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


dhaupt wrote:

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.


 

I have to admit that I didn't give the escaped POW a great deal of thought or ask myself if he had any connection to this story. I just thought the POW camp and escaped POW was way to explain the complicated relationship between Mike and his father when he was young. Mike didn't believe the story about the POW his father told him and then found out later it was true. It will be interesting to see if the POW has another role in this story. I am glad you pointed that out .

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

So far I like Mike...he seems like a nice guy, even if a bit of a workaholic.  He seem mature beyond his years.

I am hoping Jack turns out to be an okay guy, because for some reason, I find myself liking him.

The romantic relationships have obviously not worked out thus far, but to me atleast it seems mostly due to the women...especially Sarah...you can't force someone into a profession they don't want.

I am liking the book alot!  Love the descriptive writing!  I so want to go to Maine someday! I like how the writing goes backward to explain things from the past.

I am wondering if the POW story has any further meaning to the story.

Tammy

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

 


LastWord wrote  (excerpt):

 

I have to say that I absolutely love the bear subplot. That is my favorite aspect of the book thus far.


 

I love how each of us reads differently -- for me, the bear subplot is getting in the way of learning what is happening at the murder site!  Thanks for sharing that viewpoint; it will help me enjoy the bear story, too.

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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jwave
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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?

Mike has something to prove.  He wants to show the world he is not his father.  I don't think he his looking for love and approval from him.  I believe he wants to show his father that there is a "right" way to live, with others (or not) and with nature.  I don't think he believes his father is innocent, because he is basically a good guy.  I think he has a lot of contempt for his father and that this crime does not fit what he knows of him.

 

I was/am surprised by Mike's age, as my mental timeline while reading had him around 30.  I am going to reread and see how I messed that up.

 

Jack is still a bit of a mystery. Obviously, Vietnam took its toll but how remains hidden.  He is a hardened man, who lives like he doesn't care if he dies.  In fact, many of these early decisions we see him make could be seen as self destructive.  I think that it is those same self destructive decisions that make him an easy suspect.

 

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 view of romance is definitely tainted.  He sees relationships are a much harder job than bears or poachers.

 

How do Mike's attitudes so far seem similar to and different from the people around him?  Mike has a very wilderness attitude that I think is shared by the permanent residents of the deep woods area he lives in.  it is a no-nonsense, cut to the chase, kind of attitude.  A wild west mentality that says "things are different here" and "keep you distance".  The "summer people" like DeSalle don't understand how things are handled or that the locals don't want them there.  The author tells us right up front that living there is not for ordinary folk.

 

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

 I am enjoying the tale so far.  I definitely think the POW will play a role.  There is a lot of foreshadowing (or so it seems).  I am hoping to like the characters more as we go.  I LIKE Mike but not completely.  So far, he is the only one.


 

 

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


Peppermill wrote:

 


LastWord wrote  (excerpt):

 

I have to say that I absolutely love the bear subplot. That is my favorite aspect of the book thus far.


 

I love how each of us reads differently -- for me, the bear subplot is getting in the way of learning what is happening at the murder site!  Thanks for sharing that viewpoint; it will help me enjoy the bear story, too.

 


I must say that I am finding the bear subplot entertaining, and I think that bear will circle around either in the area or in the story narrative and have some significance.  But if not, at least we all know more about bear traps than we did before!

Jane M.
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JaneM
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I found the prologue more compelling when I went back and re-read it after considering the first 7 chapters.  I don't think the POW will pop up again, but rather the story is a precursor to the likelihood that someone (probably Jack) will vanish into the woods.  And maybe the story tells us something about both Jack and Mike, that they would both ultimately prefer to live their lives in the woods, away from the constraints of society, laws and relationships.  The difference is that Mike seems to be law abiding while his father defies the law.  And that, of course, is the crux of the plot so far.  If you live on the fringe of society, you are likely to be considered guilty due to the very fact that you have spurned laws and socially correct living arrangements.

 

I think the relationships in the story thus far are all fairly pathetic.  The men that live in this frontier land seldom find women willing to accept that lifestyle.  And yet they are attractive men, initially appealing to women, sort of the primitive man ideal, which of course, is totally unacceptable to women who eventually  want commitment and companionship.  One of the few exceptions to this seems to be Kathy, who has embraced the same game warden lifestyle that Mike so loves.  If there were not at least a 15 year age difference, we might see them connecting later on.  But then Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have a similar age difference and that seems to be working!

 

Altogether I am enjoying the writing style (not sure I see Stephen King in it though!), and am looking forward to getting further into the story. 

Jane M.
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CJINCA
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 


JaneM wrote (excerpt):
I think the relationships in the story thus far are all fairly pathetic.  The men that live in this frontier land seldom find women willing to accept that lifestyle.  And yet they are attractive men, initially appealing to women, sort of the primitive man ideal, which of course, is totally unacceptable to women who eventually  want commitment and companionship.  One of the few exceptions to this seems to be Kathy, who has embraced the same game warden lifestyle that Mike so loves.  If there were not at least a 15 year age difference, we might see them connecting later on.  But then Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher have a similar age difference and that seems to be working!
I was wondering about this possibility, too -- see p10, "I could spend the night alone in the woods searching for  a dead pig and be content in a way that made absolutely no sense to anyone who wasn't a game warden."  
But, I almost always guess wrong with these things...

 

 

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lg4154
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike seems like a nice enough guy, but drawn to the outdoors for the wrong reasons. It is like he is trying to make up for something lacking that he did not get with his father. I did not like his fathers character and maybe Mike is somewhat damaged due to the divorce that happens earlier. Like with abuse, he does not have relationships that last very long, but this is the only thing he knows.

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

Although this book was billed as a mystery, I'm finding it to be more of a coming of age story. Mike is a young man very conflicted about his father. He has taken up a profession that puts him directly at odds with the man he thinks he wants to understand. When his father is on the run, Mike wants to help him, but I think he most wants to understand his father. 

 

In fact, Mike's conflict with his father and his own self image has put his relationship with Sara in jeopardy. I believe from the story that he truly loves Sara, but he feels that he is forced into a life in the Maine Warden Service and Sara doesn't fit this life style well. So, from my perspective, at the start of the story, Mike is very conflicted. He wants to be alone, but he wants Sara. He wants to help and understand his father, but he's on the opposite side of the law. 

 

It will be interesting to see how/if Mike is able to resolve his conflicts and discover who he is.M

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

For me, the bear subplot detracts from the story, if this is a mystery. If, on the other hand, it's a coming of age story, I think the bear subplot gives us a great deal of insight into Mike's character. The bear is like his father. It's unruly and needs to be stopped. It's vandalizing other people's property and putting their lives at risk. Mike knows all this, but he wants to capture the bear and save it although the bear may not be salvageable. When bears begin to act this way, the won't stop. I think his father is the same. He can't be stopped from acting the way he is and it puts other people, including Mike at risk. 

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

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

I believe Mike is a good but flawed person although he seems to recognize some of his flaws even though he can’t seem to fix them. I am a person who likes books about dysfunctional families so the relationship between Mike and his father is extremely interesting to me. I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

 

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

I think Mike’s relationship problems stem from his parent’s divorce. I think he kind of sabotaged his relationship with Sarah in a way because she still kept wanting him to go to law school even though he’d made up his mind not to.

 

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

I think Mike kind of sees the world through rose colored glasses, I mean he sees what he wants but can’t see how that might not jibe with what others want of him.

 

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

I’ve got great expectations of this story I can’t put it down. The whole mystery is his father a killer?

I agree with other will this escaped POW have any bearing on the story?

I have really been taken with all the characters in this book it is well written and flows so easy that it is extremely hard to put down!

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

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike seems like a lonely person and that he's been deeply affected by his parents divorce.  I don't feel like the 1st 7 chapters have defined his father much except that he wasn't a great father or role model.  I get the impression that they've been estranged yet there's still a need for him to help his father.  I'm looking forward to reading more about their relationship and how that shaped him as an adult. 

 

I feel like his father's life would've ended much differently had he not been a war veteran.  Like many people, his life was adversely affected by Vietnam. 

 

 

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

I feel like Mike doesn't want the emotional commitment it takes to have a relationship.  I don't feel like the book has gone into enough depth about his relationship with Sarah.  The same is true of his parents.  His mother got tired of living the life they lived and took off.

 

 

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

 

I feel like I'm reading a story with lots of flashbacks which will fill in alot of gaps.  I'm not sure where this story is going yet.  I picked up this book without reading anything about it so I have no preconceived notions.  What I expect to read is a story about a father and son.  I could totally be off base.  :smileyhappy:  We'll see. 

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

 

 

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike is attempting to be the opposite of his father and yet, he is very much his father's son. Unable to make his marriage work; Mike's job becomes his mistress.

 

 

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

 I am amazed at Mike's determination to prove his father was not a murderer. Mike had so little contact w/the man during his formative years I wonder if Mike isn't now "forgetting" how mean his father has always been.


 

Children are the living message we send to a time we will not see.
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Lissa618
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike is a likeable young man, setting out in the world to right his father’s wrongs. Mike has a strained relationship with his dad and grew up in a dysfunctional family. He chooses his career path to not only right his father’s wrong, but to ensure he turns out nothing like his father.

 

Jack is an alcoholic who is a co dependent personality – relying heavily on romantic relationships to give him meaning. He is a man of the land, he would rather live in a cabin in the woods rather than try to fit in with mainstream society and face his shortcomings.

 

As for the romantic relationships – Mike’s parents is one of dependency- Jack is very dependent on Mike’s mom for validation.  It is an abusive relationship made worse by the diagnosis of alcoholism and the fact that Mike’s mom is an enabler for a long period of time.

 

Mike’s relationship with Sarah is also very dysfunctional – he is afraid to let her fully into his life as he does not want to repeat the mistakes his parent’s made. He has his mind set on being a warden and that is the only path he is willing to explore. He is not willing to openly communicate or let Sarah fully into his life.

 

Mike’s attitude, in my opinion, is one of an angry young man. He has a great respect for nature and when he encounters someone who feels differently (the drunken man and the bear), he is not willing to see the whole picture – he just sees a situation that reminds him of his past. Even when his supervisor speaks to him and explains the situation from another viewpoint, Mike appears to have blinders on.

 

I have learned not to have expectations for a story- the plot can change at any time.  So far, this is a very well written book – it paints a very vivid mental picture that is easy to follow along with and keeps bringing you back, wanting more. Mike’s childhood, his relationship with his father and the underlying alcoholism has shaped my sense of what to expect in this book.

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

To me, the bear seems to be a symbol for Mike.  It's like the bear represents his relationships and he wants them to be salvaged and work out in the end - same as finding the bear and making sure he's safe.

 

Then again, maybe it's just a bear :smileytongue:

 

 

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ameadows55
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike Bowditch is headstrong, but fiercely loyal. He is much more like his father than he realizes. He took a job as a game warden to "pay" for the sins of his father. He is modeling the dysfunctional marriage of his parents in his relationship with Sarah.

 

I find the narrative gripping, hard to put down. The setting is fabulous and fascinating, based on a recent vacation to Maine. I am anxious to see what happens next.

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ameadows55
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Hmm...I also thought that maybe the bear represented Mike's father. Wild, brutal, wreaking havoc in his path. It will be interesting to see how the storyline with the bear plays out!

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

What Mike Bowditch like?  What about his father?

 

I think Mike is very conflicted - he wants his father's approval, but feels the need to do things in a very different way than his father has.  I think his fierce desire to believe in the person he wants his father to be may effect his ability to be objective. 

 

Mike's father appears to be someone dealing with alot of PTSD.  He obviously doesn't function well in main stream society and prefers a solitary life.  His alcoholism and inability to hold a job made it very hard on his family.

 

Romantic relationships:

Mike's parents relationship had a direct coorelation with his relationship with Sarah.  He seems to hold tight to the notion that he is not good enough for Sarah and will not ever meet her expectations.  It seems like he had the expectation that her leaving was inevitable.

 

Mike's attitudes:

I think Mike's attitudes are similar to many of the people around him in that he enjoys where he lives and wants it to remain "untouched".  They differ in that he would like preserve the life of the bear rather than immediately destroying it, he does not seem to value material possessions as much as some of the people he is close to.

 

I'm hoping that the story line does not follow the typical "Who done it?" scenario.  I'm thinking that given the amount of information we are being given into the background of some of the major players that the author may have some interesting twists in store.  I hope so.  I am really enjoying the book - I don't want to stop reading!

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

I agree with many of you who think Mike is lonely. He has estranged relationships with his parents, as far as we know; he's lost Sarah; he seems to be struggling to make emotional connections and ties with the people in his new community. It just feels like he's avoiding relationships, even though I get the feeling he longs for some sort of healthy companionship. He seems to regret losing Sarah, not knowing the names of people at the Square Deal; none of this feels organic to Mike's nature. It feels like he's lonely.

 

I don't even know what to think of Jack, yet. He seems selfish, but I'm not convinced that he is. It could just be a wall he maintains to avoid being hurt.

 

Romantic relationships are a mess in these first few chapters! There is a pervasive lack of communication, negotiation, and intimacy. So far. I'm interested to learn more about Sarah; did she feel free to leave Mike, or did she feel pushed away by Mike? I'm interested to see where that goes, and if there is a correlation to Mike's interpretation of his parents' relationship.

 

I'm enjoying the book! I, like many of you, had a hard time stopping at Chapter 7! My early expectations were that I might not enjoy the story since it's not a genre or a setting I'm familiar with. However, there are many similarities between coastal Maine and coastal Mississippi--spartina, marsh, swampy smells--I feel like I'm standing next to Mike when the author begins to describe the outdoors.

 

Oh, but I'm not a fan of the bear. It's still early in that plot line and I'm worried it's a) not a bear, b) a VERY DANGEROUS bear, or c) just a bear. ;-)

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nymazz
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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?

Mike is a self-imposed loner, he knows he has choices for a good relationship with Sarah but seems to make a point of finding ways to justify why he can't be with her.

At this point I don't like his father at all.  I think Mike keeps trying to connect with his father but each time they are together Mikes only feels disappointed.  His dad knows this and that is why he keeps telling Mike 'I never promised you anything'. I think Mike is afraid he might become just like his father and that is why he keeps looking for something redeemable in his father

 

 

 


 

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are. -Mason Cooley-