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RIRN56
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

What do you make of Villasenor's arrival and his interactions with his daughter's husbands?

 

The brothers, except Karel, were pretty much hen-pecked by Villasenor. He seemed to have total control over them because of his wealth and clout. They pretty much seemed to do what Villasenor wanted them to do. 

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RIRN56
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Karel's wife has already arrived at Thom house with their children. Why? What does the scene inside the household tell us about this community, about the lives of the women in this community?

 

Sophie seemed to be a very giving person, who put the needs of others before her own. Sophie went to that house to provide emotional support to her sisters-in-law. The women of that community seemed to ban together in times of need. The wives all worked so hard raising a family...I believe the hard living made them sisterly, so they could all, in some way, support each other emotionally.

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RIRN56
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

How is this scene different from the picture we've had of larger gatherings of townspeople earlier in the novel--the races, for example?

 

This gathering was due to a tragedy. The people banded together to assist in this tragedy anyway that they could.

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fordmg
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel


gackie wrote:

One of the things that has bothered me almost from the beginning about this story is: where was the community after Karla died?

 

Maybe Hildi Knedlik was too young and too marginalized to have an influence.  Maybe Edna Janek didn't want to get involved with Vaclav.  Maybe Father Carew didn't know how to rally the forces of his parish.  Maybe Vaclav pushed everyone away.  Still, the dearth of "community" or "family" (grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, in-laws) in the early pages of the story did not ring quite true for me. 

 

Pepper

 


 

I agree with you Pepper. It doesn't fit with the times.
One would think that the town folk would rally around this family and help them out more, but I can see how Vaclav could of pushed them away.


I think the community would have helped Vaclav, but he shunned them.  He was a loner and scared them away.

MG

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Fozzie
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel


Rachel-K wrote:

What do you make of Villasenor's arrival and his interactions with his daughter's husbands?


This was one of my favorite parts of the book.  It was good as a reader, and good for Karel too, to realize that the grass is not always greener.  What we had assumed, that Karel's brothers were better off than he was, was not necessarily true.  It was one of those moments when new information makes me rethink the entire book and some of the assumptions I had made.

Laura

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flouncyninja
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

[ Edited ]

 


Rachel-K wrote:

Describe the scene between the Skala brothers in the wake of the fire. Is this the reunion you expected between the boys? What does their interaction tell you about their history and their relationships to each other now?

 

I had a feeling this was going to end in one of those situations where it was all a big misunderstanding and there weren't really any hard feelings between the brothers, just in Karel's head.  It struck me as playing out that way.  The other three brothers are neither surprised or upset/angry when Karel shows up.  He is there brother.  It's not his fault that the barn burnt down and it felt like there weren't any angry feelings on any side.

 

It really seemed to me to be a case of an argument occurring in this both sides thinking they were in the wrong and deciding to not be the first to pick up the phone to apologize.  In the end that sort of silence can last for a very long time if no one is willing to take the first step toward reconcilement.  It took a tragedy of a hurt child and destroyed property to propell the brothers back together after years of separation.

 

What do you make of Villasenor's arrival and his interactions with his daughter's husbands?

 

I really did not like Villasenor.  He is the boss.  His daughters' husband were won by him in a bet, and therefore they are just another part of his business - employees rather than family.  He doesn't care about what they want, just that they do as he asks, no complaints or questions asked.  In the end, I think Karel got the better deal - freedom to make his own choices and run his life his own way, even if he didn't end up with Graceila.

 

Karel's wife has already arrived at Thom house with their children. Why? What does the scene inside the household tell us about this community, about the lives of the women in this community?

 

When a child becomes hurt, families come together to help each other emotionally and physically.  Even though Karel and his wife didn't have much interaction with his brothers' families, they were still family.  I think Sophie knew that and didn't hesitate to come to their aid even though she'd just given birth. 

 

With the rest of the book describing such a harsh and difficult life for everyone, it was nice to see a community come together, even if it was tragedy that had to occur to make it happen.

 

How is this scene different from the picture we've had of larger gatherings of townspeople earlier in the novel--the races, for example?

 

All the previous gatherings have involved lots of action and a false sense of communion.  The dance and church brought people physically together, but not necessarily to be together emotionally or to connect with one another.  The races were for betting and to see the fall of whomever lost.  The crowd was described as fairweathered - they had no loyalty and once you lost, they moved on to the new winner.

 

With the gathering at Thom's house, people were there because they cared and wanted to help someone other than themselves when the world seemed to come crashing down.  The hardness of this world was temporarily replaced with goodness, hope and friendship.

 

 


 

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flouncyninja
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

 


Peppermill wrote:

 


gackie wrote (excerpt):

 

How is this scene different from the picture we've had of larger gatherings of townspeople earlier in the novel--the races, for example?

 

This scene shows that the townspeople take care of their own and they are there for each other in a time of need.


 

One of the things that has bothered me almost from the beginning about this story is: where was the community after Karla died?

 

Maybe Hildi Knedlik was too young and too marginalized to have an influence.  Maybe Edna Janek didn't want to get involved with Vaclav.  Maybe Father Carew didn't know how to rally the forces of his parish.  Maybe Vaclav pushed everyone away.  Still, the dearth of "community" or "family" (grandparents, brothers, sisters, uncles, cousins, in-laws) in the early pages of the story did not ring quite true for me. 

 

Pepper


 

While a community might build around him after the initial death, I wouldn't think they would stick around forever.  After the death, we didn't pick back up on the story of the boys until Karel was three.  Three years had gone by, and anyone that might have come around was long back to their own routines by then.  I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to learn about what had happened after the mother's death.  It would have been interesting to see how the community might have come to the aid of this man and how well Vaclav could take to getting outside assistance.  He seemed to be a very proud man who wouldn't want outside help even when he needed it.

 

Also, I was under the impression that Vaclav was a first generation immigrant - he came to Texas from Europe by himself.  I didn't take it that he had any family nearby.  Perhaps Karla did, but she might have been from the "old country" as well.

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dj5775
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I'm glad the Scala brother's had come together finally and a move for forgiveness and peace between them was made.

Villasenor was so similar to their father. He spoke orders to Thom when talking to him and held himself above the boys instilling fear and his control over them.

The women coming together was a sense of community, knowing when others needed help and support then being there for them.

During the races it was men coming together, betting and letting loose, this scene was a crisis and a family was in need.

ct
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librarysusie
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

 

 

Describe the scene between the Skala brothers in the wake of the fire. Is this the reunion you expected between the boys? What does their interaction tell you about their history and their relationships to each other now?

 

I thought it was beautiful it was like the years of not talking just melted away. I think Karel realized so much in those few minutes about his brother’s lives and his own. It also showed that deep down the brothers had missed each other and I think if Villasenor had not been in the picture the forgiveness in that moment may have taken place sooner.

 

 

 

What do you make of Villasenor's arrival and his interactions with his daughter's husbands?

 

Karel has always thought that his brothers were the lucky ones they got out of their fathers house had wives, jobs beautiful houses. But what he didn’t realize is they just traded being under the thumb of one man to being under the thumb of another. Villasenor has ruled those houses with the same iron fist he ruled his own, the brothers  Skala never knew true freedom like Karel did even when Karel didn’t realize he had true freedom from everything but his own guilt.

 

 

 

Karel's wife has already arrived at Thom house with their children. Why? What does the scene inside the household tell us about this community, about the lives of the women in this community?

 

Sophia being there just shows that in a small community when there is a tragedy all bad feelings are brushed aside and they come together to help and forget old grudges.

 

 

How is this scene different from the picture we've had of larger gatherings of townspeople earlier in the novel--the races, for example?

 

It was a coming together of support not to gawk at someone else’s tragedy and I think the main reason is this gathering of townspeople is the women not the men.

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babzilla41
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Karel's wife has already arrived at Thom house with their children. Why?

 

I've been thinking further on this question... Maybe Sophia figured that enough was enough as far as Karel and his brothers' estrangement was concerned.  Maybe she thought if she went to Thom and Graciela's, it would force Karel to come looking for them when he realized she and the children had left Praha, and by coming, would force the brothers to "break the ice".  It seems that it was Karel, not the brothers, who held a grudge in the years following their father's death.  Thom said, "You ain't seen reason to do much of anything within spitting distance of us since Pop died...."

 

b

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reader76
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I don't think the fire was the ideal situation to bring the Skala brothers together but nonetheless they were there whether they liked it or not.  The last time they were together was the night of the race where the family broke up.  I think Karel does not mind his brothers but they are not his favorite people especially Thomas.  They are more like acquaintances than family.  There is no closeness, feeling warmth in between them.  Villasenor is like a mafia character in this novel.  He has the money, the back up, ammunitions, and power over this county.  The daughter's husbands are like his minions who does his bidding.  The brothers who married Villasenor's girls do not respect him as a father-in-law but they fear him in some ways.  Karel's wife is a strong woman who gets up to those in need when she can even after she had a baby not too long ago.  The women in the novel are not central to the story but their presence are in the backbone of the story.  The fire caused towns people to gather together in spirit of sympathy and helpfulness rather than excitement and eagerness that was portrayed in the night of the races. 

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torbank6
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

 

The scene between the Skala brothers in the wake of the fire, is of brothers who have had their differences but in the wake of tragedy, come together although there were no hugs.

 

Villasinor's arrival and treatment of his son-in-laws mirrors the treatments they had to endure from their own father.....I didn't like either one of the men.

 

Karel's wife is the buffer. She brings the women together and therefore, the men together.

 

The scene if of a closer group than the townspeople when they gather.

There is a central togetherness and a bond that the townspeople don't have.

 

As a whole, I enjoyed the book, although there were sections that bothered me, like how the young boys were treated by their father....hard for me to understand when I love my own child more than life itself.

I would rate this book a strong 3- 3 1/2 stars with good descriptions and clear writing.

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FeltSilly
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I must say I was a bit surprised by the ending.  I was sure that the Knedlik brothers 'work' was a lead up to a completely different interaction between and among the Skala brothers.  I expected that Karel would visit Thom's place as a couresy that would override any past ill feelings.  However I assumed the band of brothers would blame Karel - directly or indirectly - for the fall out from bringing Raymond and Joe into their lives.  For them to all sort of just say 'bygones' and slap each other on the back seemed contrary to the flow of the story up to that point.  I expected the four Skala's who traded being under their own father's wrath to that of their father-in-law to be bitter that their brother Karel was free and take his actions as vengeful even if he started the Knedlik brothers' wheels in motion unintentionally.   I just don't see the characters letting go of their pride and anger as simply as the final chapters indicated they did. I suppose I basically expected a sad and dreary ending.  Relative to the rest of the book, the ending was 'happy' and to me just didn't match up with anything but the title.

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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel


 

What do you make of Villasenor's arrival and his interactions with his daughter's husbands?

 

At first I wondered why a wealthy man would choose to marry his daughters off to boys who came from an obviously abusive backround and with no money of their own. But it's now very clear to me that he was in search of boys that were very anxious to be rid of their lives and see him as a knight in shining armour.  If he says "jump" he wants their response to be "how high?".  Unfortunately the boys didn't know at the time that they would be trading one controlling man for another.  Very sad!

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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Madgy
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel


Rachel-K wrote:

Describe the scene between the Skala brothers in the wake of the fire. Is this the reunion you expected between the boys? What does their interaction tell you about their history and their relationships to each other now?

 

As much as I would've liked to see the brothers reunite under better circumstances a tragedy is usually how it happens when there is bitterness between relatives.  When I was reading about the fire in Thom's barn I was thinking to myself that this will be the time for a reunion.  I was actually thinking of a barn raising.  Knowing what happened the night Karel lost the race and the bitterness that he felt towards them but then coming over in Thom's time of need must've softened the brothers hearts.  Now that the barriers have been broken I think they can have the relationship brothers are supposed to have.  

 

 

 


 

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Madgy
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel


 

 

 

Karel's wife has already arrived at Thom house with their children. Why? What does the scene inside the household tell us about this community, about the lives of the women in this community?

 

People come together in times of tragedy.  Women tend to the children and the cooking so the ones with the tragedy don't have to worry and can deal with the things they need to deal with.  People were very close to family and neighbors in these times and were always very quick to lend a hand when needed. 

 

 

 

 


 

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jodell7
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I think Karel wanted to have a close family all along but felt alienated and not welcome.  He did not know how to make a love connection with his family.  I was hoping that by the end they would find a way to make amends.  It gives hope to all the other families out there that are estranged because of harsh words or cruelty.  People change.  I was glad to see them re-united.

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jodell7
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I think Karel realizes that his brothers don't really have the life he wanted.  They are still controlled, just by someone else.  I think he realizes at the time of the fire that he is the one with the freedom and the goodlife and has something to be grateful for.

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kaylami
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Describe the scene between the Skala brothers in the wake of the fire. Is this the reunion you expected between the boys? What does their interaction tell you about their history and their relationships to each other now?  I didn't expect such a mild reunion.  I think I expected fists to fly, especially because of the events leading up to the reunion.   Shows how these boys were brought up keeping their emotions buried.

 

What do you make of Villasenor's arrival and his interactions with his daughter's husbands?

It was interesting that he treats them the same way their own father did and they react in much the same way.  Not much has changed for these boys...they still have to answer to someone.  I believe this is perhaps when Karel realized that he was the one that escaped his father, not his brothers.

 

Karel's wife has already arrived at Thom house with their children. Why? What does the scene inside the household tell us about this community, about the lives of the women in this community?  She has arrived because it is a small community that bands together.  It also shows that she recognizes these people as family.  It makes me wonder if she has had any relationship with these sisters-in-law.  Perhaps at chance meetings in town, etc.  Small communities always band together in tragedies.  I live in a small town and it's amazing how fast  people gather when someone needs support.

 

How is this scene different from the picture we've had of larger gatherings of townspeople earlier in the novel--the races, for example?  The  scene at Thom's showed compassion.  The larger gatherings, such as the race, were for entertainment.  The men used it as an excuse to escape daily life, drink and perhaps win a bet or two.  There was also a lot of greed and jealousy.

 

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nfmgirl
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Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Describe the scene between the Skala brothers in the wake of the fire. Is this the reunion you expected between the boys? What does their interaction tell you about their history and their relationships to each other now?

 

I knew that forgiveness was coming, given the name of the book, but I was still surprised at how easily it came in the end. Eddie seems to play mediator between Karel and Thom, being a bit of a clown himself and light of tongue. Karel and Thom both seem to decide to let bygones be bygones.


 

What do you make of Villasenor's arrival and his interactions with his daughter's husbands?

 

Through Villasenor's arrival, Karel is able to see that his brothers didn't really escape tyranny and control; they just traded the tyranny of their own father for that of Villasenor. And while their father is dead, and Karel is now free of his father's yoke (quite literally as well as figuratively), his brothers still live under the yoke of Villasenor's tyranny.

 

 

Karel's wife has already arrived at Thom house with their children. Why? What does the scene inside the household tell us about this community, about the lives of the women in this community?

 

The women don't live by the men's rules. The women display more forgiveness, even towards their own husband's transgressions. It's evident that Sophie has probably maintained a relationship with the women of the family all of these years, despite her husband's estrangement.


 


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