others) is nothing short of extreme psychological abuse.  It was painful to read these chapters.

 

Psychological abuse, also referred to as emotional abuse, is a form of abuse characterized by a person subjecting or exposing another to behavior that is psychologically harmful.  

Psychological abuse involves the willful infliction of mental or emotional anguish by threat, humiliation, or other verbal and non-verbal conduct. It is often associated with situations of power imbalance.

Methods of emotional abuse include causing fear by intimidation, threatening physical harm to self, partner, children, or partner's family or friends, destruction of pets and property, forcing isolation from family, friends, or school or work. Other tactics include putdowns, belittling or shaming, inappropriate or extreme punishment and the withholding of affection. 

 

A Personality disorder is a general term for a type of mental illness in which your ways of thinking, perceiving situations and relating to others are dysfunctional.

 

Eva meets the criteria for (more than one) personality disorder.

 

(Information from wikipedia and from over 30 years in field.)

 

 

ponie
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TRJ4SQ
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30


ponie wrote:

 

Eva meets the criteria for (more than one) personality disorder.

 

 

 

 


Scary, huh!

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TRJ4SQ
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Re: My thoughts: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30

[ Edited ]

Amanda-Louise wrote:

Chapter Twenty

 

Eva is just despicable!  Meridia and Daniel are now paying her out of the savings!  And it seems that Meridia can't catch a break from any aspect of her life.  For some reason I had imagined Noah as a calm pleasant baby so I am surprised and disappointed to find that he's an irritable wee thing.

 

Chapter Twenty-One

 

Heartbreaking!  Daniel and Meridia are left with nothing but hope once Pilar takes her last jewelry.  I was glad that Pilar was paying for the surgery and not stealing the money, though!  I had a small feeling that she would take off with the jewelry.

 

Chapter Twenty-Two

 

Is there really a light at the end of the tunnel?  Some hope for Meridia and Daniel?  It's almost too good to be true after all they've been through. 

 

Chapter Twenty-Three

 

Oh - I love what happened to Patina.  She's finally relieved from her jail that is Eva's house.  However, I don't really understand the significance of it all - the hair, the fading away.  And what is the significance of Eva's hair changing colour?

 

Chapter Twenty-Four

 

Again, another overly dramatic but compelling scene!  How can Eva live with herself?  I so hope that Daniel and Meridia's pledge of independence is a firm one.

 

Chapter Twenty - Five

 

So good to see Daniel and Meridia prospering!  They also are really working together as a couple and as parents.  Finally, a sense of normalcy!  Do I detect some foreshadowing when Noah asks his mother if he'll be able to stand up to Eva?  Why has Patina presumably chosen Daniel and Meridia's old house to haunt?  It was a dark, not entirely happy place for them.

 

Chapter Twenty - Six

 

Interesting that Eva's roses are withering and declining - echoing Eva's own weakening of power.  And the marigolds are rowing more plentiful - has Patina faded away so she could more effectively help Meridia and Daniel as an unseen influence?

 

Chapter Twenty - Seven

 

I'm tiring of Eva and her mysterious, conniving ways.  Curious about how the bird met it's demise?  Was that Patina?

 

Chapter Twenty - Eight

 

I'm interested to read how Eva will wear widowhood?  And.....Save who?????  More questions!!!

 

Chapter Twenty - Nine

 

What a dramatic chapter.  What a gruesome description of the dead baby!  Why did that happen - to punish Malin (her change being too little too late) or Eva?

 

Chapter Twenty - Nine

 

Again, mention of some hard protrusion on the back of Ravenna's head.  Is this the bun she wears her hair in?  Meridia saw it much earlier as a bony protrusion now it's an iron, cutting one. 

I'm having a bit of trouble with this chapter!  So, the ice and cold in the house was coming from Gabriel all along?  Then why wouldn't it leave when he left for the day for all those years?  Was his influence on the house that strong?  And why Pilar?  I just dont get that connection at all.  Then Ravenna, Gabriel and Meridia walk home as a lovely little family once they've broken him out of the ice.  And these two women who have spent years being tormented by Gabriel actually take great pains to protect him.  They are soaked to the bone so that he is dry as a bone!

 

Chapter Thirty

 

I'm feeling rather as though this is all beyond my understanding - or that I'm trying to understand too much.  I'm certainly glad Ravenna's house cleared up!  All this time I thought it was her problem, but it was Gabriel!  However, I'm worried that Meridia's last attempt at a natal family is costing her the one she has created for herself (Daniel and Noah).

 

-----

 

Okay - one quarter left to go and still so much unanswered!!!

 

 


 

Excellent post! I love the way you've related your thoughts here! :smileyhappy:
Message Edited by TRJ4SQ on 06-25-2009 06:22 AM
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TRJ4SQ
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30


dhaupt wrote:

First off, It was really hard to put the book down after finishing chapter 30. I really wanted to finish. 

 

I felt the same way! I even sneaked in the first couple of paragraphs for Chapter 31. :smileytongue:

 

Pilar I feel sorry for I don't think this is her fault, I don't condone adultery, but I don't think she went looking for Gabriel I think he went looking for her and like some one some where I'm sure said, You can't help who you fall in love with.

 

 

I have to disagree with you here. You may not be able to control who you fall in love with but you can control how you proceed or pursue the feeling. If she knew he was married, she should have said "NO WAY BUDDY! Go home to your wife and kid."


 

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TRJ4SQ
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30/ Leah and Rebecca - Black and White

[ Edited ]

chris227 wrote:

Carmenere_lady wrote:

Just a couple of ?'s that I haven't figured out yet:

 

Does anyone out there have any ideas as to why Leah sees Ravenna wearing black and Rebecca sees her wearing white?  What is it supposed to mean?

 

Another ?, can we be sure it is Ravenna putting the blue envelopes by Meridia's door even though Meridia assumes that is the case?


 

I also questioned why Leah sees Ravenna in "her stiff black cloak...face veiled, shoulders erect..." and Rebecca sees "the same woman but in a billowing white dress, head bared...".  This is just more of the magic that comes into play in the book.  I have two thoughts, first, that this is just a way of representing the two different sides of Ravenna, the one that "forgets" and locks herself in her kitchen, and the actual caring mother that she should have been and seems to try to be in parts of this section.  The second is that maybe the two women have very different feelings about Ravenna.  Perhaps Leah sees Ravenna as almost evil and harsh while Rebecca sees her as a good mother coming to help her daughter and see her grandson - both true in some ways.

 


I'm wondering if one is Ravenna & the other is Pilar??

Message Edited by TRJ4SQ on 06-25-2009 05:50 AM
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TRJ4SQ
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30


Tarri wrote:

 

I feel sorry for Pilar.  She lived her life as a second class citizen while the man who "kept" her could have easily afforded to support both families.  


It was her choice as well as the choice to support herself instead. She could have made a better life for herself if that's what she wanted to do. Sorry for being harsh but I have no sympathy for a woman who will knowingly become involved with a married man.

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TRJ4SQ
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Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30/ still not sure about this book.


Lil_Irish_Lass wrote:

Linda10 wrote:
Although quite a bit has happened in this past week's chapters, I think the biggest "whoa" has been finding out that Pilar was Gabriel's mistress!  I liked her as soon as we met her in the story.  She seemed to be a very caring person and wanting to help Meridia.  I guess that's one sign of a good book/author -- being able to paint a picture one way, only to find out it's not the true or complete picture down the road.

Not that cheating is morally right, but it doesn't make Pilar a bad person. Her actions towards Meridia and Patina were never anything but caring.

 

And it's also not like she's calling Gabriel away from a happy, loving home for some fun. He lives in eternal winter in a home with a wife who will not talk to him. While I was unsure if there ever was a mistress I could never find Gabriel solely at fault for cheating. Ravenna and the cold gave him no other choice.

 

That goes either way... if a spouse is not getting love and affection at home, no matter how much they love their husband/wife, they will wind up looking elsewhere for physical comfort and connection... we're only human and we have needs.

Though I was shocked to find out the woman behind the door was Pilar myself.


 

This may be overkill but I'm going to say it anyway because I have an adamant belief.

 

There is NO excuse for adultery.

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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: 20 - 30

I agree. Life is all about choices. We make them everyday and have to either enjoy the good or suffer the consequences for what we do.  Affairs are not good for anyone and only serve to destroy people's lives. Pilar made a choice and suffered for that choice, but then, so did Gabriel with Ravenna and so did Daniel with Meridia. 


TRJ4SQ wrote:

It was her choice as well as the choice to support herself instead. She could have made a better life for herself if that's what she wanted to do. Sorry for being harsh but I have no sympathy for a woman who will knowingly become involved with a married man.

 

 

 

 

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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