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KathyS
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring


cocospals wrote:

pjpick wrote:

I'm embarrassed to admit I forgot to participate in the discussion. I started to read the book the day I got it and couldn't put it down (which bodes well for the author). Nevertheless, by the time the discussion rolled around I forgot to participate. So...here's my brief response.

 

Shandi, thank you. This is the first First Look book I've actually enjoyed (I've read 5). I was beginning to get a little bit discouraged with the book choices. The odd thing is, this is not a type of book I would normally like. I give you credit for hooking me in. Your story telling is superb. Though reading this story in the summer, I had to put my socks on because I just felt chilly by the frigid atmosphere you painted. My stomach often grumbled with hunger, and I wanted to jump right into the pages and shake Anna with frustration.

 

Kudos, Shandi for a great story.

 


Same thing happened to me. I was so engrossed in the book that the discussions just passed me by. I have also participated in quite a few FLBC and this is the first time I have let the discussions slip right past me.  Excellent, excellent book!!!  And for me too, this is not the type of book I would pick up at the book store and purchase.


Pjpick, and cocopals,  and others.....

 

I'm curious.  If this is not a book you would normally pick up at the book store, what prompted you to apply to get it to read for this discussion?  The story was described in the synopsis.  It gave a good overview.  We also saw the interview.  I was just wondering.

 

I knew from the moment I started reading it, I wanted to talk about it.   How in the world could you forget about the discussion?  Four weeks.....later.... Ha!   I'm still talking about it, off the board, to friends.  I think reviewers are going to be talking about it for a long, long, time.  I'm glad you both liked it!  :smileyhappy:

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pjpick
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

[ Edited ]

Kathy S.,

 

I try to make myself read things I wouldn't normally read. It works for me about 50% of the time. That's one of the reasons I like book clubs. I have no control over which book comes my way and forces me out of my comfort zone and makes me experience something new and sometimes I'm delightfully surprised! I didn't see the interview. I have dial-up and no sound and frankly, I don't like to know too much about a book before I read it because then I start to "look for things" and fail to be surprised. Actually, the synopsis which was given did intrigue me but when I started to read the book I knew it was going to be more of a "downer" and much more depressing compared to my normal choices but Mitchell did a great job of keeping me with the story.

 

As for forgetting to participate in the discussion, I read about a book a week and once I put one down I mentally move on and don't remember details very well (I'm a macro vs micro reader). I usually wait until a week before the discussion is due to start reading but I took a preview read of the first chapter and got hooked. By the time the discussion came along I had already read 3-4 books between it and the discussion. I also had it in a stack of books and it was sort of out of sight. When I rummaged through the stack I found it and it reminded me of the discussion.

 

Sounds like we all read differently, doesn't it?

Message Edited by pjpick on 08-23-2009 01:20 PM
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bookloverKG
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

I finished the book about a week ago but I have been trying to figure everything out. Still haven't. I was thoroughly surprised by the ending and I seriously cried through like the last few chapters.

 

I thought Theo's and Anna's land dispute was ridiculous. The land offices and the officers that write the letters were being reasonable. All they had to do was to question Stefan, Anna, Theo, Iven and Lesya. They could have even question more of his family if that would help. I think it would have all worked out in Teodor's favor. The land offices had though it was just a dispute between sister and brother and nothing more.

 

Mysha did breakdown and kill. It was an animal even though he almost killed his uncle, but he was just going through a lot. I am more astonished with Anna's and Theo's killings. Anna killed her baby for goodness sake. I have no sympathy for her for doing that. Lesya should have disobeyed her mother and gone to seek her aunts help. Anna just couldn't see her daughter turning into her other two children without a father, and living the miserable life she had to offer. I am just astonished by the ending. I didn't like it and thought that it was just miserable! It was well written tho when Theo broke down the door to see if what he saw was true and why she would have done it. Nothing would have consoled him and I think he would have at least beaten her if the children were not there. With Theo, I could not believe he did what he did. Instead of killing Anna, he should have ran away with his family down south to America like Maria had suggested. They did anyways at the end. His killing Anna did not solve anything. She is dead but her two children are now separated and I do not know what will happen to them but at least they aren't with their father. All Theo had to do was one more year in prison but I guess the 5 yr that he did was enough to change him.

 

My impression of Theo has not changed. I think he was a wonderful, hardworking father who just could not take any more. He just cracked. After Anna killed her beautiful baby daughter, he just could not believe that she would go so far as to send him to jail for the land. But if he had known that it was Petro, well I know he would not have killed him but other than that I really do not know wat he would have done. I would have loved if Theo could have left with his family down south and left that fall/winter behind them. His pride was good and it was bad. It got them through the summer and everything but it also made his life more difficult. I am really upset he killed himself but I saw that coming after he killed Anna. Now the family has to go living without him forever now instead of just one more year. If only Theo had thought things through things may have been different. I am still very upset and could have done without the gruesome and detailed violence and sexual stuff but I still liked the book. Maria is gonna settle down and raise her kids like a good mother but she wont be there wholeheartedly even though she will be trying. I think everyone will move on and remember the man Theo use to be. They will forever love him but that year they will always have him with them. They will grow up to be good husbands and wives and will live happily. 

"I wasn't mad at him. He just had to die."
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KathyS
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Reading perspectives - off topic


pjpick wrote:

Kathy S.,

 

I try to make myself read things I wouldn't normally read. It works for me about 50% of the time. That's one of the reasons I like book clubs. I have no control over which book comes my way and forces me out of my comfort zone and makes me experience something new and sometimes I'm delightfully surprised! I didn't see the interview. I have dial-up and no sound and frankly, I don't like to know too much about a book before I read it because then I start to "look for things" and fail to be surprised. Actually, the synopsis which was given did intrigue me but when I started to read the book I knew it was going to be more of a "downer" and much more depressing compared to my normal choices but Mitchell did a great job of keeping me with the story.

 

As for forgetting to participate in the discussion, I read about a book a week and once I put one down I mentally move on and don't remember details very well (I'm a macro vs micro reader). I usually wait until a week before the discussion is due to start reading but I took a preview read of the first chapter and got hooked. By the time the discussion came along I had already read 3-4 books between it and the discussion. I also had it in a stack of books and it was sort of out of sight. When I rummaged through the stack I found it and it reminded me of the discussion.

 

Sounds like we all read differently, doesn't it?

Message Edited by pjpick on 08-23-2009 01:20 PM

 

Thank you so much for your thoughtful reply, pjpick.  I honestly wondered, and I hope I didn't come across as picking on you, or any of the other participants who hadn't joined the discussion.  I always wonder about things, and sometimes it gets me into trouble, especially when it has to be typed out! 

 

Your explanation was totally understandable, only I wished I'd had a chance to discuss some of these chapters with you.  Selfish on my part! :smileyhappy:  I only read a synopsis, if it doesn't give me the story...same with reviews.  I want to be surprised by what I read, as you do...everyone was extremely respectful in this discussion, to not give anything away.   I too have dial up, and it's a royal pain...but I did listen to this interview, and it was simply background information, as to the motivation for this story....Shandi has been wonderful in making sure she doesn't spoil the story for us, and has given the most detailed explanations to our questions.

 

 I think we've all pretty much given our perspectives on this book, to disagree, or to agree.  It has been a great experience for me to see all views on matters, not just the controversial ones, as we saw these unfold in this story.

 

You being a macro reader, rather than a micro reader, is an interesting concept.  I veiw myself as a macro reader when I'm not participating in a discusssion, and if it's a light read... and a micro reader when it's necessary to get deeply into the subject, so thoughts can be expressed, taking time to ponder issues that are conjured up in my mind.  It wasn't the easiest story to discuss, but it was the most interesting and fulfilling of all the book discussions I've been on.

 

When I read for a discussion, I try not to read other books for the duration of that discussion.   It's hard, especially when you've read the book in the first week....that's when I go back and reread.  I guess I'm an emotionally focused reader.  Rachel gave us some very thought provoking questions.... and All of the participants have been wonderful.  It was really a joy to be in this one.  I hope to see you around, again.  :smileyhappy:

 

Kathy S.

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Lildove3
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

This book was very intense and shocking, though I normally would read a more of

less intense style, it did keep my attenion to the end.

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Wisteria-L
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring


KathyS wrote:

Wisteria-L wrote:

KathyS wrote:

Wisteria-L wrote:

I loved this book on so many levels because it was a story of the lives of people who are not perfect. Life is not perfect, and most family holiday gatherings will show how difficult getting together to socialize in a happy, non-stressed social event can be.

Shandi has written a story of what can happen when the extremes of those minor disagreements fester and continue unresolved.  In this story, who was to blame?  The eventuality was that no one really communicated, or loved each other enough as family to put the family (extended) first. I would have to say, the only one that did this was Maria, to the point as I mentioned before and so did Immortal Spirit, that she covered up for her brother. 

 

I knew from the beginning this was going to be a solemn book that would make us look at family. It was the picture and the description that said....


 

"Within three years, this farm will be foreclosed. Two years later, one will die. Two others, of whom there is no photograph, will be murdered."


 

I also knew because as I said before, Shandi used the stark contrast of color a lot. 

Black, White and then red. Red often symbolic of blood. 

 

There was the blood from the mice in the beginning, blood from the rabbits...

If you reread the section about the photograph the only color they mention is white and they are all smiles. So that is the beginning before all the turmoil began. But it ended in a bath of red blood. 

 

The last line of the book is 

"The children sway to its roll, their eyes fixed on the graying house and the prairies unfolding between them. "

 

I think the graying symbolizes a new start, the past is blurred....a combination of the stark black and white of the past. The are looking at the prairies unfolding...opening up creating distance between them. I see a hopeful future for this family where the fighting and evil will be gone from their lives. 

 

Just a different way to look at it. I see hope and bright light in the prairie grasses. 

 

 


 

Wisteria,

 

I love how you've actually analyized color in this story. 

 

For the most part, I'm an emotional reader.  But, I can take all that is said and break it down, picking it to its minutest degree.  But, in saying that [with this novel],  it had so much to say, by just feeling it;  I had to leave some of this discussion alone, just too much emotion for me to inhale. 

 

Colors exude feelings/emotions.  I tried not to get too close to some of those feelings, because they did hurt.  Color to me is like the background music in a movie.  It's generally subliminal, only to motivate the feelings of the audiance.  You're busy hearing (reading) the dialogue, but never notice the theme behind it....these words of color, and sounds of music, are only felt.

 

When you mentioned the last line of the book....using the word, "graying" the author did not use the word "gray"....reminded me of the extensive changing in the color pallete.  

 

In reality, there are only three colors that exist.   Yes, we can achieve the color gray by mixing black and white (although, white is not a color, it's the absence of color), but you can also achieve the color gray by mixing equal parts of the primary colors:  Blue, Red, Yellow. 

 

All of the colors that are mentioned in this story....from the blue of the sky, to the yellows of the grain, to the reds of the fire, or the shedding of the blood....you mix these together, and the music of the past becomes the "graying" on these soon to be distant lives, leaving this gray memory behind them as "The children sway to its roll....."  It fades....to the end...."graying".   And we hope the future will bring back the brightness of the colors, once more.

 

Kathy S.

Message Edited by KathyS on 08-20-2009 01:37 PM

Kathy, Thank you for your response.  I am also a very emotional and sensory reader. I live books through all my senses. It is what drives my reading, I know no other way to read. I am a musician, and I know what you mean about background music. Sometimes for me I have found background music cannot be in the background, because as a musician, I hear the music more than others do. This is not always a good thing.

Being sensitive to color as background and as an emotion can get me into trouble like you said.  Since I cannot read without experiencing all senses that an author evokes. Shandi spoke to me in color. I saw this thread all the way through her novel, and couldn't separate it from the text. It was like a huge symphonic work.  I couldn't get away from it. Without her use of color, I don't see this book as the same story. Well, let me say it has more depth with her use of color. 

 

 

 

I loved when you said this.....


 

"And we hope the future will bring back the brightness of the colors, once more."

 

 


or in my eyes.....at least the white that was present in the photograph in the beginning.

 

White light the symbol of healing and power. 

 


 

Exactly!  I think we're on the same pages. :smileyhappy:  How interesting....I play the piano, what instrument do you play?

 

I, too, believe that white, or light, is the symbol of healing and power.  At least a higher power...and I also believe that light is the symbol of learning, education, knowledge...wisdom.   

I think I'd classify this novel as one of the most sensory novels I've ever read....next to V.W., that is! 

 

I sculpt ceramic bookends for authors, and whatever the design I come up with, I encorporate a small stained glass window in each of them...which is to say, letting light in, expanding our minds through knowledge.  I'd love to make a set for this author, I've already visualized what they will look like.  I'm not always inspired, but this one did get my attention, big time!  But, we'll see.


Kathy S......YES!!!!! We are on the same page. I play the flute and used to play professionally.  I now play native wood flutes (handmade) as well. They are so beautiful and sound so sweet and intune to nature. You would LOVE them....and the sound. 

I think your bookends sound so awesome. I would love to see a picture. Making a set for Shandi would be so nice. 

 

I agree that this novel is probably one of the most sensory I have read in a long time.  I keep reading over pages and parts and scenes. My book looks like it took a beating...but it is still all good. :smileyhappy:

Talk to you soon...or maybe the next book. 

Wisteria

Wisteria,

"Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds a way into his heart."

The Shadow of the Wind,
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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Wisteria-L
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

One possible final thought I had as I was thinking back to the start of this book.

 

Remember how the story began with a photograph and then the prelude of what was to come.  

I love to look at old photographs and try to picture what was the event, the occasion, the party or gathering of family for?  Photos say so much and after reading this book I have looked at the pictures of my great grandparents and other family who I never met with different eyes. I wanted to thank Shandi for making me look deeper into photographs to look for the possible story. I even posted a photo this week on my blog that had a woman in a horse drawn carriage with her little dog. The photo was from 1885 and I had so many thoughts about that one picture. 

 

I think the photo description was a brilliant start to a fabulous novel.  I really will carry this amazing story with me for a very long time. I don't look at this as a downer novel, but that's a personal feeling. I see hope, passion and strength in this novel that outshines the sadness and gloom. 

 

Wisteria

Wisteria,

"Few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds a way into his heart."

The Shadow of the Wind,
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
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KathyS
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Off topic - taken to Com Room

Wisteria, since we're getting a little off the topic, I'll move this to the Community Room if you want to talk more on these subjects.  I know I probably will.  :smileyhappy: 

Kathy

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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

I have to say, though, that Teodor disappointed me in the endWhile he was strong, loving, loyal, hard working, and proud, he was also stubborn, righteous, and inflexibleIn many instances his stubborn, inflexible, and unwavering traits help him overcome enormous oddsOn the other hand, though, these same traits, unmitigated by wisdom from his life experiences, left him vulnerable to extreme lossesIf Teodor had heeded Maria's warning, he would not have had the alcohol, his penultimate undoingHad he not been so proud and righteous, he might not have taken two lives, the final undoingTeodor feels to me like a wonderful treasure wasted and lost.
AnneMD
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KathyS
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To forgive, or not to forgive?

[ Edited ]

annemd wrote:
I have to say, though, that Teodor disappointed me in the endWhile he was strong, loving, loyal, hard working, and proud, he was also stubborn, righteous, and inflexibleIn many instances his stubborn, inflexible, and unwavering traits help him overcome enormous oddsOn the other hand, though, these same traits, unmitigated by wisdom from his life experiences, left him vulnerable to extreme lossesIf Teodor had heeded Maria's warning, he would not have had the alcohol, his penultimate undoingHad he not been so proud and righteous, he might not have taken two lives, the final undoingTeodor feels to me like a wonderful treasure wasted and lost.

 

Anne, I, too, felt disappointment in Teodor.  That's why I've spent most of this discussion trying to figure out [by talking it out], his motives.  I think I have taken it to the 'enth degree.  The problems that I think you're probably aware of is, not everyone reacts to stressful circumstances in the same way....some of us blow our tops....some hold it in....some walk away...some look at those circumstances as learning experiences and try to change either themselves, or the situation.  They have a positive vision of the future....Did Teodor have that positive vision?  I think not.

 

When I had said that I thought Teodor and Anna were cut from the same cloth, I found a weakness in both of them.  Each dealing with stressors, but each assimilated them differently, and the outcome became apparent in the end.  Anna left it inside of herself, and Teodor took it outside.  Neither one was capable of voicing their grief or pain.  You can't leave this junk to fester.  Yes, you are right.  They were both left vulnerable.

 

Teodor didn't commit the things he did, without cause.  Again, I'm not condoning the killing at all, but, again, I'm trying to understand why it had to happen.  There will always be the straw that breaks someone.  With Teodor, these straw pieces were accumulating..they had nowhere to go but out!  These things happen to people every day of the year, but we, as book discussion participants, get to figure out the puzzles that are so illusive, when some pieces are missing, to make it even more complicated, but we have to put what pieces we have together, to make it work.  I made it work for me, and I've accepted the outcome.

 

I think, in the end, without acceptance, there is no forgiveness.  How many want to forgive Anna and Teodor?  Make that decision, and you'll know whether or not you've accepted the ending to this novel.

 

No one has to respond to this post/question.  Just something to think about.

 

Kathy S.

 

 

Message Edited by KathyS on 08-23-2009 04:18 PM
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GrammiT
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

Where to begin?  Even though you know, after reading the page at the beginning of the book about the photograph, that disaster looms for these families, I still found myself hoping, as I was reading, that somehow things would work out okay & everyone would be fine. ( I am a sucker for happy endings!) I felt such sadness when I read these two sentences--"Teodor & Maria arrived home, their cheeks flush, their eyes laughing, brushing snow from each other's faces. As soon as Maria saw her children's faces, she knew something terrible had happened, felt it crush against her chest." How instantly their lives, so full of hope & promise as they arrived home, changed forever. I knew only tragedy would ensue & it was quite hard to finish the book to the end. Another reader stated she was not sure how she felt about the book.  I feel the same way.  Shandi wrote a very compelling story, but at times it was one very difficult to read. It is a book I will not soon forget.
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring


ladybug74 wrote:

rkubie wrote:

Immortal-Spirit wrote:
Stefan was right in one thing. Leaving was the best thing he could ever do. 

 

 


Yes,  that's a question I've had for the group, too. Was stealing the family's money and bolting without a goodbye the best thing Stefan did in this whole novel?


I agree. I felt a sense of relief when Stefan left. I honestly thought (and kind of hoped) that he would be the one to die. I thought maybe Theo would finally get fed up with him and shoot him.


I totally agree!!!

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annemd
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring


In this heartbreaking chapter, we see, first Mysha, then Anna, then Theo break down and kill. Can you talk about what has driven each of them to do it? How is it possible that they are each capable of it? Are they each aware of what they are doing?

 

They have descended into hopelessness, Lesya with a white hot rage, Anna with a psychotic madness, and Teodor with a righteous rageThey have lost their connectedness, their belonging to what is real and grounded and meaningfulIt is enormously sad.   People have been coming to places like these for as long as history had been recorded.

AnneMD
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kpatton
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

kofidane- I agree "What a gripping and emotional story"
 I had a thought when you ask "Why was it so important to Stephan to 'get Teodor'?".   I have a thought about thatStephan wanted to be the gentleman farmer where he was the overseer with men/families working his landHe wasn't living his dream and not only wasn't Teodor working for him, Teodor was doing better than Stephan on land that Stephan thought should have been his.
 I again wanted to say how well you captured my thoughts about this book and the writingI too felt so many of the character's emotionsI could picture the house on the hillI too applaud Ms. Mitchell book.
Kathy

kofidane wrote:

What a gripping and emotional story!

And the sad thing is that this story could've been anyones life in the past that have had to immigrate due to political unrest. New beginnings can follow hardships with the cultural differences, languages, intolerant communities, etc.


Petro was happy to have his father back. He was probably one that was happy.

Revenge was a big motivator, to "Get" Teodor...and why? When you really look at the whole picture, why was that so important to Stefan? He didn't care about the farm, or his family. He knew he was causing distension and hatred when he returned.



Very well written tragic story. I'm impressed by this writer's ability to capture such emotions. I felt all of it. I was there, I painted the house Teodor built in my mind

I see their faces and what they look like. It was like I was an invisible intruder on these peoples lives, watching it unfold to the end.

Congratulations Shandi on a great novel.

 

 

 

 


 

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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

The land officers seem to feel it is a family thing and try not to get to involved, I got the impression that they were giving everyone the run around and trying to buy time in hopes that the famiy would work it out if fhtey gave them enough time.  It is sad to see how many of the characters break down toward the end of the novel but considering how rough things were then it does not surprise me honestly I would have given in much sooner than they did.  Each character is broken in some way by the end of the novel.
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Re: Saying Good-bye

Kathy, You have written this so well.  Thank you for revisiting this ending for me.  I love the parts that you brought to our attention.  I hadn't thought about a comparison between Teodor and the house.  Good observation.
Kathy

KathyS wrote:

As I went back through some of the ending pages of this book, rereading, and thinking about all that this story contained, I couldn't help but notice how Maria stands in the doorway "of the empty house"....what she thinks about...."the house would have stood a lifetime."  I felt as though she was looking at this house as she would have looked at Teodor...."how well-built the fame is, how strong the timbers .  ....."sees the clean, sharp lines etched by the hand planer, the sure, deep cuts of the saw and ax."

 

How many good-byes Maria had said, simply brought my throat tight, again, with tears ready to fall.  "She said a lifetime of good-byes."

 

"Maria props open the door with a large rock to let the souls wander in and out."  She says to this house, as if she's speaking to God...."I give it back."  As if she is giving this man she had married, back to God.  Her final good-bye to Teodor.

 

I also wondered about all of these little possessions they carried away with them, what each child carries, possessions containing practical uses, and heart-felt memories.  I wondered what we would carry away, if we were leaving so many memories behind.  What would be the important things to hold on to?

 

They have their stove, for warmth...their beds and blankets for sleeping; clothes, a table, chairs, benches for sitting and eating, or maybe even working on their school homework.  Pots and dishes, "and the last few jars of borschch and sauerkraut." Food.  Even the grain could be made into breads.

 

Tools and other assorted things to help them survive....the .22 is there.

 

Ivan's stash includes something from his father, the pocket knife, along with his odd assortment of things he collected in his sort life.  I'm sure most of these will give him memories of his best friend, Petro.

 

Katya's has more assorted memories, including her father's tobacco pouch, "which holds a partially smoked, hand-rolled cigarette and a burned wooden match.  These are her memories of her father.

 

Sofia's memories are more of the present...."two front-page newspaper clipping".  They describe what they are leaving, what most will try to forget....the two deaths that can't be denied, written down for all history.  I think Sofia may be the writer of this story.

 

Dania has captured her father in his own hand, the recipe for the Wheat Wine, which was the downfall for this family in this story.  She had earned money from working, and carries a pair of her father's socks...even though warn out.....a handkerchief, carrying "a small handful of rich black earth."  She see the future in these possessions.

 

Myron wears his father's legacy, I think proudly.  His father, who had neatly preserved them for his son....the jacket, and boots.  The tools, well cared for...and each one marked with his father's initials carved into the handle...T.M.  His father is close to him now.

 

Maria will carry the picture of the Blessed Virgin, showing her faith in the future...along with her packets of seeds....hers and Teodors wedding bands....a lock of his hair, the the cross that he carved for her.  Her mother's Bible...all containing the past, through the present, as they enter the future.

 

My question, again, what would you take away from your memories, into the future?

 

Kathy S.

 

 

Message Edited by KathyS on 08-22-2009 10:11 AM

 

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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

pjpick,
I'm not sure I've ever heard the terms "micro" and 'macro' reader.  What are the differences?
Kathy

pjpick wrote:

Kathy S.,

 

I try to make myself read things I wouldn't normally read. It works for me about 50% of the time. That's one of the reasons I like book clubs. I have no control over which book comes my way and forces me out of my comfort zone and makes me experience something new and sometimes I'm delightfully surprised! I didn't see the interview. I have dial-up and no sound and frankly, I don't like to know too much about a book before I read it because then I start to "look for things" and fail to be surprised. Actually, the synopsis which was given did intrigue me but when I started to read the book I knew it was going to be more of a "downer" and much more depressing compared to my normal choices but Mitchell did a great job of keeping me with the story.

 

As for forgetting to participate in the discussion, I read about a book a week and once I put one down I mentally move on and don't remember details very well (I'm a macro vs micro reader). I usually wait until a week before the discussion is due to start reading but I took a preview read of the first chapter and got hooked. By the time the discussion came along I had already read 3-4 books between it and the discussion. I also had it in a stack of books and it was sort of out of sight. When I rummaged through the stack I found it and it reminded me of the discussion.

 

Sounds like we all read differently, doesn't it?

Message Edited by pjpick on 08-23-2009 01:20 PM

 

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meme1
Posts: 106
Registered: ‎12-17-2007
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

Wow! I'm glad someone else had the same thought as I did.  I was afraid that I was being too critical.

nicole21WA wrote:

 

And I think the priest was going to be up to something shady with Lesya.  Maybe I'm too jaded from all the sex abuse that's been revealed in the Catholic church, but that was what I immediately thought of when the priest wouldn't take both children.


 

meme

~~ Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly.

~~ Be careful reading health books. You may die of a misprint. Mark Twain
Melissa_W
Posts: 4,123
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

I'm pretty late to the discussion, just having managed to sit down and read the book today, so I'll throw a few thoughts out here.

 

The land dispute was fated to end badly, from the first letter.  I had a feeling the letter of the law would rule the day - Teodor cannot own property, Anna/Stefan had not been working the land - and both parties would lose.  It seemed the officers were sympathetic to the work Teodor was doing (they didn't take the tone that he was doing a poor job of developing the land) but their hands were tied.

 

I had the feeling that circumstance would break Teodor by the end of the novel.  However, I was hoping it would be Stefan to get the bullet, not Anna.  Teodor was (in his mind) betrayed by someone who was a part of his family, who had sheltered his family and in turn he had acted as surrogate father to her children, but then took the side of her worthless, greedy, lazy (keep going?) husband.  I don't think his rage would have been tempered by any understanding of a disorders like depression and psychosis.

 

I was not surprised Anna killed the baby; I was somewhat taken aback by the possibility that Anna left the baby alive for the coyotes to take (Mitchell does not clarify if the baby was alive still by the time the aminals found her).  I feel the implication is that Anna's mind broke when Stefan raped her and made her pregnant; the grasp on reality was tenuous and when Stefan returned it only served to reinforce her depressive symptoms.

 

The scariest thought I have is that Petro will turn out exactly like his father, abusive and manipulative, because he was already adopting the same behaviors.  Lesya is a more difficult case because she's a character with strength and ability, but also is too timid; there were many points where she could have stood up to her mother, gone to Maria for help, or spoken up about the agreement for the land (she was a witness) but she did not.  Teodor and Maria's children are given more emotional resources than Petro and Lesya; they understand the nature of hard work (even Sofia) and have been obviously loved by their parents.  The children have a long road but they should come out on top.


rkubie wrote:

What is your impression of the land offices and officers that write the letters discussing Theo and Anna's dispute? What is their interpretation of this story?


In this heartbreaking chapter, we see, first Mysha, then Anna, then Theo break down and kill. Can you talk about what has driven each of them to do it? How is it possible that they are each capable of it? Are they each aware of what they are doing?


Has your impression or judgment of Theo changed entirely?

 

Do you feel you have any sense for the possible outcome of any of the surviving characters? Is there anyone you might make a prediction for?

 

We've talked quite a bit about animals--In what ways have the coyotes been characters in the novel?

 

What is this new Spring like for Maria's family?

 


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Inspired Wordsmith
CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: Later Chapters and Whole Novel: Winter and Spring

I also had a creepy feeling about the priest.

 

 


meme1 wrote:
Wow! I'm glad someone else had the same thought as I did.  I was afraid that I was being too critical.

nicole21WA wrote:

 

And I think the priest was going to be up to something shady with Lesya.  Maybe I'm too jaded from all the sex abuse that's been revealed in the Catholic church, but that was what I immediately thought of when the priest wouldn't take both children.