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Fozzie
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Re: The Horseshoe


DSaff wrote:

Did anyone else find significance in Connie's fixing the horseshoe on pgs. 196-197? I loved the way she picked up the nail, clenched her jaw and pushed the horseshoe into alignment. Then she stepped back to admire it and uttered "Blessed be" to Arlo. Salem and some of its people are growing on her and this seems like a step to bring better luck.

 


 

Yes, I noted that passage too.  I am hoping for better luck for her!
Laura

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Fozzie
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


CathyB wrote:

Although Prudence is also 'gifted' she has seen heartache associated with this book. Namely, the death of her grandfather, her father and possibly her husband. She is under the belief that the book is the direct cause of death for the men who marry into this line of women. She does not want this fate to befall her husband and hopes that getting rid of the book will put an end to the tragedy that has occurred to the men. Prudence seems as though she has no ambition. She plods through each day without joy and seems satisfied with their monotony.


I was just thinking about the men in the family and thought of Sam and his dangerous work on church steeples --- hmmm...

Laura

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Fozzie
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


Mommy-Read-Write 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?

 

We definitely know more about these women than Connie.    It doesn't seem so unusual to me as we are reading a mystery but I am surprised Connie hasn't pieced more of it together at this point.  Is she so set on academia and not being at all like Grace that she can't see some of what seems to be right in front of her?


I have been reading similar thoughts from others and an idea has occurred to me --- maybe Connie has subconsciuosly pushed thoughts of witchcraft and the supernatural with regards to her own family so far from her realm of possibilities in rejection of her mother that now Connie can't see the possibility of witchcracft not only right in front of her, but within herself.

Laura

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Fozzie
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


belle1976 wrote:

The other thing I noticed from Prudence’s Diary was the comment that Peter Peford died in 1741.  The first interlude was 1681.  So he would have been well over 60 years old when he died.  I am not an expert on the life span in the 1700’s, but that seems well over what I would expect the average to be. 


Above average, but not unheard of.  We have  graveyard from colonial times (1700's) in our town and I am surprised how long many people lived.  Many did die young, but many lived a long time too.

Laura

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DSaff
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Re: Great quote

Excellent! Thanks for posting this line. The imagery is amazing.  =)


chris227 wrote:

I just thought that there was a great line on page 195:

 

"Mentally Connie gathered her strands of thinking into thick handfuls, trying to braid them into a coherent whole."

 

First the idea of going through her thoughts like a card catalogue and then this.  Love the imagery!!


 

 

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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MSReader
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

[ Edited ]

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? You know, I have actually found myself 'liking' Chilton a bit more throughout this section.  I guess I can sense his frustration.  I still think he is up to no good and can't wait to find out what his secrets are, but he definitely is a bit more likable here than in the opening scene of the story.

 

What is the "receipt" book? How has it been used by this line of women? What does it mean to Prudence? It seems to be a book of recipes, herbal uses, etc...for the reader, it seems an obvious spell book...

 

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? Prudence seems to me to be unsure of many things.  Her life is mundane, at least that is how she reports it in her writings.  She doesn't give way to too many emotions.

 

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 want to assist Connie with what I know, but obviously cannot! ;o) 

 

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!)  Iam currently reading about this scenario and am absolutely baffled.  My first impression is that is might be some sort of satanic symbol and that someone associated with Connie put it there.  Chilton, perhaps?  Though it is burned on the door so I cannot fathom how it could've been placed there w/o witchcraft involved.  I'm puzzled!!

 

Connie and Sam's relationship continues to grow. How is Sam helping Connie's research? Is Sam a romantic? I want their relationship to grow.  I like Sam and think he's good for Connie.  He seems to enjoy the moment, which is always a good thing! Of course, it could turn out in the end that he's been against her all along and is using her for his own benefit, so we'll have to see as the pages turn!!

Message Edited by MSReader on 04-08-2009 08:44 AM
One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time~ Andre Gide (1869 - 1951)
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Fozzie
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


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

I found the relationship with Sam a bit contrived. How likely would it be for Connie to actually stumble upon a "painter/restorer who is not only interested in what she does and has a similar educational background, but also is of the right age and temperament? That said, I enjoy the parts of the book he enters because I know something interesting will follow.


Given the number of historical properties in New England, I don't find this coincidental or unbelievable at all.  In what other parts of the country would/could Sam be working?

Laura

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Re: The Horseshoe

That's funny because I am also from Texas and I have only ever known about horseshoes being hung in the "U" position. I am also of Irish descent so this may also be a factor.

 


blkeyesuzi wrote:

Wow, that's really interesting.  Particularly how the horseshoe's significance changes from place to place. It always seems to hold magical properties, however.   I'm from Texas and in Texas (and probably other areas in the south) the horseshoe has always been for good luck and it is hung with the other end up (in a "U"), so the luck doesn't run out.  If we were trying to protect ourselves from witches, we were certainly doing it wrong! :smileysurprised:

Message Edited by blkeyesuzi on 04-07-2009 03:02 PM

 

THe more I think about the more I believe everyone is right that the symbol on Connie's door is a protective one.  The Latin referes to God which seems to be more protective than harmful. 

 

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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14 - That Arlo!


Carmenere_lady wrote:

Did anyone catch on page 174, Arlo barks at Officer Litchman which makes the other officer reply, "Pretty weahd he wouldn'ta scared 'em (door artist) off"?  It sort of tells us that the person who put the sign on the door was familiar to Arlo.  Hmmmmm, but who would that be? 

I don't know much about channeling but sometimes I get the feeling that Grace can channel Arlo.  That's why Grace knows about "the boy" or how Connie is feeling, or when she's lonely or frightend.  When Connie is, there's Arlo.


 

Really good point!!!  That makes me think more than ever that it is protective!!!!
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

I hadn't connected this. Thanks!  =)


Fozzie wrote:

I was just thinking about the men in the family and thought of Sam and his dangerous work on church steeples --- hmmm...

 

 

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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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


lmpmn wrote:

I'm also wondering if the dates that these things happen on mean anything.  I believe Peter Petford died on Halloween.  Connie and Sam visit that shop on the summer solstice.  Just wondering if anybody thinks some of these dates are significant?


I thought the date of the summer solstice was used to show that there is interest in witchcraft in Salem even during current times.  However, now that you mention it, maybe there will be more to it.

Laura

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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


dhaupt wrote:

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. 


 

Well said.  You took the words right out of my mouth!  :smileysurprised:   
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


pode wrote:

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


 

I wouldn't say the historical parts were the best part, however I did enjoy them along with the rest of the book.   I agree Connie has a bit of trouble dealing with the 'real ' history .

 

As far as the sparseness of Prudence's journal, I thought it was written has to save on paper, as it was rather precious those days.  I thought it believable.

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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14-MY THOUGHTS ON CHAPTER 8


TRJ4SQ wrote:

The bathroom scene didn't seem like it fit into the story well. I may have missed something. Any thoughts on this?


 

Could you give  page reference?  Thanks.
Laura

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Re: The house

[ Edited ]

chris227 wrote:

I just have a few random thoughs and notes I jotted down while I was reading that I wanted to mention.  About the house:

 

Okay I think that the house is extremely spooky and I would not be staying there alone (or probably at all) but on page 130 it says "the dried potted plants that hung motionless, like dried spiders, in the windows" which to me just made the house sound spookier.  Now at this point Connie had been in the house for a couple of weeks, why didn't she get rid of the dead plants?  And the garden is thriving but the houseplants are dead (I know I know no water, etc. but the garden doesn't give away to reason why should aything else in the house?).


I keep wondering why Connie just doesn't toss the dead houseplants out into the yard!  And now we know she has a compost pile, so dump them there!

Message Edited by Fozzie on 04-08-2009 12:02 PM
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

I have been out of town for a few days, so I am going to post my thoughts and then read what the rest of you have written.  I appologize in advance for repeating things others have already written.

 

I veiwed the receipt book as a combination of several things.  It included documentation of visits to help people, recipies or spells, weather documentations (necessary in those days for comparing year to year patterns).  It was something to be handed down generation to generation by women who had a gift.

 

Prudence felt to me to be the first woman in this family line to want to rid herself of this gift and the hardship it brought with it.  One way to do this was to rid herself of the receipt book.

 

I wonder if in fact people did or do possess the ability to heal through combining herbs and/or repeating specific cantations, would you be able to so easily rid yourself (or future generations) of this power by simply getting rid of the receipt book.

 

Kathy 

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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. 


I wonder if Connnie misunderstands more than underestimates her mother. This is one of those times when it is interesting to know as a reader more than Connie knows.  I am not finished yet, but I wonder when Connie finally puts all of the pieces together.

Kathy 

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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14


no4daughter wrote:

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.


What I have liked about the book is watching Connie as she discovers bits and pieces of her "skills" one of which is her ability to feel and see her mother.  I like that her mother stands back and lets Connie discover these magical traits on her own rather than telling her-this is who your granna was and this is what I am.

 

I also have read ahead but not finished the book.  Professor Chilton continues to have the same effect on me- he creeps me out.  His language with her, the way he looks at her and the way he shows up in the library when she is there.

 

Kathy 

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Re: The Horseshoe


DSaff wrote:

Did anyone else find significance in Connie's fixing the horseshoe on pgs. 196-197? I loved the way she picked up the nail, clenched her jaw and pushed the horseshoe into alignment. Then she stepped back to admire it and uttered "Blessed be" to Arlo. Salem and some of its people are growing on her and this seems like a step to bring better luck.

 


I also took note of Connie putting the horseshoe back up.  I haven't finished the book but so far there hasn't been any more reference to it.  I wonder what good luck would mean in Connie's situation.  I also wonder if it has always been there or if Granna put it up.

 

Kathy 

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cozymama
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Re: Part I, Chapters 7 - 14

First I have to say that I am totally enjoying this book!  I have to fight to keep from reading ahead.

 

I do not trust Chilton at all and worry for Connie.  Her professional future depends too much on this man. 

 

Prudence certainly seems to live up to her name.  As someone who hangs on to everything that once belonged to my mother or grandmothers, I can't believe that she would even consider selling the "receipt" book.  I understand her concern for her husband but I feel heartbroken when I read about Mercy asking for her book.