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Wordsmith
literature
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Re: Adults and Children

I saw that too and I just assumed it was either a mistake for Myron or a nickname for Myron.  I always write down the names of all characters when I start a book so I remember who people are and where they belong. 
Wordsmith
literature
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Re: Adults and Children

Stephan hated the sound of coyotes.  It reminded him of how far from civilization they were.  He said he was never meant to be a farmer.  He came back to Anna to be a gentleman farmer, hire hands to do his work and get enough money from the fields to get back to town, but nothing was working out for him.  He was worse off than before. 

 

As I wrote earlier, Anna had all these traits before Stephan came into her life but I think it was exaggerated  by Stephan's behavior toward her and their living situation on the prairie.

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Paul_Hochman
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Re: Adults and Children

Have a look at the "News and Schedules" thread. We've figured out the name confusion.

 


literature wrote:
I saw that too and I just assumed it was either a mistake for Myron or a nickname for Myron.  I always write down the names of all characters when I start a book so I remember who people are and where they belong. 

 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Adults and Children

I have a question...if Anna identifies with the coyote and Stefan killed the coyote, does that foreshadow Anna's death? I think my curiosity may get the better of me and I may have to read on, not following the schedule.

BarneyNoble wrote:
I am curious, and after reading many of the posts I think it may just be me but.....why does it seem so odd that Stefan would have shot the coyote?  They were on the frontier, a new land with wild, dangerous animals.  I think if I saw someone kneeling next to a coyote and their hand stretched out and its teeth showing, I would have done the same thing.  Really, how was he to know that she could communicate with them? This is the first sign that Anna is delusional and that she is from the very beginning.  I am not sure that her mental illness or her neglect /abuse of the children could be blamed on Stefan instead I think that she may have played a bigger part in Stefan’s absence.   This is not to excuse him from his neglect or abuse or any of the other nasty character traits he has, but I just can’t blame him for hers.   

 

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ClaudiaLuce
Posts: 133
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Re: Adults and Children

 


rkubie wrote:

 


If you had to describe each of our characters so far with one brief sentence, could you do it?

 

What do you make to Anna and Mysha's relationship to animals?

 

Do you have a favorite character so far?

 

Did you notice that the children have no toys? How do they get along with each other? How do they play? Do they get much of a chance to be children?

 

What is the relationship between adults and children so far in this novel?

 

Do you see anyone of the children taking after either of their parents?


 

 

Some of the characters I can describe in either one sentence or one word:

      Maria is the ultimate mother; giving, taking, strong, tender, loving, kind, brave, gentle.

      Teodor is persistent, courageous, loving, and strong.

      Anna is weak, dependent, narrow minded, and selfish.

      Stefan is narcisstic, weak, evil, and cold hearted.

 

Anna is very attracted to the coyotes.  This shows her deteriorating mental status; she longs to be as free from Stefan and the responsibilities of his children as the coyotes are.  She feels as if she befriends them she can become one of their pack and will gain this freedom!

 

So far, my favorite character has to be Maria.  She has been so strong and courageous in order to keep her family together, sheltered, and fed; yet she is so gentle and understanding as well as caring. She is an amazing woman! 

 

The children have no toys, yet manage to amuse themselves with things around the house and yard.  They make games of their chores and play with ordinary objects ~ the way that many of us "older folks" did a few years ago before the invention of video games, cell phones, and other electronic devices and toys!  The children get along well because they are dependent upon one another for their survival - they must all work together to have enough food and shelter!  They do not envy what the other has since they all share what litlle they do have.

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." -
-- Sir Richard Steele
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Zeal
Posts: 258
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Re: Adults and Children


rkubie wrote:

 


If you had to describe each of our characters so far with one brief sentence, could you do it

 

Teodor:  A proud man who is a survivor and has a good heart and soul and great love for his family and land.

 

Maria: A strong, courageous, loving woman who would give anything of herself for her family.

 

Anna:  A depressed and troubled woman, struggling to find herself and longing to be loved.

 

Stefan:  A complete, self-centered scoundrel, who is incapable of love or kindness.

 

Lesya:  A successful young woman who overcomes many obstacles and surpasses others' expectations.  She is kind, loving and extremely responsible.

 

Myron: A determined young man trying to live up to self-expectations, Myron is searching for his father's approval.

 

Dania:  A responsible young woman, willing to help others and assume her role in the family.

 

Sophia: A young dreamer, resentful of her difficult life.

 

Ivan:  An adventurous boy, full of life, energy, and a longing to grow-up to be just like his brother and father.

 

Petro:  Easily influenced and gullible young boy, longing for a "normal" family life with a father and mother.

 

Katya:  Careful young girl, easily frightened, innocent, and superstitious.

 

 

What do you make to Anna and Mysha's relationship to animals?

 

Anna's relationship to the coyote grows out of her longing to be someone else.  Anna feels trapped, and she craves a freedom from motherhood, her difficult life, and depression.  Anna envies the coyote's ability to roam the hills at night, wild, and free.  She is unafraid of the wild and thus is able to form a sort of bond with the animal.  Trust is beginning to form, and each life is recognizing a kindred spirit in the other.

 

Do you have a favorite character so far?

 

Lesya is my favorite character.  Physically, she is handicapped, yet she does not allow this handicap to slow her down or prevent her from accomplishing as much as the others.  She is extremely determined, responsible, insightful, and happy despite her dire living conditions.  Lesya sings as she completes her chores and willingly takes over her mother's responsibilities when Anna is too depressed to even get out of bed.  Lesya is a compassionate survivor who sees the world in its entirety for what it is, accepts her life, and lives it happily.

 

Did you notice that the children have no toys? How do they get along with each other? How do they play? Do they get much of a chance to be children?

 

The children do not need toys to play.  They delight in the natural world surrounding them during their chores and break time.  Although each child has chores and responsibilities, they do get time to be children.  Maria divides the chores according to what each child is capable of completing.  The boys challenge each other to games and find amusement in nature and animals.  Sophia dreams and looks in catalogs, hoping to be someone else.  They also go swimming in the river when Maria is in town.

 

 


 

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
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aprilh
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Re: Adults and Children

Interesting theory! I can't wait to read on and see if it's true! :smileyhappy:


thewanderingjew wrote:
I have a question...if Anna identifies with the coyote and Stefan killed the coyote, does that foreshadow Anna's death? I think my curiosity may get the better of me and I may have to read on, not following the schedule.

BarneyNoble wrote:
I am curious, and after reading many of the posts I think it may just be me but.....why does it seem so odd that Stefan would have shot the coyote?  They were on the frontier, a new land with wild, dangerous animals.  I think if I saw someone kneeling next to a coyote and their hand stretched out and its teeth showing, I would have done the same thing.  Really, how was he to know that she could communicate with them? This is the first sign that Anna is delusional and that she is from the very beginning.  I am not sure that her mental illness or her neglect /abuse of the children could be blamed on Stefan instead I think that she may have played a bigger part in Stefan’s absence.   This is not to excuse him from his neglect or abuse or any of the other nasty character traits he has, but I just can’t blame him for hers.   

 


 

April
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Stewies_Mom
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Re: Adults and Children

Kathy,
I, too, cannot recall a character named Mysha.  I wonder if Mysha is a Ukranian version of Maria.  Perhaps it was meant to be Maria?
 

kpatton wrote (in part): 

 

I do have one question for the group- in the initial question for response Mysha was mentionedI don't recall this characterHow could I miss a whole character?

Kathy


 

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

Re: Adults and Children

Hi,
Paul posted on another thread, News, Schedules and Updates that his and Rachel's ARC are earlier copies than ours and several names are different. Misha is Lesya.

From Paul:

Hi All,

 

It seems Rachel and my ARCs predate yours. There's been some edits hence the name confusions. Here's the differences:

 

Theo is Teodor

Maria is Maria

Xanka is Dania

Ivan is Ivan

Sofia is Sofia

Katya is Katya
Anna is Anna

Stefan is Stefan

Piotr is Petro

Misha is Lesya

 

Stewies_Mom wrote:
Kathy,
I, too, cannot recall a character named Mysha.  I wonder if Mysha is a Ukranian version of Maria.  Perhaps it was meant to be Maria?
 

kpatton wrote (in part): 

 

I do have one question for the group- in the initial question for response Mysha was mentionedI don't recall this characterHow could I miss a whole character?

Kathy


 


 

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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
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Re: Adults and Children

[ Edited ]

These are really good questions! My favorite characters so far are Maria, Teodore, Ivan, and Lesya.

 

Anna - depressed, uncaring, drawn to the wolves - not to her own children

Stefan - self-centered, letch, drunk

Lesya -  hard-worker, wants to fit in, feels she has something to prove because of her bad foot, loves the chicken with the bad foot

Petro - wants to be part of Maria and Teodore's family, wants to be included

 

Maria - strong, loving, hard-working, protective of her family and others

Teodore- appears broken but has a strong spirit, loves his family, good provider, hard worker

Myron - wants to make his father proud, wants to do more and be a leader, hard worker

Dania - translates for her mother, wants to fit into the groups around her, not just her family, concerned about appearances

Ivan - wise beyond his years, inquisitive

I  don't know as much about the other two daughters, but they are hard working children.

 

Anna is drawn to the wolves. The only reason I can think of are that she thinks they are free. She sings with them every night trying to get them to come rescue her. I think she should be careful what she wishes for. Lesya is drawn to all animals, but especially the chick with the bad foot. She tries to save the chickens during the fire only to find she can't save them all.

 

The older children watch out for the younger imposing rules because they are older, because they can. I think they also are imitating Maria and Teodore. While they genuinely care about each other, they also recognize the responsibility of watching out for the younger ones. With no toys to speak of, the children play outside with whatever they can. They seem to be working most of the time but have time here and there to do things like swim. Maria is very involved with her children, as well as Anna's, teaching them by word and deed,  but Anna seems to see them as nothing. It is hard to read about the way she ignores them, and I hope it changes as we move forward in the book. I find the children to be tough and resilient - like Maria and Teodore.

 

 

Message Edited by DSaff on 08-04-2009 08:32 AM
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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DSaff
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Re: Adults and Children

Petro is such a confused little boy. He sees the way Maria and Teodore love each other and their family. He knows they love him. Why then has his father gone away? Why doesn't his mother want to spend time with him? to love him? Yes, he has Lesya, but children need parents too. I am hoping things get better, not worse, for him.


Read-n-Rider wrote:

I am touched by, and concerned for, Petro.  From the start, he seems on the defensive--in somewhat of a competitive situation with his cousin, Ivan who, though younger, often wins out when there is a contest.  He is reluctant to enter the lake with the other children because he doesn't want to take his pants off; shortly, we learn that this is because he has marks on his bottom from being punished by Anna after he comes upon her while she is apparently trying to abort her unborn child.  He doesn't realize what he did to incur his mother's wrath, which emphasizes the unfairness of her treatment of him.

 

At the same time, and perhaps because of Anna's apparent lack of love for her son, Petro obviously loves and yearns for his father, Stefan, the acknowledged villain of the family.  Whether or not this love is justified by Stefan's treatment of the boy, or is just a natural reaction to Anna's lack of caring, is not apparent at this time.  I am anxious to see what awaits this little boy in his struggle for identity.

 

Joan 


 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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DSaff
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Re: Adults and Children

Interesting question. Maybe Stefan was trying to protect Anna, and in shooting the animal, killed what was left of his marriage. While Stefan didn't want to be a farmer, instead wanting the priviledged life he had made for himself, I don't think he wanted to lose Anna. Now both of them are lost, neither caring for themselves or their children. sad


BarneyNoble wrote:
I am curious, and after reading many of the posts I think it may just be me but.....why does it seem so odd that Stefan would have shot the coyote?  They were on the frontier, a new land with wild, dangerous animals.  I think if I saw someone kneeling next to a coyote and their hand stretched out and its teeth showing, I would have done the same thing.  Really, how was he to know that she could communicate with them? This is the first sign that Anna is delusional and that she is from the very beginning.  I am not sure that her mental illness or her neglect /abuse of the children could be blamed on Stefan instead I think that she may have played a bigger part in Stefan’s absence.   This is not to excuse him from his neglect or abuse or any of the other nasty character traits he has, but I just can’t blame him for hers.   

 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Adults and Children

I think symbolically, you may be right but I also think when Stefan raped Anna he put the final nail in the coffin. He was so abusive and such a drunk, i think that the marriage was doomed anyway.
Anna seems to have fallen in love with an idea of a man, not the man himself. She liked his uniform and the fact that he pursued her but she didn't really know who he was until her wedding night and that was tragic.

DSaff wrote:

Interesting question. Maybe Stefan was trying to protect Anna, and in shooting the animal, killed what was left of his marriage. While Stefan didn't want to be a farmer, instead wanting the priviledged life he had made for himself, I don't think he wanted to lose Anna. Now both of them are lost, neither caring for themselves or their children. sad


BarneyNoble wrote:
I am curious, and after reading many of the posts I think it may just be me but.....why does it seem so odd that Stefan would have shot the coyote?  They were on the frontier, a new land with wild, dangerous animals.  I think if I saw someone kneeling next to a coyote and their hand stretched out and its teeth showing, I would have done the same thing.  Really, how was he to know that she could communicate with them? This is the first sign that Anna is delusional and that she is from the very beginning.  I am not sure that her mental illness or her neglect /abuse of the children could be blamed on Stefan instead I think that she may have played a bigger part in Stefan’s absence.   This is not to excuse him from his neglect or abuse or any of the other nasty character traits he has, but I just can’t blame him for hers.   

 

 


 

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dhaupt
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Re: Adults and Children


BarneyNoble wrote:
I am curious, and after reading many of the posts I think it may just be me but.....why does it seem so odd that Stefan would have shot the coyote?  They were on the frontier, a new land with wild, dangerous animals.  I think if I saw someone kneeling next to a coyote and their hand stretched out and its teeth showing, I would have done the same thing.  Really, how was he to know that she could communicate with them? This is the first sign that Anna is delusional and that she is from the very beginning.  I am not sure that her mental illness or her neglect /abuse of the children could be blamed on Stefan instead I think that she may have played a bigger part in Stefan’s absence.   This is not to excuse him from his neglect or abuse or any of the other nasty character traits he has, but I just can’t blame him for hers.   
Hey, I totally agree with you on this point, I was not surprised that he shot it and in the same situation I probably would have too. That's not why I don't like him. I don't like him because he has no backbone, no single good character trait that I can see. Instead of trying to make things better for his family he just leaves them.
BTW love the handle! 

 

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DSaff
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Re: Adults and Children

Very true - falling in love with the idea of being in love.


thewanderingjew wrote:
I think symbolically, you may be right but I also think when Stefan raped Anna he put the final nail in the coffin. He was so abusive and such a drunk, i think that the marriage was doomed anyway.
Anna seems to have fallen in love with an idea of a man, not the man himself. She liked his uniform and the fact that he pursued her but she didn't really know who he was until her wedding night and that was tragic.

DSaff wrote:

Interesting question. Maybe Stefan was trying to protect Anna, and in shooting the animal, killed what was left of his marriage. While Stefan didn't want to be a farmer, instead wanting the priviledged life he had made for himself, I don't think he wanted to lose Anna. Now both of them are lost, neither caring for themselves or their children. sad


BarneyNoble wrote:
I am curious, and after reading many of the posts I think it may just be me but.....why does it seem so odd that Stefan would have shot the coyote?  They were on the frontier, a new land with wild, dangerous animals.  I think if I saw someone kneeling next to a coyote and their hand stretched out and its teeth showing, I would have done the same thing.  Really, how was he to know that she could communicate with them? This is the first sign that Anna is delusional and that she is from the very beginning.  I am not sure that her mental illness or her neglect /abuse of the children could be blamed on Stefan instead I think that she may have played a bigger part in Stefan’s absence.   This is not to excuse him from his neglect or abuse or any of the other nasty character traits he has, but I just can’t blame him for hers.   

 

 


 


 

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
Contributor
Elisant
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎07-16-2009

Re: Adults and Children

I agree that shooting the coyote was what most people in that time would have done.  I didn't find that fact strange at all. 

 

However, I don't think that Anna was suffering from any sort of mental illness before she married Stefan.  I believe that she is extremely depressed and that depression was caused by Stefan's abuse and neglect.  From the description of her before she married Stefan she seems, to me, to have been a carefree and happy young woman.  She began to have problems on their wedding night when he raped her for the first time.  The fact that she slept with a knife under her pillow to keep him away from her tells me that the rapes were a common occurance in their marriage.  

 

I beleive that Anna's mental health problems stem from Stefan directly. As for her neglect of her children, I get the feeling that they were born of rape as well.  Which, for me, explains why she ignores them and is so adamant in ending of her current pregnancy.  It isn't the best reason to neglect her children but, for me, it does explain why it is so hard for her to be good to them.  The part on page 113, where Lesya wakes up with a cramp in her foot and realizes that her mother is sleeping in their bed shows me that she does love her children, she just doesn't seem to know how to show it or what to do about it.

 

 

 

BarneyNoble wrote:

 

I am curious, and after reading many of the posts I think it may just be me but.....why does it seem so odd that Stefan would have shot the coyote?  They were on the frontier, a new land with wild, dangerous animals.  I think if I saw someone kneeling next to a coyote and their hand stretched out and its teeth showing, I would have done the same thing.  Really, how was he to know that she could communicate with them? This is the first sign that Anna is delusional and that she is from the very beginning.  I am not sure that her mental illness or her neglect /abuse of the children could be blamed on Stefan instead I think that she may have played a bigger part in Stefan’s absence.   This is not to excuse him from his neglect or abuse or any of the other nasty character traits he has, but I just can’t blame him for hers.  

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skiibunny1213
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Re: Adults and Children

If you had to describe each of our characters so far with one brief sentence, could you do it?

 

Petro is proud like his father

 

Lesya is gentle and caring, and can do anything she puts her mind to. She seems more like her aunt Maria than anyone else.

 

Ivan is innocent and hard working, looks up to his father and brother

 

Sofia is selfish and wishes for bigger things. She seems more like Stefan's child than Teodor's.

 

Dania seems to be between adulthood and childhood, even though she sees herself more as a child than an adult.

 

Katya has amazing faith in God and unconsciously accepts the mystery of her religion.

 

Myron is silent and strong like his father.

 

Teodor is broken but healing slowly.

 

Maria is strong, capable and industrious, and takes her role for caring for the family very seriously.

 

Anna is crumbling on the inside but I believe deep down we will see she is the strongest fighter of them all.

 

Stefan is pure evil.

 

 

What do you make to Anna and Mysha's relationship to animals?

 

I think Anna feels like a caged animal wanting to be set free.  She proves her instinct to fight (rather than flight) when she brandishes the knife on Stefan.

 

Do you have a favorite character so far?

 

My favorite character is Katya.  Her innocence is everything we all love and miss about childhood.

 

Did you notice that the children have no toys? How do they get along with each other? How do they play? Do they get much of a chance to be children?

 

The way the kids interact is typical to kids even now - fighting, playing, jealousies, competition, adventure, curiosity.  What's funny is that even though I had toys as a child my best and most vivid memories of playing was when we were outdoors, no toys, just nature and our imaginations - just like these kids.  They get time to be children but they also must work harder than they normally might because the family must work to be able to feed themselves. 

 

What is the relationship between adults and children so far in this novel?

 

In some ways they are equals because they all pull their own weight in terms of working and doing their tasks in order to keep the family functioning and food on the table. 

 

Do you see anyone of the children taking after either of their parents?

 

Myron - Teodor

 

Petro - Stefan

 

I also think that there is a crossover - children taking after their uncle/aunt

 

Lesya - Maria

 


 

Wordsmith
marciliogq
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎02-22-2008

Re: Adults and Children

The book has some excerpts of pure poetry. I have not realized yet how deep is the relationship between Anna and Maria but I did how is their relation to nature as well as the children's. Up to now I have not favorite characters because all of them has particular characteristics of enchantment. I can highlight Ivan, Teodor and Maria's four-year-old boy. The first part, Spring, shows us the boy's fear, how his sisters treat him on the darkness when he goes to the toilet and reveals the innocence of childhood. The world seen through children's eyes is revealed as poetic view. The animals have feelings, they are not the threatening coyote shot by Stefan or the one that persecuted Teodor and Ivan in the darkness, they are like human beings. Ivan makes us question life and death, beginning and finish and our own relation to nature: are the coyotes invading our land or are we invading theirs? Who is strange in this story, who is the threat? Who is defending what? The same questions we should direct to Teodor when the grains were stolen. Ivan's stories made me remember my childhood when we had a cat cemetery to bury all of the dead cats we could find in the street. As a child our perception of things is completely different of adults one though we still can see the dark side of things, as Ivan said. Horses can be dragons, a fence a headless body...

Excepting Ivan, other children act like adults, they have responsabilities and attitudes of an adult. Maria, the mother, is a model of strength and resignation, a woman that showed above all difficulties it was possible to raise, educate, feed, and breaking all of the prejudices in a foreign land where she has to challenge to create a new identity.

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misslynn
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Re: Adults and Children

Hi Joan,

Speaking of that swimming incident. I think I was even more shocked that Sophia, after being angered, whipped off her dress, and went into the water. It was noted that her blonde pubes were showing. Well, that just seemed to be extremely out of place for such a "ladylike" girl. I don't know many girls willing to do that today in front of siblings and cousins.

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misslynn
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Re: Adults and Children

I agree. Who is Myesha? I haven't read the whole book yet, but I thought were were just discussing the beginning. I thought I was only only one confused about that.