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Rachel-K
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In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

We've had a favorite passages thread, but I'd love to hear from the group what you feel was the strongest image, feeling, or scene you will carry with you from the novel--weather it is your favorite or least favorite, or if it simply typifies the atmosphere of the book. If you pass this title on a bookshelf in ten years, what image will rise in your memory that came from it's pages?

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dhaupt
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

There were nothing but strong images all throughout the novel, but the one that stays with me is at the end when after Karel brings his family home, he goes over to the baby's crib and touches his son.

That scene tells me that he will treat his son with the kindness that he was never shown

CAG
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CAG
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

[ Edited ]

For me the scene that I will always remember is when Karel on page 304 heads back on the horse to Thom's place and he wonders ". . . just how in the hell a man is supposed to go about asking the dead to forgive him . . ." I thought this one scene said so much about the complex character of Karel.

CAG
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salander_9277
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

The imagery described of the horse race against Graciela in the dark and pouring rain.  That was just so vivid to me.  

 

Also the way he depicted the mother's milk letting down in the end of the book, of the woman who breastfed Karel.  That was such an amazing description that I was literally blown away.

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FireRaven9
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

The book is full of strong images and scenes, and evoked a lot of feelings in me while reading it.

 

One of my least favorites was when Karel kicked the pregnant cow. That one really irked me. Other least favorites was when Vaclav was castrating the horses, both times.

 

I liked the image of Stan's children clinging to his legs and waist as he shuffled into the room at Thom's house. And how Karel instinctively snatched up his son when Graciela screeched as her daughter woke up. Also, how Karel touched his sons face at the end of the book. These images make me think that the cycle of cruelty will stop with these men.

 

 

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maxcat
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

I think the most compelling image in my mind would be the horse race between Karel as a boy and Graciela. The author created such a beautiful landscape blended with the coming rainstorm, it was hard to forget. The race itself captures one on the edge of their seat as they try to think who will win. But what was most compelling was the scenery surrounding the race. It's almost as if the author puts you there back in Texas in that time period.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Melissa_W
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

For me, I always come back to the scene with the four brothers, when Karel arrives at Thom's house after the fire.  The understanding that is exchanged between the brothers, using only a few words, creates a very moving image - four rough, work-hardened men, silouhetted against a smoking ruin in the Texas winter.

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coffee_luvr
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

It will be the image I had of Karel riding like the wind, in a stark landscape, racing on his horse.  There are so many other images that I have, but if I am to pick one, that is what I see when I think of this book.

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shashax6
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

I have never had such a strong reaction to a book, I disliked the obtuse mutilation of the farm animals and obvious torture of his own blood. The plot was so lost in the memories of the boys.

 

  I have read quite a few books where the lead character is so hated that you cheered for the obvious villain, but this characterization of the Texas frontier was very hard to read - He (the main character) reminded me of the father in "Finn" by John Clinch -- so dark that it was a relief to turn the light off.

 

Hope the next one is a bit lighter.

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Eckwell
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

The image that I carry from this book is the one of the four brothers straining to pull the plow through the hard soil.  It was a very vivid description and once that I carry with me.  The abuse that this man brought onto his sons was unforgiveable.

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Bonnie_C
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

The scene that stands out in my mind is when Karel stops the truck to watch the father teach his son how to hunt.  At one point he waves at the pair as he gets back into his truck as if to say "Nice job."    This is when I felt that there was really hope for Karel.  He realized at that point that he could either continue on the road he was traveling and be like Vaclav or he can turn around and go back to his family and be the father he should be.  I'm glad he made the right decision.

 

Bonnie

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Cleos_Mum
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

With me, it was where Karel was wondering how to ask the dead to forgive him. Finally, FINALLY - there was a touch of humanity in this book!

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literature
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

 

The horse race between Karel and Graciela is imbedded in my memory.  Bruce's description made it so real that my heart was racing along with the horses.  In fact, I was exhausted when the race was over.  He put so much feeling and emotion into the description of the night, the scenery, the people, the horses and Karel and Graciela  that you couldn't help but feel the electricity of the moment.  Then there was the fight between the Skala men.  The punches landing too hard on the body.  The blood splattering all over.

 

And, of course, because Bruce did such an excellent job describing the perfect Mr. Villasenor,   I cheered when he became undone.  He was such a conceited, snotty little imp; that is, as long as things were in his favor, and I continually thank Bruce for the bumps in the road he wrote into the script for him.

 

 

 

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HannibalCat
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

 


Melissa_W wrote:

For me, I always come back to the scene with the four brothers, when Karel arrives at Thom's house after the fire.  The understanding that is exchanged between the brothers, using only a few words, creates a very moving image - four rough, work-hardened men, silouhetted against a smoking ruin in the Texas winter.


That scene was so clear and beautiful. I agree with you completely. It spoke a thousand words that were missed over the years. Almost as if there were never any distances between the brothers. The older boys were men of character and strength that went beyond being harnessed and worked so harshly. Their strength was of a spiritual nature above all.

 

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merl
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

I agree, the moving part was where the boys got back together again when the barn burned and the little girl got hurt. Apart from this I really didn't like the writing,I may be the only one ,but I didn't like the long sentences and the way he went back and forth thru the years. Sometimes it took awhile before you understood where in his life you were. I wish he would have written it from the beginning of his life to the end.

MK

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floreader
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

There were many powerful passages in the book, although not necessarily what I would consider "favorites" due to the rough subject matter.  My favorite passage is at the end when Karel thinks "how in the hell a man is supposed to go about asking the dead to forgive him.....or for doing his father's delirious bidding and leaving him to die in the mud alone..;."  Wonderfully written, very powerful stuff.

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Deltadawn
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

 


dhaupt wrote:

There were nothing but strong images all throughout the novel, but the one that stays with me is at the end when after Karel brings his family home, he goes over to the baby's crib and touches his son.

That scene tells me that he will treat his son with the kindness that he was never shown


I agree completely- that was a beautiful and telling scene.

 

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Deltadawn
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

 


CAG wrote:

For me the scene that I will always remember is when Karel on page 304 heads back on the horse to Thom's place and he wonders ". . . just how in the hell a man is supposed to go about asking the dead to forgive him . . ." I thought this one scene said so much about the complex character of Karel.


I agree - that is another scene that will stay with me.

 

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JaneM
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?


Eckwell wrote:

The image that I carry from this book is the one of the four brothers straining to pull the plow through the hard soil.  It was a very vivid description and once that I carry with me.  The abuse that this man brought onto his sons was unforgiveable.


I agree that the sons pulling the plow is the most memorable image since it impacted them both physically and emotionally throughout the course of the story.

Jane M.
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jabrkeKB
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Re: In the Wake of The Wake of Forgiveness?

The ending of the book where Karel is wondering how he is supposed to ask the dead to forgive him really struck me.  This passage summed up the entire novel for me, very thought provoking.