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Rachel-K
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Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

This section opens with Connie telling Chilton of her source, and by the end of it, we know that Chilton is furious with Connie for not finding the "receipt" book. Have your feelings for Chilton changed?

 

What is the "receipt" book? How has it been used by this line of women? What does it mean to Prudence? 

 

Connie's research turns up Prudence's journal to give us another glimpse into the lives of Mercy, Prudence, and Patty. Do you have a sense of what Prudence was like?

 

How close is Connie's understanding of these women's lives, compared to our own? How does it feel to have more information than Connie does?

 

What is the symbol on the front door, and how do you believe it got there? (This question is for those who haven't read past chapter 14!)

 

Connie and Sam's relationship continues to grow. How is Sam helping Connie's research? Is Sam a romantic?

 

 

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candeny6
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

My feelings toward Chilton did change after he got angry with Connie.  I have a feeling that he might be taking advantage of her finds because he is under some sort of pressure to do something himself. 

 

It is so much fun to discover the new finds along with Connie.  I also think Connie has underestimated her mother all these years.  They are more alike than Connie realizes yet. 

Candi
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Bonnie824
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


candeny6 wrote:

My feelings toward Chilton did change after he got angry with Connie.  I have a feeling that he might be taking advantage of her finds because he is under some sort of pressure to do something himself. 

 

It is so much fun to discover the new finds along with Connie.  I also think Connie has underestimated her mother all these years.  They are more alike than Connie realizes yet. 


 

ITA- both that Chilton wants to use Connie's work- and needs it because he has nothing new himself, and that Connie has underestimated her Mom. I am also curious about "Granna". Did she just ignore all the magic in the house? Or did it now work for her I wonder?
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amajor
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

I'm finding it hard to answer these questions because I have read past Chapter 14.  I forced myself to stop at 16, so next week hopefully I won't be so paranoid about revealing something!

 

Chilton is doing something nasty.  I can tell it in my bones.  Lol!

 

I think we all know that the receipt book is going to be the spell/recipe book.  I can't wait until I can finish this book!

---Abby

"I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book."
- Groucho Marx
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no4daughter
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

In this section I was really struck by how much a social event the courtroom is for the townsfolk.  The ladies are all knitting and doing other handwork while they listen to the case.  It is easy to see how things can get out of hand in an effort to prolong the event or make it more interesting for the observers.

 

I was hoping to learn more about the doll with the needle hidden in the folds of her dress in this section and can't wait to see what significance it may have later.  And why can't Connie find out where that key fits?  Curiouser and curiouser as Alice may have said.

 

It is also interesting that Connie just has to close her eyes while talking on the phone to her mother and she can see exactly what Grace is doing.  The relationship between the two of them seems to have improved during these chapters.

 

Professor Chilton is beginning to creep me out especially when he "gazed across the table at Connie, his eyes gleaming with a hard, cold light" when she figured out that the receipt book may actually be a book of spells.

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booksJT
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

I think Professor Chilton is upset because of the pressure he has on making a discovery for himself. He is using Connie to help him make a new discovery. The receipt book is a book of home remedies for cures.

 I think Prudence wants to get rid of the book to protect her family.  I have a sense that Prudence might have been more proctective of her family then any one thinks.

 

The symbol on the front door might have been put their by her ancesters as a warning to her to be careful of what she might find. Sam is helping her because he cares for her and wants to get to know Connie better. I think Connie and her mother are more alike than Connie is willing to admit.  

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dhaupt
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

My feelings for Chilton have not change but my dislike of him has intensified by the end of this part of the book. And Connie is still trying to make excuses for his actions, which I understand from her point of view, him being her mentor. 

 

By the end of this part of the book the receipt book has been mentioned in Prudence's diary as Almanack. From what we read we come to the conclusion that the book has been handed down from mother to daughter long before Deliverance to be used in many things ie potions for healing and cooking and all matters of everyday life. And we find out that Prudence wants nothing to do with it, in fact she blames it for all the misfortunes of her family past and present, as she states on page 183 " If she could be rid of the book perhaps she could keep Josiah safe, preserve him from Providence's vengeful hand" "Prudence wanted nothing more than to have the book out of her house, away from her, where it could sully her family no more".

 

As Connie studies Prudence's diary we learn that she was a very matter of fact person according to the matter of fact way she describes daily life in her journal. We find out by her own chapter that she feels betrayed by the book somehow because of the treatment she and Mercy get from the townspeople, and yet she spent her life helping people by being a midwife and we have to assume that she used some of what she knew by reading the "Almanack".

 

By Connie's research and her statements about our past female characters I think she gets pretty close to the real feel of them and their lives and obstacles.

Sometimes having more information than our heroine is frustrating when something that is perfectly clear to us has Connie stumped. But I kind of like how the author gives us more and how it's fun to see the lightbulb go off above Connie's head when she realizes something that has been apparent to us for a while. 

 

The symbol on the front door is not what we first suspected, an act of kids or vandals, as Connie researches the symbols it brings her back to the Wicca store where she learns all the symbols have something to do with God and that it was too intricate to not be deliberate and that Connie like me is confused by how it got there and who put it there.

 

I think Sam gives Connie a vacation from just work, he also brings new light and meaning to what Connie learns and I think she respects his ideas and takes them to heart. Yes I think Sam is a romantic. 

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nfam
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

I find the historical chapters to be the best. Prudence's journal was a little disappointing. There are excellent books on midwife's journals from that period. I would have liked to see a more authentic use of that material.

 

Again Connie seems to have trouble dealing with 'real' history. It doesn't take much imagination to see that Prudence was a midwife even from the small amount of information in the journal. 

 

I found these chapters rather slow. The idea for the book is great, but the execution seems lacking in suspense. 

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skiibunny1213
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

Well, there always has to be a villain.  When Chilton started to become pushy and mean about finding the book, I became immediately suspicious of his intentions.  In fact, I felt sort of frustrated with Connie that she was so trusting in him once he started to act this way.  I just wanted to tell her... he's not your friend!!!  But, knowing he's up to something and not knowing what it is yet helps build up the suspense, as does Connie's desire to continue to trust him.  You basically don't know if she will be duped by him or not, which makes the story that much more thrilling!
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skiibunny1213
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

I also found it interesting that Connie could sense/see what Grace was doing over the phone without asking.  It made me think that maybe Grace seems distant from her daughter not because there is tension on her part but more because maybe she doesn't need to ask Connie what she's been up to... you know? 
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biljounc63
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

Sticking with the garden theme Connie was talking to Grace on the phone when she told her the house was a disaster and the gardens are positively feral.  More proof that something is up with the gardens or adds to the disbelief that garden would provide veggies without human help
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
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pode
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


nfam wrote:

I find the historical chapters to be the best. Prudence's journal was a little disappointing. There are excellent books on midwife's journals from that period. I would have liked to see a more authentic use of that material.

 

Again Connie seems to have trouble dealing with 'real' history. It doesn't take much imagination to see that Prudence was a midwife even from the small amount of information in the journal. 

 

I found these chapters rather slow. The idea for the book is great, but the execution seems lacking in suspense. 


Well said.  There have been many points that seemed obvious to me and Connie's "aha!" moments were 2 chapters later. 

 

I also like the history lots better than the current story even though there's no mystery there.  I like to hear about the lives and times back then. 

 

Prudence's journals weren't disappointing to me, however.  I've read journals from the wagon train days and they were often similar as they buried children along the way.  Also I've read my mother's journals, if you can call them journals.  She records the weather, food she cooked, people she talked with and little else.  My favorite is in February of 1955.  My youngest brother was born, my brother David and I had chicken pox and my dad brought home a German shepard puppie that needed training.  No anger, anquish or any emotion is indicated in the journal.  So anyhow, I found Prudence's journal believable.

 

pode

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â Henry Ward Beecher
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PiperMurphy
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

To me, the "receipt book" to Deliverance is a recipe book and nothing more. She used it to record the recipes for her medicines. However, to Prudence it is evidence of witchcraft. I think that she is afraid that if she is discovered possessing the book the hysteria from the trials will start again. It is interesting that she did see the value of the book since she sold it to a collector rather than destroy it.

 

Connie frustrates me because there are all kinds of clues that she doesn't pick up on until she finds them in her research, especially in the house. It's like she is so grounded in academia that she can't she what is in front of her in real life. We are aware of the clues because they are presented to us at the same time that they are to her. We go "oh yeah" and she ignores them. I kind of just want to shake her sometimes.

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biljounc63
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


skiibunny1213 wrote:
I also found it interesting that Connie could sense/see what Grace was doing over the phone without asking.  It made me think that maybe Grace seems distant from her daughter not because there is tension on her part but more because maybe she doesn't need to ask Connie what she's been up to... you know? 

I made note of that as well. It has been. Funny that nobody questions it. It probably always has been like with them that so it doesn't seem strange to them.  

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
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"Reading lets you visit the world of another"
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SamanthaH
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


Have your feelings for Chilton changed?


No, they haven't changed - he's still a jerk, and for some reason expects Connie to find something he hasn't been able to find himself.

 


What is the "receipt" book? How has it been used by this line of women? What does it mean to Prudence? 


Definitely a spellbook. I am wondering if it will be found through the shop that Sam and Connie visited on the summer solstice.  I think Deliverance and Mercy both used the book extensively, both to heal and perhaps to harm (?), but Prudence strongly feels the book only holds negative power. She feels bad for selling her mother's treasured book, but the overwhelming sense of security she gets from ridding her household of the book overcomes that guilt. Unfortunately for Prudence, I have a bad feeling that her husband will meet his end early anyways, even though the book is gone.

 


Connie's research turns up Prudence's journal to give us another glimpse into the lives of Mercy, Prudence, and Patty. Do you have a sense of what Prudence was like?


I think Prudence was scared of what the book meant for herself and her immediate family. It seems like she was ashamed of her past, and was running away from it by getting rid of the on major physical connection she had to Mercy, Deliverance and (I presume) a long line of other powerful women.

 


How close is Connie's understanding of these women's lives, compared to our own? How does it feel to have more information than Connie does?


I'm actually having a harder time connecting to Mercy and Prudence - the abrupt time shifts didn't bother me in chapters 1-6, but for some reason, they did in chapters 7-12.  It's not connecting as well for me.

 


What is the symbol on the front door, and how do you believe it got there? (This question is for those who haven't read past chapter 14!)


I'm not sure yet! It might be the shop owner, she seemed to have some ill will towards Connie.

 


 

Connie and Sam's relationship continues to grow. How is Sam helping Connie's research? Is Sam a romantic?


I don't quite understand why Sam is so gung ho to help Connie - it seems a bit strange. Maybe he is just enamored with her, and knows that the way to Connie's heart is through history?

 


 

On a side note, did anyone else make the connection that Connie is yet another example of using virtues as a name? So are her mother and Granna.  (Constance, Grace, Sophia [truth])

 

-SKH

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fordmg
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


rkubie wrote:

 

Connie's research turns up Prudence's journal to give us another glimpse into the lives of Mercy, Prudence, and Patty. Do you have a sense of what Prudence was like?

 

 

 


I have been waiting for the second week's discussion to mention the unique names of the characters.  In the first section, readers mentioned the name sequence of Deliverance, Mercy and Grace.  Now we can add Prudence, Patience to that. 

MG

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fordmg
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


rkubie wrote:

 

How close is Connie's understanding of these women's lives, compared to our own? How does it feel to have more information than Connie does?

 

 


I don't think Connie understands the lives from the past as well as I would expect someone who studies history should.  She seems to miss things that I see as obvious.  Like the fact that Prudence is a midwife and sometimes was paid in trade not money.  The main info that we have that Connie doesn't is what happened to the receipt book (almanac).  But if Connie knew that, then that would take some of the suspense from the story that requires Connie to do real research to find it.

MG

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bibanon1
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

I am still having real issues with the romantic storyline. I feel that Sam and the romance are completely unnecessary. Every time Sam shows up, the story slows down for me.

 

Chilton definitely seems to be set up as a villain. He becomes more unlikeable as the story develops.  The foreshadowing almost seems a bit heavy-handed.

 

I am LOVING the flashbacks. The details are so wonderful and they really make history come alive.

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gl
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gl
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

Based on the discussion between Connie and Chilton in Chapter 8 and the fact that the old spelling was more phonetic, it sounds like the the receipt book is a book containing recipes  that Deliverance and her family used to address ailments and physical complaints.  So, the receipt book is part recipes, herbal medicines and poltices and possibly spells.   

 

It came from Deliverance and was given to her daughter Mercy ("Marcy" by sound and early spelling).  

 

From Prudence's journal we find someone who is conscientious in her habits, sparing in her speech (or maybe in ink and paper which must have been expensive), and much concerned with her neighbors.  She is a midwife and/or sort of nurse that relies entirely on her mother's receipt book, teachings and experiences to help heal the others around her.

 

It's a bit frustrating to know more than Connie and you almost want to nudge her in the right direction.

 

Sam encourages Connie to continue her research.  He points her to local records that she knows exists, but doesn't think to use in the midst of everything else that she needs to do. 

 

Question - What was the corn doll that Connie found on p. 109?

 

I still wish that we could hear much much more about Deliverance, Prudence and Mercy.  I find myself much more interested in their stories than Connie's.  Even Connie's budding relationship with Sam and Connie's complex relationship with Grace isn't half as interesting as the characters from the past!

 

 

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Raskls
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

Okay I haven't read anyone else's yet, I'm posting my responses first, then I'll go back and read...

 

My feelings for Chilton are still the same, I think he is relying on Connie to help himsave faceand maybe hes hoping she has a little magic in her??

 

 I am leaning toward a spell book of some sort for the receipt book.  Prudence thinks it may be a curse for all the women in her family, so she wants to be rid of it.

 

 Im learning more about Prudence, but still dont feel like I know her that well. She seems to be more like Connie in her reluctance to believe in the magic.

 

I feel that Connie is so wrapped up in the book that she isnt really thinking about the women shes researching; Im hoping that changes as the book continues.

 The symbol is some sort of magical marker, not really sure where its leading, Im wondering if its a spell protecting the house??

 

Sam was bothering me for a minute, how he showed up at the swimming site and her house (how did he find it if she never told him and no one else could find it).  At first I was a little worried he was stalking her or up to something, but I really like him again now, and I think its my romantic side that wants him to be a good person.