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Rachel-K
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Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

Please use any of the following questions to stir up discussion, or feel free to post your own questions for the group!

 

How central or distant does the takeover of the logging seem so far in the story? What role do these local politics play in the lives of the the residents here? Do you have any other possible suspects to consider?

 

Compare life for the tourists and life for most of the locals. How does Mike fit in?

 

In Mike's scenes so far with Anthony Desalle--who's got the bigger attitude? Is Mike in the right? Is Mike any better at communicating with the people he's close to?

 

Do you have much impression of Mike's ex-girlfriend, Sarah?

 

We meet Mike's mother in these chapters--what is your impression of her?

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Deltadawn
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

The takeover of the logging seems very central to the lives of the local residents. It could affect their livelihoods and their home lives. They are very vocal about it, as a result.

 

Other possible suspects would be Mike's dad's employer - something is fishy about him.

 

In the scenes with Mike and Anthony DeSalle, they both have huge attitudes. I think DeSalle has the worse out of the two-but Mike's attitude is pretty bad, too. Technically, Mike was in the right in their first encounter, in checking that his registration is correct and in not permitting him to boat without the correct number of personal flotation devices, however, he is clearly instigating trouble with DeSalle - and the second time he encounters him he is overtly looking for trouble - and was even reprimanded that he was not supposed to have contact with him after he had registered a complaint about him. 

Mike does not communicate better with people he is close to - at least not so far as we have seen up to this point. When Sarah calls him out of concern over his father, he does not return her call. After she shows up and they share the night together he is cold and distant - alienating her because he feels that it would be better to hurt her (or himself?) now rather than later.

Sarah seems to love Mike. Seeing how Mike behaves toward her after their night together, I can understand why she left him. He really does have difficulty communicating with those he loves and alienates himself as a way to protect himself.

 

Mike describes his mother as a formerly rebellious teenager who became, in his words "trailer trash" when she married his father and later did everything she could do to separate herself from that life- by divorcing his father, moving away, and then marrying a tax attorney. He believes that her biggest problem with his father's current situation is that she'll be embarrassed if the truth comes out about her past and she is linked with him. Mike has anger toward his mother and is not close to her at all. I think his assessment of her is partially true, but skewed by his emotions. I don't feel ready to make a judgment about her quite yet. I'll have to see how (and if) her character is further developed in the story.

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momoftwinsMM
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

I agree that Mike was just doing his job in confronting DeSalle the first time; however, the 2nd time he was looking to stir up trouble. I'm still trying to pinpoint what he was trying to accomplish. During these chapters he recalls a summer "vacation" spent with his father and how his dad commented on the arrogance of game wardens. I really didn't see Mike as the arrogant type, but was he simply playing up the part? Did he feel that he was losing control over his life and his job was one place where he could use his power?

 

His mother is described as trailer trashed turned suburban housewife by Mike. Both Sarah and Mike indicate that they believe his mother is interested in appearances and the material things in life. When we finally meet her, she doesn't seem to be the cold hearted, distant person previously described. She still may love Mike's father, but she saw a situation that did not make her happy and she wanted better for her son and herself. Is that wrong? In her situation, it didn't appear that "love" covered over a multitude of sins. So she got out, went to school and made a better life for herself and her son.

 

Sarah seems to be similar to Mike's mom. She knows that she wants better for herself, but she is still drawn to Mike. Mike may not be the rebellious, loner that his father is, but he is definately getting there. If he can just pull himself together and not fear intimacy, perhaps history won't repeat itself.

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dhaupt
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

[ Edited ]

The logging takeover is very central to the story as it seems it will displace a lot of people who are now considered squatters and I'm sure that doesn't sit well with any of them and because of that the suspect list is growing.

 

I think it's like any town that relies on tourist money, there's a definite separation of the haves and have nots. The tourists are renting big homes and staying in resorts and the residents serve them in one capacity or another. The tourists have their places to go and the locals have their own haunts too. I think Mike is starting to feel more a part of his community and the longer he's there the more he will fit in.

 

I wonder if Mike and DeSalle are going to be combatants through the whole novel. They both have big attitudes and it's definitely a show of mine's bigger than yours with them. I think that while Mike is within his rights to check and recheck DeSalle, he's using his job as an excuse to keep at him. I don't know if DeSalle reminds Mike of Jack or if the guy just rubs him the wrong way and especially after DeSalle complains about him, he still is going out of his way to harass the guy.

 

I don't have much of an impression about Sarah yet. I thought they were married, but  I know that they still love each other. I'm afraid that Mike is too much of a guy to admit how he really feels about her and so he just acts the fool and makes her go away mad instead of telling her that he misses her. Maybe we should give him a copy of Women are from Venus and Men are from Mars.

 

Mike's mom doesn't impress me at all, I know she loves him but she spends way too much time caring what other people think. Plus she's been keeping from her current husband that her ex calls her and has been doing so for years. She seems really shallow to me. Maybe that will change. 

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vpenning
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

I think the logging takeover is extremely important to the central theme of the story, and in the end, I believe it will be the motive for the murder.

 

I agree that the folks that Mike's dad hang out with are larger suspects than Mike's dad. In the scene where the pilot comes to the cabin and is almost shot by Truman, it is quite obvious that although Jake is a violent man, he will not kill just to save his own skin.

 

I also think that Charly Steven's knows this as well, and will be an ally for Mike in the coming chapters. Although he does not seem to like Mike, or Jack, Charly appears to be one who shoots from the hip, but values the truth.

 

I agree with the point made above about Mike's Dad's impression of game wardens is one of the reason's for Mike's attitude as an adult.It will be interesting to see if Mike behavior turns more towards the bias his father has, or towards the persona that Mike wishes it to be. The fact that MIke became a warden despite his father's comments-which obviously resound even today with Mike-is interesting, and deserves further investigation. I look forward to seeing how this plays out for the truth of the murder.

 

High on my list of suspects is Truman and Pelliter working in cahoots with possible police officers. I am very suspicious of the fact that his father was arrested, and as his father puts it "attacked" by the officer 'acting on his own.' Makes me wonder if the logging company itself might have been actually eliminating folks that were getting in their way. It would not surprise me to learn that the ones murdered were folks who were trying to make deals with the locals that would have actually have been beneficial and fair....

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lg4154
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

There is still the small town attitude with the residents here, they don't seem to take in strangers and seem to resent the tourists. Mike is somewhere in the middle, trying to protect the area and enforce the law.

 

My impression of Mikes mother is she is somewhat weak and let Jack tramp all over Mike when he was younger. Here she marries somebody else in order to get out of the poor life and better herself. She seems like she is guilty by omission, by not stepping up to Jack when Mike was concerned.

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ms_linda
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

I'm still keeping on schedule so last night I devoured chapters 8 - 18!

 

I think Mike is very conflicted about his father. From what we've been shown Jack has not been a good father to Mike yet Mike feels some obligation to defend him. He also has been taking out his anger on others like Desalle (who does deserve it, but Mike was truly looking for trouble), Sarah and Mr. Thompson. One character that has surprised me is Mike's mom. I never expected her to be communicating with Jack. That seems to be another unhealthy relationship.

 

I have some bad feelings about Russel Pelletier, something is not right here.

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maxcat
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

Logging, I think, seems to bother the locals more than anyone else. They have property there where Wendigo Timber has bought land. They will soon leave their homesites and are not happy about it. Mike has become a local and he knows everyone and their individual problems.

Logging is a big problem everywhere. Unless you have a protected area such as the areas entrusted to NC Conservancy and the Blue Ridge Parkway, its beauty would be no more. Each year, we go to the mountains and see different houses that hang on to cliffs and probably have an extraodinary views. But these are the few. The wilderness has to be protected as it involves animals as well as trees.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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momofprecious1
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

In Mike's scenes so far with Anthony Desalle--who's got the bigger attitude? Is Mike in the right? Is Mike any better at communicating with the people he's close to?

I think Anthony Desalle has an attitude problem but at the same time he is within his rights to be upset. I didn't think he was doing anything wrong the first time that Mike started questioning him. Mike definitely has the right to ask Anthony for his paperwork as that is his job but for some reason I felt like it was a power trip for Mike to be able to do so. Maybe Mike was putting himself in the little boys position & was hoping that someone would have questioned his dad when they were out killing animals & Mike was sick with Pneumonia. Anthony was ticketed the first time for not having enough life vests but it didn't seem like he learned his lesson because the second time that Mike confronted him the little boy was not wearing one. Mike holds a lot of stuff in & is not a good communicator, he tends to push everyone away. As for his relationship with Sarah, I think he keeps pushing her away because of how his childhood was & he doesn't want to give her false expectations. His mom stayed with his dad for 9 years until she was finally fed up because she realized that Jack wasn't going to change & she no longer wanted to continue being white trash & living in a trailer. She wanted more for her & for her son.

 

Do you have much impression of Mike's ex-girlfriend, Sarah?

I think Sarah still loves Mike & she was hoping that the separation would make him realize that he does love her & needs her in his life. She called him the minute she found out what was going on with his father & drove over to see him because she cares for him. It really bothers me that he keeps pushing Sarah away when she still loves him & wants to help him.

 

We meet Mike's mother in these chapters--what is your impression of her?

The way Mike describes her it seems like she is now a rich woman who only cares about what other's think or will say about her. I was really surprised to hear that Jack has been calling her secretly since their divorce. Deep down inside she still cares for Jack & she believes that he is innocent. I think Mike really doesn't know his mom too well.

CAG
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CAG
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

I think the logging take over is very central to the story. My list of suspects would include Jack's employer and  maybe someone local who has strong feelings against the logging take over that we haven't been introduced to yet. Has anyone else thought about that possibility?

 

I like Sarah. I think she shows care and concern about Mike. Mike seems unable to open up to anyone and he will lose her completely if he continues to keep himself closed off. I wonder if their relationship can be mended?

 

My thoughts about Mike's mother are pretty limited at this time. The relationship between her and Mike seems very distant to me. I haven't decided if she is self-centered or if she just doesn't have a lot of depth to her personality.

 

 

CAG
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Lil_Irish_Lass
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

Mike's interactions with Sarah in these middle chapters was the first time I noticed his age; any other interaction with people he has had he could easily have been any age, but when Sarah showed up on his doorstep there was the definite feel of two people in their mid-20s dealing with their first adult relationship ending because they want different things out of life and because of that, not knowing HOW to react with each other.

 

I believe Mike, his father didn't kill the cop, sure he beat the other one up - but as Mike clued us in, the two have a history and I'm sure the cop wasn't exactly being sugary sweet during the whole interaction. In the end, his cockiness got him in to trouble, not that Mike's father is innocent, but it takes two to tango to the blame isn't all on Bowditch. And I don't blame him for running, it wasn't the smartest thing to do, but given his record there was no way that the police would believe his innocence. If I lived the life he did and knew the woods as well, I think I might have chose the same path, it would be better to disappear into the woods for ever than to rot inside a jail cell for a crime I didn't commit.

I also can't blame Mike for how he handled the Desalle incident. The guy's what those of us in NH/Maine would classify as a stereotypical MA jerk. They're the ones who drive gas guzzling SUVs at break-neck speeds, they litter, they have no regard for those around them, nor do they seem to actually appreciate the nature they drove to in order to "escape the city" for a weekend. I would have had a hard time not pushing Desalle's buttons again in hopes of him getting completely out of line so that I could arrest him as a way to teach him a lesson. Then again, I have the stereotypical Irish temper and it gets the best of me sometimes. :smileyhappy:

TPS is getting GOOOOOOD though! It was really hard to put the book down after I finished chapter 18, but I'm trying to stick with the reading schedule.

As for the bear story arch... I'm still sticking with my theory that the bear is a metaphor for the local Maine folks who live in the woods and who are being forced off the land just like the wild animals are as humans choose to overdevelop any space of land they can.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White
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fordmg
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

How important is the logging issues and Wendigo to the story.

I think this is the catalyst to creating the tension in this story.  There are two groups wanting to use the Maine land; the sportsmen and the loggers.  They are in direct conflict with each other.  One of the representatives of the Wendigo logging firm has been murdered along with a police officer.  This is the worst crime in some time for this area. 

 

Compare tourist to locals

This is always an issue in rural areas.  The same thing happens in college towns.  The locals don't like the students.  In this case there is more at stake.  The tourist are the main income for the locals, and they don't want the loggers to run them off.  I am not sure how Mike is fitting in.  I think he has a bit of an identity problem.  He doesn't feel he can be a local, but he definately is not a tourist. 

 

Mike's issues with DeSalle.

Initially I thought that Mike was doing his job conscienciously. I still think he had a right to issue the first ticket.  He was concerned about the welfare of the child, and DeSalle had a huge attitude problem.  He knew he was in the wrong, but thought because he was a "paying tourist" he should be left alone.  The second incounter is a little tricky.  I would think that DeSalle would make sure every thing was correct after the first ticket.  Instead, he felt that by complaining about the warden, he was justified to bend rules again.  I feel for Mike's attitude.  I am not understanding the attitude of the warden management that does not support their officers.  Do they care more for the tourist money than the safety of the people? 

 

Sara

I don't think we know enough about Sara yet.  She definately still has feelings for Mike and he for her.  I think he acated callous towards her because he was afraid to hurt her again.  He is fatalistic in his attitude toward Sara.  Instead of trying to make things work out, he thinks she will leave him again and he doesn't want to get emotionally involved and loose her again, so he just makes her go right away. 

 

Mike's mother

I think she still has feelings for Jack.  Like Sara, she couldn't live the rustic life, but still had affection for Jack.  She blames everything on his drinking, but didn't seem to be able to do anything to change that.  Jack must have been good to her when he was sober.  She wants to help, but her second husband is a bit of a jerk.  He must realize that part of his wife still belongs to her first husband and wants her totally separated from any influence. 

 

MG

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pen21
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

It was nice of Sarah to call Mike. But I don't understand why she would just show up unannounced. To me Sarah should have given Mike some time to respond. Sarah had made it clear that she didn't want the same things as Mike. Yes they are young, so Sarah probably had mixed emotions in coming back. But what real support could she give Mike at this time? Sarah didn't like Mike's job or what Mike was doing with his life. It will be interesting to see as the book progresses where Sarah's part of the story will go.

pen21

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Sally_K
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

Compare life for the tourists and life for most of the locals. How does Mike fit in?

 

     As described in the book, the tourists seem to live a priviledged lifestyle.   Since they have disposable incomes, they can easily shell out the cash to travel in their Suburbans to experience the rustic charm of Maine.  Since they are so priviledged, they feel entitled not to respect and adhere to local rules (i.e. DeSalle).

     The locals are not so monitarily fortunate so they must work alot harder to fulfill their daily needs and desires.   With the exception of a few, they respect their land. One thing they have that the tourists do not is the beauty and accessibility of their surroundings they can call their own; and this is priceless.

     Even though Sarah and Mike's mother wish other plans for Mike, he is a local.  After all it is in his blood. 

    

Do you have much impression of Mike's ex-girlfriend, Sarah?

 

     Sarah means well and she really loves Mike.  She wants the best for him, but her current definition of best is not necessarily the way Mike sees it.  Even though she and Mike have been a couple for some time, we have to remember that they are still young and are only 24.  They have only been out of college for two years.  I know that when I was fresh out of college, I was still trying to get settled in a career and well, in life as an adult outside of the family and college bubbles.  Like Mike's mother to Jack, deep down, there is a place in Sarah's heart that is always there for Mike. 

 

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DSaff
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

How central or distant does the takeover of the logging seem so far in the story? What role do these local politics play in the lives of the residents here? Do you have any other possible suspects to consider?

 

I think the takeover is huge in the story because it has created so many suspects for me. There are many people who will be displaced if the land is actually taken, and their lives will be forever changed. Some of them have everything invested in the land and their business there. But, who wanted these men dead is still to be revealed.

 

Compare life for the tourists and life for most of the locals. How does Mike fit in?


Tourists are able to relax and enjoy the water and woods, while the locals work hard to provide food, shelter, and supplies for the tourists. There is always something to do when people come to visit, and this area is no different. The locals knew each other and watched out for each other. They were a community.

 

In Mike's scenes so far with Anthony Desalle--who's got the bigger attitude? Is Mike in the right? Is Mike any better at communicating with the people he's close to?

 

Mike is doing his job, but it seems he is taking it to the extreme. He might make more headway if he was more pleasant, rather than ready to whip out a ticket anytime he sees Desalle. But, Desalle acts guilty and I am wondering if there is more here. He is awful to his son, and belligerent and uncooperative with Mike. While he grudgingly pulls out paperwork, etc., there is more to him and his attitude.

 

Do you have much impression of Mike's ex-girlfriend, Sarah?

 

I think Sarah and Mike still love each other, but neither is willing to bend to meet the other half way. It seems that she genuinely wanted to help Mike, but both of them ended up hurt again. I am still hoping they can work things out.

 

We meet Mike's mother in these chapters--what is your impression of her?

 

Ahhh, Mike’s mother still loves his father, and it is reciprocal. She has kept his phone calls from her husband and son, keeping them private. She can’t live with him, but misses him badly. It may be that she wishes she could go back in time and try to fix things. Right now, she is a woman who is afraid of what might happen in the murder investigation and what she will do if her husband finds out about the phone calls.

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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EMILY7W
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

I had a hard time putting the book down after chapter 18. It's getting interesting.
The more we learn about Mike's father, the more repulsive he becomes and we're reminded of Mike's ability to overlook or be in denial of what kind of person his father really is.
I think his mother still has a love for his father. He was her husband and father of her child and though she loved him, decided she could no longer put herself and son through living with him. And because of this love for him, she chose to keep his phone calls a secret from her husband.
Mike's confronting Desalle, I think was to mess with him some more as well as looking out for the little boy. They both have big attitudes and it seems Mike's not really "close" to anyone, but could work on his communication skills, especially with Sarah.(And I thought the nipple part in the sex scene was a little too much info., though I have to give Paul Doiron props for making me feel like I was there. haha)

-Emily

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

[ Edited ]

Locals who live and work in the camps live like people in third world countries without basic creature comforts. They work very hard and very long days. I, for one, need plumbing so if I was to stay at a camp for a brief period of time, it would have to have modern accoutrements like hot and cold running water within spitting distance! I marvel at the constitution of those that can make do with so little and still be content. Locals who have businesses in the area live in moderate homes.They seem to be happy with a simpler way of life.

Mike seems to occupy a foot in both worlds, the local world because he works as  game warden and knows many people but he is not quite accepted by everyone because he hasn't lived there his whole life and probably because his dad's reputation precedes him. His dad was always a thorn in the back of the game warden.

The tourists in the rented cottages have the comforts they need and the money to provide themselves with what they wish. The locals live on a lot less and have to think twice before they do anything that the tourists would do because it would be luxuries for them. When Mike was younger, he worked at the camp and had to serve the needs of the wealthier tourists. He took a dislike to them.

 

Rachel-K wrote:

Please use any of the following questions to stir up discussion, or feel free to post your own questions for the group!

 

Compare life for the tourists and life for most of the locals. How does Mike fit in?

 

 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

I think when Mike first approached DeSalle’s little boy, he was really only doing  his job. After that, I think perhaps his history and resentment of the wealthy who could do as they pleased, took over and he overdid it, behaving unduly arrogantly with DeSalle. That said, DeSalle had no respect for authority and was a horrible example for his son. Toward Mike, his behavior was rude and condescending. Furthermore his demeanor was threatening. Mike seemed to have no choice but to pull rank or he would not have been respected in future dealings with these tourists.
When Mike approached DeSalle a second time for violations, Mike did seem to be harrassing him a bit so I fully expected DeSalle to call in his friends to complain . It felt like he was laying in wait for him to screw up again so he could pounce and get revenge for all those rich tourists who abused him as a teenager. There might have been a kinder way to deal with DeSalle but DeSalle's arrogance and Mike's predilection to dislike wealthy tourists seemed to preclude that.
Mike seems very much like his dad in temperament...impetuous and not always thoughtful before he acts. He isn't strong on good communication or compassion. He is overly concerned with his own feelings, how they effect others and how they can protect him from being hurt. He has largely been in the background of his dad's mind, for most of his life, and he doesn't seem to have learned to deal with that deprivation.

 

Rachel-K wrote:

Please use any of the following questions to stir up discussion, or feel free to post your own questions for the group!

 

In Mike's scenes so far with Anthony Desalle--who's got the bigger attitude? Is Mike in the right? Is Mike any better at communicating with the people he's close to?

 

 

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jabrkeKB
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

The logging takeover is very central to the story, It is disruptive to the locals because of the media attention about the murders.

 

The tourists come to the area to enjoy themselves and relax. The locals are busy making a living and going about their daily lives.

 

I think Anthony has the bigger attitude. Mike was just doing his job and Anthony was  defensive and uncooperative from the get go.

 

I think Mike's mom feels sorry for Jack.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Poacher's Son: Middle Chapters, 8 - 18

I would like to think that DeSalle is part of the murder conspiracy, part of the group attempting to frame Mike's dad. I would like to see him get caught and get his comeuppance for his superior obnoxious attitude and behavior. Yet, I would hate to think of his son also having to deal with a crooked parent. Having a verbally abusive, pompous and thoughtless father was surely enough for him to deal with, I think.

There are similarities between DeSalle and Mike's dad. Both are irresponsible and although DeSalle, at first blush, doesn't seem as reckless as Mike's dad, i.e, taking him with him in inclement weather while he was sick causing him to get pneumonia, he doesn't appear to be very interested in the boy's safety and doesn't provide equipment to protect him. It is a thin line that prevents him from being as reckless and that is the fact that the son returns without injury.

 

Perhaps Mike is so bent on teaching DeSalle a lesson because he sees the abuse and neglect the boy is suffering from and realizes the potential danger with which he identifies.

 

 

Rachel-K wrote:

Please use any of the following questions to stir up discussion, or feel free to post your own questions for the group!