Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. On May 1, we’re saying goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Contributor
lovetoreadLW
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎12-01-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

I was really surprised that the four Skala brothers were able to have loving relationships with both their spouses and their children. I was a bit concerned when Karel kicked the pregnant cow; I was sure he would be an abusive husband/father.

Contributor
cskiles80
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎08-02-2010

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

I see a lot of the history of love, marriage and family from my family in this book. Granted my family is from Oklahoma and Texas but I really don't think that has much to do with it.  Listening to my family and watching father over the years, I have came to the conclusion that something love has to be learned, maybe it does not come natural.  I see a lot of that within Karel and Vaclav.  Vaclav was learning to love when he was with Klara, when she died those lessons died too.  Then when Karel met Sophie he was thought she was a good woman, especially when he described her from the first time they met, "make a man stop what he was doing and watch."  He thought she would make a good wife, but did he love her then?  My answer would be no.  But as time with on and with the birth of their children, Karel learned to love her. 

I see this in my father, my mother tells me that when they met, he did not hug people, tell people nice things, or loved anything.  He was raised on a harsh farm, with strict farming parents and basically a different world from my mother.  When my parents started to date my father found himself surrounded by people who loved to hug, hold hands and say "I love you!"  At first my mother said my father was extremely uncomfortable, but he liked my mom.  Over time he grew to love and eventually told my mother he loved her.  Although their engagement and wedding was totally untraditional, the initial ice was broken with a simple I love you. 

I believe that if Klara would have lived, life for the family would have been completely different, due to LESSONS OF LOVE.

Colleen Skiles
Wordsmith
babzilla41
Posts: 252
Registered: ‎05-04-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape


Rachel-K wrote:

We tend to think of time with our families as being our "leisure" time, where the family used to be an economic unit (there would be no family farm without plenty of family to work it!). If we take the novel as historically accurate, how would you say marriage has changed from the time of the novel's setting to our present? 

 

In this setting, is there an idea of marrying "for love?"

 

 

If there was any philosophy behind the parenting we see in the novel, how would you describe that?

 

Are there any ways that we see love and tenderness between family members?

 


In this setting, I don't see that there is any idea of marrying for love - they marry for land and/or money. 

 

The only philosophy behind the parenting I can see is Vaclav's misguided belief in the purpose of children.  Vaclav's philosophy is one of work and work 'em harder.  It was less costly for him to use his sons as plow pulls - he obviously didn't care about the physical effects it had on them. 

 

Karel shows love and tenderness for his daughters (page 45 paragraph 2) in the way he plays with them - chasing them around, "nibbled behind her ears until she giggled..."; laughing at how fast his daughter escaped his grasp. 

 

Another example is when they are in the truck driving to church  with "sweet little Diane in his lap and Sophie up against him, hip to hip..." Even though at this time his eyes are straying towards the farm where Graciela lives - the scene shows the comfort and love the family has for each other.

 

Karel also shows the love he has for his family when he goes gack to Mrs. Vrana's house to see the baby - the way he looks at his family and then the way he holds the baby so tenderly; "bouncing gently on the balls of his feet."

"I love books. If I could eat them, I would. I love their scent and often put my nose in to inhale their aroma." - Kathleen Grissom
Distinguished Wordsmith
MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

Good Morning,

 

  In response to the questions posed by Rachel, (and they are certainly good ones), I must say that I agree with what we want our family lives to be.  That of leisure time.  We work hard all day, and when we arrive home, we want to spend time with our families and just enjoy each other. 

  During the time period in which this story takes place, again leisure time would have to wait on the job at hand.  That of providing for the family, farming, and all members no matter how young had assigned or appropriate chores or duties to perform.  If one member of the family did not perform their duties to the farm and family, then both farm and family suffered. 

  I do believe that love played a great part in the time period, however, once marriage had occurred, then the work of survival of the family and business took hold. 

 

  We do see some brief glimpses into tenderness between family members, but they are few and far between.  I come back to Karel playing of the floor with his children before the birth of his new son.  Karel was showing his soft side with his daughters and during the scene when he was watching the father and son hunting, we again caught a glimpse of Karel's soft side.  He was reminded of how he wanted his family to be, and envisioned he and his son hunting in fields and forests once his son had grown.

 


Rachel-K wrote:

We tend to think of time with our families as being our "leisure" time, where the family used to be an economic unit (there would be no family farm without plenty of family to work it!). If we take the novel as historically accurate, how would you say marriage has changed from the time of the novel's setting to our present? 

 

In this setting, is there an idea of marrying "for love?"

 

 

 

Are there any ways that we see love and tenderness between family members?

 


 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
Contributor
FireRaven9
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎12-18-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

I am familiar with the family farm, and how numerous children were born to help tend the farm. I've heard how the children were raised, and how they were often treated. I don't agree with it at all, and I am glad that times have changed.

 

However, while times have changed they may not necessarily have improved. People are having fewer children, but are leaving their children to be raised by the schools, babysitters, television, etc. while they work extended hours. The family unit isn't always as important as we like to believe.

 

Although, I do have to say that many women nowadays wouldn't tolerate themselves or their children being treated as this book portrays.

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

 


FireRaven9 wrote:

I am familiar with the family farm, and how numerous children were born to help tend the farm. I've heard how the children were raised, and how they were often treated. I don't agree with it at all, and I am glad that times have changed.

Hallelulah!


However, while times have changed they may not necessarily have improved. People are having fewer children, but are leaving their children to be raised by the schools, babysitters, television, etc. while they work extended hours. The family unit isn't always as important as we like to believe.

 

Today, few people seem to want to sacrifice luxuries to stay at home and care for their own children as did the women of yesteryear who were taught husband, hearth and home were most important.

I don't know what is right but it is probably someplace more in the middle of what is now and what was then.
When I first married we had only one car because we couldn't afford to have two cars. We didn't overextend our credit. When we had a family, I waited for my husband to come home to go to the supermarket because we couldn't afford the money for a babysitter, I cleaned my own house, tended to my own children and lived within my means. When I needed a job to help pay bills, I got one. I didn't get paid a fortune, but whatever it was, it helped. I only worked the hours when my kids were in school and I took work home so I could finish my job and be with them. I was a teacher but I took a lesser job to stay at home. We all make choices and today, we make different ones.

Truthfully, I am not sure if it was a choice or it was simply the way things were done then, but it was the most marvelous experience to watch my children grow and I wouldn't change it for the world. That is not to say I was a martyr, I made the choice willingly. No, I didn't have luxuries, my husband commuted to work over one and a half hours because we lived where we could afford to live so I adjusted the kid's schedules around his time home, we gave what little extra money we had to our parents and our siblings to make their lives better; it just wasn't all about having things it was about having a life with each other with or without things. I think perhaps it was more about sharing. Today, so many of us are consumed with making sure "we have our turn at life", now.

Colloquially speaking, I think that in the olden days, we were more patient. We were willing to wait for our rewards. You know, I actually thought I was rich, although I did not have a lot of money. I think that was probably the key. Today, having a rich, full life seems to be more about having things rather than having a strong family unit. Then again, you can pick your friends and not your family so who knows what is right. We are still taking care of family members so maybe all we have done is created our own entitlement system within our own little world where some people work to provide benefits for those who don't, can't or won't. Maybe my life is simply a microcosm of the larger world.

Sometimes things have to move all the way in one direction or another in order to find a compromise some place in the middle and I think that is probably what is happening in our world today as opposed to what was happening in Karel's world of yesterday. I think we are searching for the middle ground.


Although, I do have to say that many women nowadays wouldn't tolerate themselves or their children being treated as this book portrays.

And again, hallelulah!

 

 


 

Contributor
MissJ4
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

The family setting has changed drastically over time.  Women didn't work outside the home whereas now it's the norm for women to work outside the home.  Not everyone gets married even though they have children and it isn't looked down upon as much.  It seems people feel if their marriage isn't working out they move on where in early times you stayed with your spouse through thick and thin.

Inspired Correspondent
Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

 


Rachel-K wrote:

We tend to think of time with our families as being our "leisure" time, where the family used to be an economic unit (there would be no family farm without plenty of family to work it!). If we take the novel as historically accurate, how would you say marriage has changed from the time of the novel's setting to our present? 

 

In this setting, is there an idea of marrying "for love?"

 

 

If there was any philosophy behind the parenting we see in the novel, how would you describe that?

 

Are there any ways that we see love and tenderness between family members?

 



 

I think marrying for lust instead of just to gain land, sons to work, is the closest they got to marrying for love. 

 

I saw a little tenderness between the brothers, but more in the type that siblings sometimes feel like a team against a cruel parent. 

CAG
Inspired Correspondent
CAG
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎01-15-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

 


Rachel-K wrote:

We tend to think of time with our families as being our "leisure" time, where the family used to be an economic unit (there would be no family farm without plenty of family to work it!). If we take the novel as historically accurate, how would you say marriage has changed from the time of the novel's setting to our present? 

 

I think that we tend to marry for love today but I think economics is often a consideration. It is just from a different view for example, one might ask does the person I am going to marry have a good job or education etc.

 

In this setting, is there an idea of marrying "for love?"

 

I think that is the last consideration.

 

If there was any philosophy behind the parenting we see in the novel, how would you describe that?

 

I see it as very authoritarian.

 

Are there any ways that we see love and tenderness between family members?

 

There is some love and tenderness. Karel plays with his children. The brothers teased each other and seemed to care about one another. Karel and his wife seem to have an easy relationship. I think the love and tenderness are sometimes hard to see in this story but it is there.


 

CAG
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

 


CAG wrote (excerpt):

 

Are there any ways that we see love and tenderness between family members?

 

There is some love and tenderness. Karel plays with his children. The brothers teased each other and seemed to care about one another. Karel and his wife seem to have an easy relationship. I think the love and tenderness are sometimes hard to see in this story but it is there.


 

I very much agree.
I find I must often read twice to realize what I have read. (Not a condition I am always happy about -- I like to get through material quickly.)
When Karel criticized what the father was teaching his son about hunting, I wondered what Machart was implying about who had taught Karel.  Vaclav may have been misguided and cruel at times, but I sensed he may also have been inclined to be unpredictable, which isn't a particularly unusual combination.
"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
Contributor
Maya2
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎02-04-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

I think in those days a lot of marriages began with "like" and then (hopefully) became more. Personally I would have loved those days. Hard work with the help of your family. Storytelling instead of TV and video games.

Frequent Contributor
EiLvReedn
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎05-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

Very intense story and some of the things are hard to read but I keep reminding myself different time and different philosphy. Things were harder and even though it seemed like they were "driving" each other I think they really do care for each other. It's a kind of tough love kinda thing.

Correspondent
ssizemore
Posts: 70
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

Your comments really interested me!  I have always heard that children of farmers now choose not to participate in the family farm.  It must be so difficult to let the farm leave the family.

I do feel that in years past children were expected to do much more than they are now.  I think that when I was raising my daughter and son (now grown with children of their own), I believed that their "job" was to go to school and do a few small chores around home.  It is really interesting to see how they are raising their children--a little more responsibility given to the next generation, but certainly nothing like that given to children working on a farm.  I am sure that my attitude was also tinged by the fact that I was a stay at home Mom!

Somewhere in the midst of all of this is the answer, but I guess that really depends on the historical time and the needs of the family.

 



ssizemore wrote:

The passages that indicated a real tenderness within the families were the times of storytelling.  Vaclav did become more tender when he was relating stories of his past to his sons and Karel remembers and does the same with his children.  It is interesting that memories were important to them, just as it was a family story that inspired the author to write this novel.

I remember a strong tradition of story telling in my family, some of which I have resurrected in my work on our genealogy.  I only wish I had paid more attention to these stories when many members of the generation older than I were still living. 

I do believe that the children in a family in this novel were expected to do their share of the work on the farm, no matter how young they were.  It was necessary to the survival of the family that everyone work and then the farm would survive with the family's descendant tending it.  Almost a thing of the past today..


 coffee luv_er wrote:

Working together as a family does make for a very different dynamic in the family relationship. I grew up on a family fruit farm in the north.  We all were expected to work in the fields from a very young age.  I was the youngest of 4 children.  Pretty much by the age of 5, we were out in the fields with my parents working.  I believe you are right in that this is more a thing of the past now.  When raising my son, I frequently would tell him stories of some of the very late nights working in the packing shed getting our produce ready for market the next morning.  It was survival and we all "understood" that at a very young age as children.  It is surprising how much responsibility a child can take as I look back on my life and upbringing.  Today, I find that "work" is nothing like it was for me while growing up.  My perspective is much different from most of my contemporaries due to my upbringing and experience of working on the family farm.  It could be telling that not one of the children in my family decided to pursue farming.  All of us chose to leave the farm.  The land remains in the family but is no longer a functioning farm. 

 

 


 

lmp
New User
lmp
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

[ Edited ]

I was struck by Vaclav's reaction to the destruction of the picture of his wife--page 143. That was the first tender moment  I saw in Vaclav. I feel sorry for Karel. I see a tenderness between Karel and his mother when he looks at her picture.

I suppose Vaclav must be tough with his children if they are to survive in this environment. It's a tough world. 

 

Family as a community seems more precious as I read this book. 

Frequent Contributor
fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape


Rachel-K wrote:

We tend to think of time with our families as being our "leisure" time, where the family used to be an economic unit (there would be no family farm without plenty of family to work it!). If we take the novel as historically accurate, how would you say marriage has changed from the time of the novel's setting to our present? 

 

In this setting, is there an idea of marrying "for love?"

 

I think there is a dream of love, but the reality is that this is a hard life.  Marrage must be realistic.  A wife need to work too, and the children are given chores early on.    Also, there is a finite pool of partners to choose from.  Thus, Vallesenior finding 3 hard working boys for his daughters.  He doesn't have any sons to leave his business to. 

Today, couples are not satisfied to marry just because someone has a good job and can support the family.  We demand a relationship that goes past 'fix the meals, mend the fence'.

MG

 

 

If there was any philosophy behind the parenting we see in the novel, how would you describe that?

 

Are there any ways that we see love and tenderness between family members?

 


 

Inspired Contributor
gmfuhlman
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

I also felted that way also. Being that they don't get the love from their father.

Distinguished Wordsmith
maxcat
Posts: 4,011
Registered: ‎11-01-2006

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

Rachel_K wrote:

 

We tend to think of time with our families as being our "leisure" time, where the family used to be an economic unit (there would be no family farm without plenty of family to work it!). If we take the novel as historically accurate, how would you say marriage has changed from the time of the novel's setting to our present?

 

Marriage has definitely changed from the eary 1900's to now. There was no leisure time in the early days as there were farms and chore to be done every day. Today, marriages differ in that there are same sex marriages, multiple marriages where the couple divorces and they each move on. There are marriages that are for love and kids, some marriages just for love. Today's world is a busy time and leisure time is quality time nowadays as kids have sports, etc. that may keep them from sitting done to eat supper. I called quality time supper time in my house where everyone met and talked and then went off to do their own thing.

 

In this setting, is there an idea of marrying "for love?"

 

I don't think so, at least with Villasenor and his daughters. They were arranged and I think that most of the marriages then were arranged.

 

If there was any philosophy behind the parenting we see in the novel, how would you describe that?

 

I don't think there was a philosophy as usually the wife is the one taking care of little ones and the older children do their chores. When the wife is absent, the father takes over and in this case, he used cruel ways to get his boys to plow the fields and made sure they did their chores every day.

 

Are there any ways that we see love and tenderness between family members?

 

I don't see any other than Karel with his daughters and baby boy.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
Contributor
annemd
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎03-22-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

One aspect of the storytelling seemed to involve tenderness and or awareness of connection and value in the retelling, whereas there did not seem to be as much in the moment.  Life happens in THIS moment, Zen but true in my experience.  The immense saddness in this story for me involved  the loss of so many opportunities to value and communicate value of other family members.  While I understand that it was a  time when survival was sometimes a struggle, the characters in our novel, for the most part, did not need to struggle for their survival.  I felt very sad at all the lost opportunities.

AnneMD
Frequent Contributor
Sheltiemama
Posts: 107
Registered: ‎06-01-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

Marrying for love is a fairly recent concept. I've read that another reason for large families was that it was assumed that not all the children would make it to adulthood. Medical care has come a long way.

 

I was delighted to see how different Vaclav's sons were as fathers. They all dearly love their children. Nice to see they didn't repeat the past. In the end, this family is able to move forward.

 

 

Correspondent
Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Wake of Forgiveness: Love, Marriage and Family in Another Time and Landscape

Reply to THREAD:

 


 

If we take the novel as historically accurate, how would you say marriage has changed from the time of the novel's setting to our present? 

 

Marriage has changed dramatically from the time in the novel to today; yet without considering geographical locations, demographics, culture & race one would mislead to think marriage was likened to this novel & it was not that way in all areas during this timeframe.

 

In this setting, is there an idea of marrying "for love?"

 

I would say YES; yet the novel and the rural setting this time period covers does not convey that idea at all; marriage was a way to achieve work your farm and the more children your spouse had the better chance you had to run a profitable farm and feed yourself and the community - sell your crops, etc. According to the novel marriage was not a LOVE thing what so ever- just a duty as is custom in so many cultures.

 

If there was any philosophy behind the parenting we see in the novel, how would you describe that? 

 

The philosophy I see is "treat your children like animals and they will make your farm profitable"  Male children are the prize and females can make the family weak.  These concepts are echo'd thru-out the novel.

 

Are there any ways that we see love and tenderness between family members?

 

Very few passages; and I would say love yes; tenderness -no; too harsh family members to behave in a tender like environment.  Even the love making scene was abrupt, harsh, and dutiful in nature.

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color