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Rachel-K
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The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 

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momofprecious1
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike is a very lonely person  (by choice) & he is afraid to find out who he really is. He does not like to show his emotions to anyone, this is the reason why his marriage failed. Mike describes his father as "he could be crude & petty, but I also believed that he was a better man than anyone him credit for being." His father had returned from the war badly scarred so Mike justified his drinking & silence for that reason.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

The story starts out where Mike's mom is leaving his dad because of his drinking & womanizing. Mike was only 9 years old when his parents went their separate ways. Mikes mom ended up getting remarried &  more than a decade after their divorce Mike's dad is jealous of Mike's stepfather. Years later when Mike is talking about his relationship with Sarah he is counting the days since she left. Mike & Sarah met in college & she stuck by him through college & the Warden's academy. She thought that his wanting to be a game Warden was just a phase & that he would eventually go to law school. In the end he has chosen being a game Warden, which was a 24 hour a day job, over being with his wife or becoming a lawyer. He states that he's always wanted to be alone yet it seems like he still loves her! I think Mike was afraid of becoming like his father & used the excuse that he wanted to be alone. 

 

 

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nbmars
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 

Mike has a love of the Maine woods that I think is conflated with his love of his father.  The only time he ever spent with his father, whom he had idolized as a child, was in the woods.  To me the father seemed like a not very nice person, but to Mike, even when he saw his father do less than admirable things, he made excuses for him, and emphasized traits that conformed with his hero worship.

 

Mike, unlike his father, seems to have grown up to be the man he wanted his father to be:  someone with a fierce love and appreciation of the wilderness but combined with a strong morality and sense of responsibility.

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LindaEducation
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

[ Edited ]

Mike is an honest man.  He put his heart in his work and loves it. When he stopped the ornery man and his child to see if the man had a license and flotation devices he was concerned for the boy the rest of the day. That shows his sensitive side.  I think he has always been struggling to live up to his Dad's expecations.  His Dad had a purple heart from when he was in the service, and mostly held jobs after that that did not pay much.  He began drinking and people no longer recognized him as the shy, nice man he once was.  His wife left him after nine years of on and off marriage.  I don't think Mike likes his father much, but still loves him, and wants his acceptance.

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. -- Paul Sweeney
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dhaupt
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Good morning everyone.

First I have to say that it was very hard to stop reading after chapter 7, but I was firm with myself.

 

I liked the character of Mike, but I sometimes feel in these first chapters that he doesn't like himself too much. I know he's young and that he has a strained relationship with his father and we haven't learned too much about his relationship with his mom and step-dad. But we do know that he has already failed at marriage.

 

His dad is a complicated character and one that I already have a hard time liking. He rubs me the wrong way, right away. And it looks like he does that to most people who know him too.

 

The romantic relationships that have been described in the novel so far are disatorous, his dad and mom and he and sarah. Although the ending of those relationships are for very different reasons.

 

My first thought after finishing these early chapters are who was the escaped POW and does he have any connection to this story.

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DSaff
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Man, was it hard to stop reading at the end of chapter 7! I wanted to go on, but stopped. The story has totally drawn me in.

 

Mike is very committed to his job, so much so that he is turning into a loner. Yes, he enjoys the company of others and misses Sarah, but he is totally in love with what he is doing and where he is doing it. He is very good at his job, but also knows when to ask for help. (i.e. the bear) He also handles people well and tries to figure out how to keep everyone safe.  I would love to see him in a relationship before the book ends, but she will have to be someone who completely understands him. Someone unafraid of not having "things." It would be great if that was Sarah.

 

His father, on the other hand, leads a rough life. Drinking, womanizing, the bar scene; all have taken a toll on him. But, I think he loves Mike in his own way, which is why he wanted to show him the places he loved. I think Mike gets the open spaces part, but not the abandonment. I hope they can begin the reconciliation process by the end of the book.

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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DSaff
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I also wondered about the escapee and how he will fit into the story. I can't wait to find out. :smileyhappy:

 

 


dhaupt wrote:

Good morning everyone.

 

 

My first thought after finishing these early chapters are who was the escaped POW and does he have any connection to this story.


 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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poirotNY
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Good morning!  I definitely have enjoyed the book thus far.

 

I think both father and son have more in common than Mike would like to admit.  Both are unavailable emotionally; Jack Bowditch could be the result of things past, Mike Bowditch is the product of parents that were both more concered about their own needs than those of their son.

 

Mike Bowditch is driven to succeed, out of a need to please his father, although I don't think he realizes it. He wants his father's approval and although he tries to be the "Anti-Jack", he has become what he is out of a longing for love and approval.

 

 

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maxcat
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike is a lonely man and I get the impression that he likes it that way. He didn't want to go to law school as his mother preferred and Sarah but wanted to be a game warden in the Maine wilderness. His dad is a rough character and really irritated me for some of the things he has done in the past. Mike certainly didnot want to hear from his father but wondered why his dad would leave a message on the phone. He is not actually surprised that his father is arrested for murder.

About his relationship with Sarah? It didn't work out as she supported him through school but wanted him to become a lawyer. Mike really liked the idea of becoming a game warden; liked helping people getting them out of harm's way. since Sarah and Mike didn't see eye to eye, they split up.

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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mamawli
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike was afraid of becoming like his father and yet he has become his father in a better way.  His love for the outdoors and his understanding of nature were developed by his early life with his dad.  While Jack Bowditch lived against the law, Mike Bowditch wanted to protect the wilderness as well as the law.  Mike has become what he wished his father would have been.

 

Mike's attitude differs from those around him because he still believes in his father.  Others view Jack as an alcoholic and as a loser, but Mike still finds it in his heart to believe that his father is a good man.

 

I too wonder about the escaped POW.  Mike has returned to his roots, The Main Woods.  Therefore, I expect a better understanding and a bonding between Mike and his dad.  Once this happens, I would like to see him go on to law school and to reconcile with Sarah.

 

It has been extremely difficult to not go on to the next chapters.  This  is one book that is difficult to put down.

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Becktrek
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 

I feel like Mike is a loner and doesn't have a clue how to relate to other people.  He is a product of the relationships that he grew up in.  I think he relates better to the bear than he does to his father or Sarah.  I agree with others that even tho he doesn't like his father's lifestyle very much he is still trying to please him and earn his approval somehow.....  I think Mike's father was dealt a hard blow in the war and just never knew how to recover.  He chose a life of poaching rather than make an honest living.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 

So far it seems that all the realtionships have been pretty much disasterous, due to expectations that can't be met.

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 

He is in love with his work, which matches the attitudes of the other game wardens, but isolates him from other people, like Sarah.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 

At this point I just couldn't wait to find out what happened and how it all tied together with the facts we know at this time.  Also wondering about the bear, and the POW.

 

Becky in IN

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babzilla41
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7


Rachel-K wrote:

 

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 


 

I think Mike is alot like his father - they both love the wilderness; they both had trouble staying married - although for different reasons; they both still love their wives.

 

The romantic relationships have not fared well so far.  Mike's parents divorced; Mike and Sarah split - although Mike and Sarah split for different reasons.  Mike wasn't living up to what Sarah wanted from him (going to law school).  I also think part of their problem was Sarah's fear of living in poverty again.  She couldn't see past that and wanted more from Mike to reassure herself that she would live a better life economically.  Mike obviously still loves her as he keeps track of the number of days she's been gone.

 

Early expectations:  I expect that Mike is going to defend and try to protect his father - I think he still has faith that his father is a good man.  He's showed early signs of that when he told Kathy about the message on the answering machine and then felt somewhat defensive when she suggested that he return his dad's call and made the comment about the "timing" of the call.  Very curious about the exchange between Mike and Anthony DeSalle... 

"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
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CatC
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 

I agree that there are similarites between Mike and his father.  Both love the woods and an outdoors life.  Jack has turned out to be a man who lives a rough life with no concern for those who love him.  Mike wants to make ammends for his father by enforcing the law and being concerned for those who need protecting, like the little boy who's father was ticketed for not having life preservers.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

Mike's mother tried to make a go of it when jack returned from Vietnam but after 9 years she had to leave.   She found a new life though and has stayed married the second time around.  Mike tried to please his mother and Sarah by talking about law school but in the end, he had to go his own way.  He seems to love Sarah but is more comfortable being alone.

 

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

 

 Mike is a likable character and hope for his sake that Jack is innocent of the murders.  I expect Mike to go into the woods in search of his father and learn about himself in the process.  The relationship between the father and son will improve, but I don't think it is going to be fully repaired.  I want to find out about the man in the diner, Stanley, and why he has an attitude toward Mike.  The bear has taken on a personality of his own and I expect to follow his story a little further.

 

 

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krb2g
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

This opening section left me wondering how the incident with the bear eating the pig fit in. I wondered if the bear was supposed to metaphorically stand for someone in the story (so far, I can't think of anyone) or if it was just an excuse to let us hear about Mike's ex-girlfriend Sarah. Incidentally, I think he mentions her because she'll have more of a role to play in the story.

 

Generally Mike seems like a good guy. I'm interested in his relationship with his father (which seems really rough at this point) and curious as to whom the woman on the answering machine is.

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paulusmc1
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? I find him to be a loner and also to be somewhat of a person who feels sorry for himself.  I think that he had a tough upbringing and is still dwelling on it, much to his detriment.  I do not really care for this character yet.

 

What about his father?  His father seems to have complete disregard for the law and doesn't seem to truly care of his family, which I found to be very sad.  He seems more interested in making the people around him see that he is "right", rather than that he is caring, good person.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?  He seems to keep himself at a distance from her.  And he says that she doesn't care for his career choices.  I got the feeling, as the Reader, that these are his projections on her, and not necessarily what she really believes.

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?  I think he is angry at the world and feels superior to those around him.  Hence, also focusing on making the people around him see that he is "right" even when it means acting angry or "flying off the handle".  These actions remind me of his father.

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect?  My early expectations are that he will continue to find out the truth of the murders, no matter what it takes.  I think that he will sacrifice his relationships to find the truth.

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fordmg
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch Like?

In this first part of the book, we get a peek at Mike's attitude as a child and where he ended up now.  He seems to love the woods and out of doors.  He understands his father's short comings, but still has an attachment to him.  The author gives us an idea of what a typical day in the life of a game warden is, and Mike seems to like this life. 

Mike's Father:  I see him as a loner who marches to his own drum.  He doesn't want to follow the rules, but also sees himself as a respectable person in his actions.  If others don't see him that way, he doesn't care.  He has made several attempts to influence Mike and proffer an appreciation of the woods and outdoors in his son.  He doesn't really seem to know how to be a father though.  It seemed funny to me that his father spent time trying to give Mike an understanding of the woods, but when Mike announced he was going to be a game warden, his father didn't approve.

Romantic relationships:  I'm not seeing much romance in this story.  Mike's parents got married because they "had" to.  His mother didn't like living in the woods.  Mike marries his college girlfriend and she doesn't like the woods.  I am seeing a series of unsuccessful relationships.

Mike's attitudes in his community:  He still feels like a newcommer.  Actually the country people treat him as a newcommer as well.  He concentrates on his job, and doesn't do much to try to fit in.  He does take his job seriously. ie:  boy and father wanting to fish without proper life jackets.

MG

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PiperMurphy
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

This is an absolutely fantastic book. I'm going to have a problem sticking to the schedule, but I'll try.

 

Mike is extremely likeable. He is a young guy right out of college, starting a new job and a new marriage. He is facing challenges and decisions that any young person has to make. I think he is confused about who he is and who he wants to be. I have a feeling that his decision to be a game warden has a lot to do with his father whether he realizes it or not. The outdoors is their connection. I think he may be trying to emulate his father yet not be like him. Mike and Jack are both products of their upbringing. We are learning about Mike and Jack's relationship, but we know nothing about Jack's childhood. I think that Jack was trying to do the best he could as a father based on what he knew.

 

All of Mike's issues with his marriage and his relationships with others goes back to his estrangment with his father. He seems to be a bit of a rebel, but he is also stubborn. He seems to deal with things according to the way he has learned to cope without his father. When he works out his relationship with his father everything else will fall into place.

 

There are two things so far that I am curious about. One is the story of the escaped POW. I have a suspicion about this. We'll see how it plays out. The other is the man that Mike has the run in with about the flotation devices. I'm sure that he is going to show up again and not in a good way.

 

 

 

"When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes."
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hookedonbooks09
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7


What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

 


Strangely, they both seem to be afraid to show their true emotions.  Like a generational thing!  Mike, of course, is much smoother and softer of a personality, while his father is prickly and rough around the edges.

 

Neither seems capable of holding on to the relationship that means so much to them.  Makes me wonder what initiated this in Mike's dad---his grandfather?!

 

It is also apparent that when one needs the other, they are there.   Mike has let the relationship devolve over the last two years, and now regrets that.  His father did the opposite by forcing him to have a "hunting" relationship with him when he was a child, and then regretting it when Mike got pneumonia and was so ill.

 

They seem to want to connect, but work at cross purposes.  Like so many of us!

 

Barb

 

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read. ~Groucho Marx
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fordmg
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7


krb2g wrote:

This opening section left me wondering how the incident with the bear eating the pig fit in. I wondered if the bear was supposed to metaphorically stand for someone in the story (so far, I can't think of anyone) or if it was just an excuse to let us hear about Mike's ex-girlfriend Sarah. Incidentally, I think he mentions her because she'll have more of a role to play in the story.

 

Generally Mike seems like a good guy. I'm interested in his relationship with his father (which seems really rough at this point) and curious as to whom the woman on the answering machine is.


 

I think the description of the bear eating the pig is a way to show what life as a game warden is.  I am not thinking of any metaphorical thoughts to the story.   Mike tells us about Sarah because he still has deep feelings for her.  We may see her again, I'm not sure, but it gives us a description of Mike being a loner, by choice, not necessarily because of his job.

 

MG

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MsReaderCP
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike is very much an outdoors man who is more comfortable in the woods than in the city.  However he still thinks that he does not have that feeling of "one" with the forest that the more experienced wardens have.  He, unlike his father, respects nature; whereas his father takes advantage of it.  Mike believes in his job as a warden and in following its laws, such as not drinking while on duty or on call.  His father was an alcoholic who did not care about the laws of the forest, nor did he respect its creatures.

 

I think his problems with Sarah come from his feelings that the relationship will end somewhere down the line , unhappily, just like his parents relationship did.  He sees himself happy in the woods; he sees Sarah happy in the city- all just like his parents.  So he's not willing to give Sarah a chance probably to save himself the chance of getting hurt and Sarah the unhappiness she would have until she realized that Mike was not changing. 

 

So far everyone believes that a person is guilty until proven innocent, despite the facts leading upto the car accident. (Why did the cop go out there?  What were they fighting over?  Why didn't the cop call for back up?)  Mike wants to see things done fairly.  However would everyone be more open to looking at the possibility of innocence if it weren't a cop that was murdered?  And would Mike be more likely to jump on their bandwagon of haste to find a killer of a cop if it weren't his dad?

 

Expectations:Great things.  I don't know about the facts.  But just from the above- in answering three questions, I see how much depth there is to this story and to the characters. I also love the format in which the story is told with the story jumping in at Mike's age at the murders; however going back in later chapters to give us more detail about Mike and other people in his life and things that have shaped him to be who he is.  Again: what depths!!