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

StewiesMom, I read you post and I like you take on this book. You have captured the sense of the story very well. I need to get caught up.

 

I am really liking this book and an glad to see from other posts that we will be reading some more books about Mike.

 

Good to talk to you.

 

ReadingPatti

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

Mike is a loner.  He is very good at his job, but doesn't do as well in his personal relationships.  He is very responsible as a game warden and takes his job very seriously.  He chooses his chosen career over making Sarah happy.  I didn't like Sarah because she should have accepted his desire for a profession that made him happy, not just become a lawyer to earn a lot of money and prestige.  Mike sees his father realistically, yet at the same time wants his approval and still hopes for a relationship with him.

 

His father Jack is a ne'er do well.  He is a drinker and womanizer and was a poor husband and father.  His personality changed for the worse after his traumatic experiences in the war.  He had a gifted student, good athlete, and sweet guy growing up, but after the war had a hot temper and couldn't hold a job for very long.

 

I think Mike and his father are similar in that their personalities were shaped by previous experiences, Mike from his bad childhood and his father from the war.

 

As for my early expectations for the story, I initially thought that someone was framing Jack.  I felt that, underneath all the problems, Jack is a decent man and wouldn't murder anyone.  He seemed to be more of a person to get in bar fight rather than be involved in planning a murder.  However, sometimes in a story as in real life, a duck is just a duck - - the person who appears to have the crime winds up doing the crime. 

 

   

    

    

    

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

 

petitefleur wrote:

What is Mike Bowditch like?

     So far Mike comes across as a by-the-book, good guy who is trying not to be a mirror image of his father.

 

What about his father?

     His father is the type of person who does what he feels like, when he feels like doing it. He doesn’t think about (or doesn’t care) how his actions affect others or what consequences he might have to face.  

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel?

The “romantic relationships” are severely lacking in romance.

 

What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like?

I do believe that Mike loved Sarah. But, in his quest to be the man his father wasn’t, the job became his life and he became an absentee husband.  

 

What are your early expectations for the story?

It seems like Mike is going to get sucked into his father’s world and possibly become more like him than he would like.

 

What has shaped your sense of what to expect?

Although Mike wants to distance himself from his father, his instinct as a son is to defend him to others. I believe that this will take him on a journey of discovery about his father and that this will help him to understand how his father became the man that he is.

 

Good observations, especially about Mike's quest to be the man his father wasn't and the different relationships severely lacking in romance.

 

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

I agree. I didn't quite understand the significance with the pig and the bear but I will assume it means something that I just didn't grasp onto yet.

 

I passed these chapters but have yet to write my responses.

 

I love Mike. He is truly honest and an overall good guy he just wants what he wants ans that seems to make things difficult.

 

I am excited to see how the overall book pan out!

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

Mamawli wrote:  

"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."

 

While I agree that he has become a better version of his father, some things stayed the same. They are both loners who seem to have no real relationships, they have failed romances because they chose the land over all else. To me, it seems like Mike is trying to pay back the mistakes he feels his father has made.

 

I do believe that Mike believes his father, but I think it is because if he doesn't he has to face the reality of who his father really is. This reminds me of some of the students I work with. They come from abusive homes or ones where daddy is out of the picture. Many of their fathers are in jail or dead. These students tend to idealize their fathers because they miss having a father figure in their life. I believe that Jack was abusive to both Mike and his mother yet Mike looked up to him. The question is, did he look up to Jack, or the man he wanted him to be?

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

What is Mike Bowditch like?

I think that is a question we are only beginning to know the answer to. He seems to be a straight shooter. He goes by the book and seems to be totally absorbed in his job. His obsession with nature and the Maine wilderness was part of the downfall in his relationship with Sarah.

I think he is a man who was denied a true relationship between a father and his son and it affects his way of thinking.

One thing that truly stands out to me is the scene in chapter 4 where he runs into Anthony DeSalle and his son. Mike seems to be ready to argue with Mr.. DeSalle from the start and while he may have been right to ticket him for not having the proper floatation devices, I think he would have found a reason to ticket him for anything. I do think it was important to note how Mike watched the son's reaction to all of what happened. Maybe he sees a little of himself in the boy.

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

Mike is a very lonely person, based probably on his childhood and family experiences. He is closed off to others and has a hard time with relationships, his parents was a poor one and he lived out in nowhere and is comfortable there.

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blkeyesuzi
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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.

 

 

 

 

I have wondered the same thing. I've been slow in posting...sorry.  It did explain what Mike's job entailed, to some degree.  It's definitely a dangerous job as a peace officer, who happens to be in the woods.  Anyone who mistook him for a "park ranger" would think twice after that, perhaps.

 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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Marcella87
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

Mike is a Maine game warden. He enjoys his job and executes his duties well. Being a warden is a 24 hour job but he makes excuses for not having a life outside of the job. I believe because his parents had a strained marriage and then separated when he was nine, he distances himself from personal relationships for fear of disappointment. He seems to struggle with himself because he misses Sarah but feels its for the best because his job is so demanding. 

 

Jack is a very lonely man who seems mad at the world; two tours in the Vietnam war and a purple heart changed him into a different man. He had a strained relationship Mikes mother and they separated after nine years. He shrunk more into his bitter loneliness after his parents died and his wife left.  

 

Mikes attitudes seem to fit nicely together with his coworkers when relating to the wilderness. He takes his job seriously and gets a certain satisfaction out of helping and appreciating nature. When we found out his father is the prime suspect in a police murder we start to feel some tension between his peers. Mike seems unsure of the accusations made against Jack. No matter what qualms he might have with his father he doesn't want to believe he is the son of a cop killer. 

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

I find Mike to be happier alone.  I think he married out of obligation and was happy when his wife left.  He had no intention of going to law school.  That was his girlfriend/wife's dream.  There was almost a sigh of relief when he had the house and his life to himself.  In this way, I think he and his father are very similar.  They push people away.  They seem to feel most complete with nature and nothing else.  They don't seem to know how to balance this with other relationships.  Mike is much more likeable than his father and I think he's trying whereas his father just gave up.

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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lannulis
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

I agree with you on this.  I like how you said that Mike seems to have grown up to be the man he wanted his father to be....

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

  1. What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike Bowditch is a young man who is deeply affected by his father even as he rejects his way of life. His father is a loner – a man who lives for himself and doesn’t worry about the consequences. Mike resents this but follows the same road, preferring to be a Game Warden and live in the outdoors to pursuing a more lucrative career to stay with his girlfriend. 

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

They remind me of many stories of men who follow their instincts to live hard lives. Women find them attractive but soon lose their patience for the isolation and unhappiness the men cause. I think Mike’s relationship with Sarah was similar to his parent’s relationship in that Mike wanted to be a Game Warden which forced Sarah to lead a lonely life. When she found it too lonely she couldn’t stay.

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

Compared to his boss, Kathy, he is dedicated but not as respectful of the rules as she is. This may stem from his father’s influence but I see Mike as sort of a lonely person, mostly because he just can’t figure out what he really wants. He is also similar to his father in his attachment to living in the woods but different in his treatment of society. He has seen the bad side of his father’s personality and doesn’t want to be like that himself.

 

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

My expectation is that at some point there will be a show down between Mike and his father. Not sure what it will be about – whether his father is a murderer or if Mike might have to bring him in to face what he has done and make a choice between his father and Mike’s own sense of justice. Something like that. I think the story also leads you to examine the nature of trust. I don’t think Mike has a great trust in people. That creates a lot of tension in the story which draws you in.

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

 

DSaff wrote:

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.


 

 

 

Me too.  This book is definitely a fun read. 

 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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blkeyesuzi
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 

EiLvReedn wrote:

Early chapters,  I was starting to think that Mike Bowditch was a very unlucky guy. His Dad was/is a loser, his Mom moved away from what he knew, his wife has left him and he can't seem to get a break even from the people he works with. He seems like someone who has the inner struggle of wanting to be loved, wanting to belong but has had such a bad experience in life he can't. He also seems to be sort of bull headed as there was some good advice given him and he won't listen. I can see why his relationship with Sarah is so hard. Of course it seems like she didn't fully understand what to expect either and they didn't work that out b/4 they were married. Big mistake. My sense of what to expect is that Mike is going to get deeper and deeper into trouble even though deep down he really is a good guy and has seen the bad example of his Dad so should want to try to do the opposite of him and he should just turn his Dad in, but he can't because he also wants to be loved so much. I feel sorry for Mike as so many people are judging him to be like his father.

 

I agree that Mike is digging a hole and is probably going to get deeper and deeper into trouble; however I can understand why he is reluctant to turn his father in.  There is really no evidence to point to the fact that his father has committed the crime and Mike has seen how his father has been treated by the authorities in the past. The incident with the policeman and the car are a red flag for him.  While Mike knows his father is no angel, he also knows he is due a fair trial.  What Mike sees is street justice in a small town and he feels that if his father is taken into custody, he will have no chance.  It may not be so much that he's looking for his father's love, but rather he's a good guy who believes in doing the right thing.  Mike is a man who stands behind his badge and believes in what it stands for.  The last thing he would want is to be considered a cheat, a thief, or a dishonor to his badge.  Nothing like his father.

 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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blkeyesuzi
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

 

T-Mo wrote:

I tend to agree- that exchange between MIke and DeSalle left me with a bit of a negative outlook toward Mike. I also couldn't figure out why he was pushing DeSalle so hard when he knew it was going to have an adverse affect on the little boy. Based on Doiron's descriptions it was obvious that Mike knew the boy was already suffering from anxiety for whatever reason. And that anxiety clearly continued to grow as Mike continued to push the boy's father. I couldn't help but thinking he was just throwing his weight around because he was trying to prove himself for some unknown reason. Mike certainly came across as pompous during this exchange. I understand doing your job but it just seemed as if his whole exchange with DeSalle was calculated to push the guy to the extreme. Why did he wait until the little boy climbed into the boat before he asked about the life jackets- he could have just as easily brought them up when DeSalle and the boy were still on land. Seemed to me that Mike was just looking for any reason possible to keep them from enjoying their fishing trip. 

 

 


babzilla41 wrote:

I'm still trying to figure out why Mike was pushing DeSalle so hard.  Although it is his job to make sure boat registrations are up to date and life preservers are on board etc, he also knew that he was antagonizing DeSalle to the point where he was taking his anger out on his little boy.  Mike knew the kid was in for it beacuse he was throwing his authority around.  If he saw himself in the little boy, it doesn't make sense that he would put him in that position.  He knew that DeSalle was hard on the kid because when he fell from the boat he told him "Don't you cry. Don't you cry."  By the end of that passage, I disliked both DeSalle and Mike.


 

 

 

I completely agree with this.  I was so bothered by the way Mike handled this situation.  All I could see is a frightened little boy who was going to catch the brunt of his father's anger later.  Mike of all people would have been aware of how far he was pushing the dad, particularly after the boy fell into the water.  The only thing I could think of was that Mike thought more harm would come of the boy if they were on the water that day.  This part totally confused me and just broke my heart as far as the boy was concerned.  At the very least, I would think he might have said something to the father about calming down and not taking his ill temper out on the child.  Rather, he just left the poor boy to deal with the aftermath.  I was not a fan of Mike at that point.

 

Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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dragonfly_yayn
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7

What is Mike Bowditch like? He is a self-made lonely man, that is guided by trying to avoid becoming who his father was/is.  He has a guilty concience for what his father is and is trying to make up for it in his own life.

 

What about his father?Mike's father is a self-centered alcoholic, that doesn't appear to care about his son.

 

What are the romantic relationships like that have been described this far into the novel? What was Mike's relationship with Sarah like? It is hard to describe the relationships described so far as romantic, considering Mike's parents didn't seem to get along, barely hanging onto a bad marriage for too long.  Then there is the relationship between Mike & Sarah, which seems to be true love but because of the relationships & personalities of Mike's parents as an example, Mike doesn't hold onto Sarah but instead clung to a life of solitude.

 

 

What are your early expectations for the story? What has shaped your sense of what to expect? I was actually able to start this book with no expectations.  After reading the original description of the book prior to signing up for the FL, my only expectations going into the book was reading a mystery, which is my usual genre that I like to read.

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lizabet1196
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Re: The Poacher's Son, Early Chapters: 1-7 (My thoughts)

 

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

I think that Mike is a loner and that his father is as well maybe just a little rougher around the edges.

 

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

It seems that maybe both Sarah and Mike's mom picked men that they could not change and were happy with.  Mike and his dad both right now seem unlucky in love.

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

What is Mike Bowditch like? What about his father?

Mike seems comfortable in his role as a game warden, but not much else.  He appears to swing from not caring about his father, to trying to impress his father, to competing with his father.

 

Mike's father clearly has issues that he will never deal with - he just escapes from them by isolating himself.

 

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

Jack and Mike's mom - her leaving him probably destroyed whatever was left of him after the war.

 

Mike's mom and Neil - know info on them yet

 

Mike and Sarah - he has no idea how to develop a relationship, and she's unrealistic if she thinks she can mold him into something he has no inclination to be.

 

 

 

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

He doesn't seem to fit in with any of the people around him. 

 

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

So far, I'm still intrigued.  I find the descriptions of the habitat to be beautifully done, and am enjoying the insights into the world of game wardening.  I feel a little shaky about the characters, though.

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quiltedturtle1
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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 good man, but seems confused.  His childhood has affected him and his relationships.  Much like his father, he has trouble committing to people.  While Mike does not like his father, he seems to live his life in a quest for his father’s approval.

Mike’s father is a product of the war.  He came back from it broken.  This ruined his relationships and caused him to retreat to the woods. Mike appears to be mirroring this behavior of retreating with his job as warden.

 

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

The romantic relationships in the novel have been failures so far.  It seems the past keeps interfering with those involved and they are unable to work out their problems.

 

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

Mike’s attitude about his father’s innocence has set him apart from everyone else.  In this respect, he is very different.  However, his love of the forest and his work is similar to the other wardens.

 

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

My early expectations are that Mike is right and his father is not guilty.  However, I also see that so many others believe his father did it, I wonder if Mike has blinders on where his father is concerned and that everyone is correct and his father did it.

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

I agree with the first post, I pictured the main character to be more like an older man, wise behind his many years, I would have guessed early 40's to maybe even older. I'm very surprised to find that he is so young.

b

I would like to take a step back to the Introduction. Did this make any want to read more, or did this do the opposite? I for one loved the introduction, the details made me feel like I was standing there with them. I'm curious to see if anyone felt the introduction actually deterred them from wanting to read on.

 

As far as romance, very vague. I hope to read more flashbacks from when they were young, stupid, and in love.

 

I'm new to mysteries, so this is a real treat. So far, this book is setting a strong pathway to perhaps more mystery stories for me. Anyone else new to mysteries?

 

I'm a little behind on my reading but hopefully I can catch up to pace soon. =)

~~~~~~~~
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