10-04-2010 11:45 PM
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 was expecting a few more fireworks at the brothers' reunion. But I think their quiet acceptance of each other, and their faults, was touching. I think the Skala brothers have reached the point where they are ready to leave the plow behind them. I think they are relieved to be released from it and all the hard time/feelings/distrust of the past. I think that their bond was stronger than even they believed it was and it was always there, waiting for them to accept it and each other.
What do you make of Villasenor's arrival and his interactions with his daughter's husbands?
I loved the point when Karel realizes that he is the only brother who is really free. He has wanted what they had, especially Graciela, but never fully realized what the price of escaping from Vaclav cost them. They are beholden to him and most likely will be until Villasenor dies. Villasenor treats them almost as if he owns them, and I believe that he thinks he does.
Karel's wife has already arrived at Thom's 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 knew that he would be there eventually. The birth of his son triggered something in Karel that the birth of his daughters did not. He is somehow more connected to his brothers now that he has this second chance through his son. In general the scene emphasizes the role of women in the home, how hard they worked and how much was expected of them. The women are almost a community unto themselves. They know merely from Graciela's body language that her little girl is going to be fine. She doesn't have to say anything, they just know. I wonder how much interaction Sophia had with her sisters-in law before the fire. Did she meet with them without Karel knowing? Did she spend more time with them than he thought?
How is this scene different from the picture we've had of larger gatherings of townspeople earlier in the novel--the races, for example?
There is no competition in this scene. The family is together to pray for the health of their daughter/neice and each other. They have left their hurts and misunderstandings at the door and are beginning to accept each other for who they are now, not as who they may have been 20 years prior, or who they perceived each other to be in the past.
"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
10-05-2010 11:03 AM
Found myself getting into the book and found it a fast read. At first it was a little difcult with the going back and forth following the present to the past. But by the end of the book I was totally involved and enjoyed the read. Liked the part at the very end where the brothers were reunited and the family whole again. They definately gave a meaning to disfunctional as children. I would loan the book to others and recomend it I enjoyed it alot.
10-05-2010 11:33 AM
This was the first time with First Look that I ended up behind in the reading schedule. I was doing ok until that backwards time jump early on. I've read other books that do that without issue, but this time it really took me out of the story. I kept having to remind myself that some of the events hadn't happened yet. I questioned why that was and finally concluded that there wasn't enough of a difference; usually there's some sort of major event or difference in characters that the time change is clear.
Based on the postings, most others enjoyed The Wake of Forgiveness, but I found that I just couldn't get into it. I wasn't sympathetic to any of the characters and never got invested in them or the plot.