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shelley727
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

It seems as if there is no Fall season.  Looks like they are going straight into winter.  I cn't even imagine what it must be like for them.  I live in south TX.  We never get snow.  We wear shorts/sandals almost year round. 

  There seemed such a rush to get themselves prepared.  Getting the grain to town as quickly as possible.  I did like how Maria stood her ground in town when selling her vegetables. 

 

Selling their goods in town & not settling for the first price offered to them.  Having their own home, paying their debt to Anna. 

 

In Maria & Teodore's home they are a family.  The parents are loving and kind to their children.  You know they love their children and each other.  They do whatever it takes to make sure that the children have what they need.  It may not be what the the children want, but Maria & Teodore make sure they have what they need.      Stephan & Anna's home is a train wreck.  Stefan cares about no one but himself.  Anna spends most of her time in bed, or eating every last bit of food in the house.  The children are left to fend for themselves.

 

As for Teodore being dangerously proud--When he was drinking with Stefan, I feel he was.  He wasn't thinking about the consequences.  What could happen if he went back to jail.  He wasn't thinking about his family. 

I am really enjoying this book! :smileytongue:   

Shelley
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BDonnelly
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Debbie-

 

I am enjoying the novel.  I think Ms. Mitchell is a wonderful writer and she is giving us an  effective, moving story.  My experience is just one of  anxiety - it is not a relaxed read.  I care about these characters!  But I like all kinds of books - if it gets tougher for me I'll just pick up a Jennifer Weiner to balance things out!

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mgorbatjuk
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I guess the fall season is cleaning up the fields and picking the last of the garden items and getting them canned to get ready for winter.

 

Theo and Maria prepare everthing for survival. Instead of buying things as needed they buy when they have the money and sock it away for. They buy just what they need not willing to count on a surplus of anything. Only the first meal of the garden is a feast all other meals are eaten with the thought the food has to last to the meal as well.

 

I hate it that Stefan has come back. He doesn't care about anyone-he's a horrible man. I can see the classic domestic violence issues and it's a horrible place for the 2 kids to grow up in. They have too much resposibility for such small kids. Anna and Stefan almost rely on the kids for their survival instead of vice versa. Anna doesn't take very good care when Stefan's not around but at least there's one less big mouth to feed. 

 

Theo does have a tendency to be proud and I can see where that might make for bad choices. It left a bad impression on Ivan when he got so excited about paying the $10.00 for the land fee to Anna and instead of maybe a slap on the back that would show excitement he slapped Ivan and I think Ivan thinks that was a bad thing. (And it kind of was) And maybe he should have waited until Stefan was gone before paying Anna-if Stefan finds the money it will be gone and the land could be lost.

 

 

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JaneM
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Maria and Theo are both working towards the same goal and share that dream with their children so everyone is pulling together to survive.  Anna and Stefan are both removed from reality - Anna wishing for oblivion or the freedom of the coyotes, and Stefan wishing dreamily of a life beyond reach, such as he had before, with a great house, respect from the community and wealth.  Neither of these two have any idea how to survive at this point as their realities have been compromised by their escapisms.

 

Anna and Stefan's family is full of fear, and the children have mixed emotions.  Lesya tries to hold it together, putting away food left out, trying to keep a fire going.  Petro tries to cut firewood, even though he is much too small.  The children are playing the parts of adults to replace that missing element in their parents' behavior. 

 

I think Theo is dangerously proud, and righteous - a word I've used before to describe him.  He often acts with the idea that what he is doing is right or just and therefore okay.  This put him in prison the first time and threatens his family a second time when he knows it is his right to have a drink in his house.  I think his hubris will be his fatal flaw as we approach the last act of the book.

Jane M.
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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


mgorbatjuk wrote:

...

 

Theo does have a tendency to be proud and I can see where that might make for bad choices. It left a bad impression on Ivan when he got so excited about paying the $10.00 for the land fee to Anna and instead of maybe a slap on the back that would show excitement he slapped Ivan and I think Ivan thinks that was a bad thing. (And it kind of was) And maybe he should have waited until Stefan was gone before paying Anna-if Stefan finds the money it will be gone and the land could be lost.

 

 


 

My impression of this scene was that he slapped Ivan so that Ivan would remember this event 9for the future if necessray)- I don't think he did it out of excitement.

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dhaupt
Posts: 11,827
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Other people have mentioned Anna taking Stefan back and I agree with the ones who said she had no choice, but I think even if she had a choice she still would have taken him back, I remember reading on pages 164-165 when Anna let Stefan back as her husband when she was wondering and saying  " She has been so lonely. She is thirty-eight years old. Who else will ever touch her? Who else will ever want her" and then farther down the page she says "Maybe this time" Those statements made me think that she would have taken him back regardless and she only tried to throw him out when the coyotes didn't recognize her because she smelled of him.

 

And this is to BDonnelly, I know how you mean about the sadness of the book. And I can't think of a better refreshment from it than Jennifer Weiner. 

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Deltadawn
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

[ Edited ]

These families, though related by blood and tied by circumstance, are polar opposites. Teodore, Maria and each of their children play a strong role in helping the family to survive. Every single member of the household contributes - all working together - with the parents as their strong leaders and protectors. Stefan, Anna & their kids have an entirely different scenario. Neither parent works or contributes to their survival - they are selfish, lazy & negligent. On the contrary, their actions put their family at risk. Their children are left to suffer - Lesya takes on an adult role, having far too much work, knowledge & wisdom for her age. It is heartbreaking. And Petro also tries so hard to work to please his tato and he works himself up and gets into Stefan's own mindframe (from the extremely limited perspective & understanding of a 7 year old), demonstrating how badly he needs to believe that his father is the idol that he has made him out to be.

 

Message Edited by Deltadawn on 08-11-2009 09:31 AM
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cmmn
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

It's interesting reading the different views of autumn in Canada.  It seems to depend on the climate the person is from.  Coming from the upper Midwest I see the fall representing the bountiful harvest (except for the loss of the wheat that burned).  Others see the fall as cold and unpleasant.  Living here I know winter will be a lot worse.  My great-grandparent came here in the late 1880's and lived for several years in a sod house.  The winters were even colder then.  My grandparents lived in a granary the first two years of their marriage.  This would have been about the same time as this story takes place.   
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Shadowwolf36
Posts: 76
Registered: ‎09-16-2008

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Once again, I found myself feeling Thankful that I live in the here and now and not in the then. No matter how tough it is on a daily basis to make ends meet, I know that if I work hard for three or four months (the growing season) I will earn more than $50. Granted, might seem like a lot of money back then, but still, to break your back and still not have enough to get the things you NEED, not just the stuff you WANT but things you need to survive.....I can't even imagine it....we were poor growing up, we had to have government aid, foodstamps, Medicaid and foodbanks but still we were able to get what we needed. They have no one but themselves and no help available....it just seems incomprehensible....Ms Mitchell has allowed me a glimpse in this difficult period and with her wonderful words and imagery, has allowed me to actually see and feel these emotions.

 

As for Stefan coming back, women were not meant to be alone in those days and Anna more than most women was weak, so very weak. She started out strong, being difficult but all she thought about was how good it felt to be held and she was back to the same old same old. She perhaps could have put some time into showing her children how it felt to be held and might have gotten the love she needed from them rather than wait for Stefan to provide his "brand" of love.

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JacCait
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I am a newbie to the First Look Club and I have started reading this book. I am confused about some of the "instructions" per say. I see all of you talking about the sections, fall, winter, spring etc.  I don't understand what you are talking about. Are there certain sections that I have to read and by a certain time.  If so, how do I determine what I am supposed to be reading and when? I realize this has nothing to do with the book discussion at this point so if someone needs to email me privately that would be fine.  lisa_coody@hotmail.com  

 

Thanks for your time!

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babzilla41
Posts: 252
Registered: ‎05-04-2009

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


mgorbatjuk wrote:

I guess the fall season is cleaning up the fields and picking the last of the garden items and getting them canned to get ready for winter.

 

Theo and Maria prepare everthing for survival. Instead of buying things as needed they buy when they have the money and sock it away for. They buy just what they need not willing to count on a surplus of anything. Only the first meal of the garden is a feast all other meals are eaten with the thought the food has to last to the meal as well.

 

I hate it that Stefan has come back. He doesn't care about anyone-he's a horrible man. I can see the classic domestic violence issues and it's a horrible place for the 2 kids to grow up in. They have too much resposibility for such small kids. Anna and Stefan almost rely on the kids for their survival instead of vice versa. Anna doesn't take very good care when Stefan's not around but at least there's one less big mouth to feed. 

 

Theo does have a tendency to be proud and I can see where that might make for bad choices. It left a bad impression on Ivan when he got so excited about paying the $10.00 for the land fee to Anna and instead of maybe a slap on the back that would show excitement he slapped Ivan and I think Ivan thinks that was a bad thing. (And it kind of was) And maybe he should have waited until Stefan was gone before paying Anna-if Stefan finds the money it will be gone and the land could be lost.

 

 


I thought when Theo slapped Ivan hard across the face it wasn't to be mean - it was to make him remember what they were doing and the seriousness of the matter.

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fordmg
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


debbook wrote:
I was so disappointed with Anna, the way she has let Stefan back in to their lives and he is so controlling. They are having a hard enough time surviving, he is only making things worse.

 

I was also struck by Anna's weakness.  She can't seem to function independently, and just gives in to Stefan. 

MG

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Paul_Hochman
Posts: 2,801
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Here's the reading schedule, which is posted in the News... Thread. Thsi should help!

 

August 2 - 8

 

Photograph and First Impressions

 

Early Chapters: Spring and Summer

 

Two Families

 

Adults and Children

 

August 9-15

 

Shandi Mitchell joins the Group!

 

Middle Chapters: Fall

 

Time and Nature

 

Strength and Weakness

 

Unbroken Sky

 

August 16-22

 

Shandi continues with the group.

 

Claire Wachtel, Senior VP and Executive Editor of Harper Collins joins the group, this week only.

 

Later Chapters: Winter

 

Fate and Control

 

Immigration 

 

Faith

 

August 23 - 28

 

Shandi continues with the group.

 

Casting Call 

 

Final Thoughts

 


JacCait wrote:

I am a newbie to the First Look Club and I have started reading this book. I am confused about some of the "instructions" per say. I see all of you talking about the sections, fall, winter, spring etc.  I don't understand what you are talking about. Are there certain sections that I have to read and by a certain time.  If so, how do I determine what I am supposed to be reading and when? I realize this has nothing to do with the book discussion at this point so if someone needs to email me privately that would be fine.  lisa_coody@hotmail.com  

 

Thanks for your time!


 

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Amanda-Louise
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Middle Chapters: Fall - my thoughts

Okay - chiming in a bit late.  Home from the cottage but with unpacking and trying to get aclimitised, I've not had time to go through the messages!!  I'm hoping to do so tonight.  I think I have 950.......

 

I'm really enjoying the apple analogy.  And, I'm really disliking Stephan!  He's just ugly all around.  Beh.  No good can come of him turning back up.  Does Anna seem more settled since Stephan's return though?  That's sad, but perhaps he provides her with some sort of odd sense of security.

 

Maria has bruises on her wrists - are those from Teodor or someone else?  If from Teodor, are they due to his post-traumatic stress or to a turn in his personality? 

 

I've no desire to try the recipe in this chapter, but I loved the itemized list of what they purchased.  I, for some strange reason, have all of my great-grandfather's household accounting books.  They go down to the penny.  They look much the same as the list in UTUS!

 

That's all for now until I start catching up tonight!!

Amanda

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JaneM
Posts: 152
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


babzilla41 wrote:

 


I thought when Theo slapped Ivan hard across the face it wasn't to be mean - it was to make him remember what they were doing and the seriousness of the matter.


I agree  with you.  It's apparent that Theo was building a group of witnesses to his pay off because he knew Stefan would challenge it.

 

Jane M.

Jane M.
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lmpmn
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Can someone help me with this question?

 

Teodor went over to Anna's to give her the $10.00, right?  Stefan went outside so they could speak privately, and Ivan and Lesya witnessed what happened.  Later, Anna told Stefan that Teodor gave the money directly to the land office.  I'm assuming she lied to him and hid the money, but I don't remember anything mentioned again about what happened to the money for sure.  What do you all think?  Did Anna squirrel it away somewhere or did she tell the truth about Teodor giving it to the land office?

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bibanon1
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Maria is definitely the strongest person in this book and she is absolutely right when she calls Teodor proud.  He won't give certain things in his life up no matter what the cost. The order and warmth of Teodor and Maria's home is in start contrast to the cold and chaos of Anna and Stefan's house.  It is a fascinating contrast.
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pode
Posts: 43
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I almost stopped reading toward the end of FALL.  We all knew Stefan would be back and life for the families would change and become worse.  I wasn't prepared for it to get so brutal.  I have trouble with reading about abuse, let alone abuse of a pregnant woman.  All I can see ahead is more and more trouble.  I know this is realistic but I'm not sure I want to read about it.

 

Pode

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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Autumn is beautiful and bountiful. While there is hard work bringing in the harvest, there is also plenty of food and money to buy supplies. Too bad the harshness of the fire and dust storm took half of the wheat. Autumn is a time to celebrate and enjoy family time. I loved reading about the "music" and singing in Teodore's home. They were a family.

 

But, we also see two very different households. Teodore and Maria have a home. They love their children and their children are secure in that. They all work hard and feel the pain of the loss of the crop, but still sing and dance together. This is a home, this is a family. On the other side of the fence sit Stefan and Anna. I thought Anna was bad before, but she is so lazy now. I think it aggravates me most that she lets Lesya do all the work - take the abuse. Anna only stands up to Stefan when threatened with losing the wolves. Even when he hit her with the log, Anna excused it away. Now, she just wants to die. The house is a building where four people exist. There are four walls that witness the beatings and verbal abuse.  Theirs is not a home. Someone needs to take Stefan to the woodshed!

 

Yes, I think Teodore is dangerously proud. He takes risks with weather and the men at the grainery that could kill him. But, he doesn't stand up to Stefan and that is where the real danger lurks. I haven't read the last section yet, but I hope Teo proves me wrong, and I hope Stefan gets his teeth handed to him.

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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dhaupt
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


lmpmn wrote:

Can someone help me with this question?

 

Teodor went over to Anna's to give her the $10.00, right?  Stefan went outside so they could speak privately, and Ivan and Lesya witnessed what happened.  Later, Anna told Stefan that Teodor gave the money directly to the land office.  I'm assuming she lied to him and hid the money, but I don't remember anything mentioned again about what happened to the money for sure.  What do you all think?  Did Anna squirrel it away somewhere or did she tell the truth about Teodor giving it to the land office?


I assumed she squirreled it away. But I don't think it ever said for sure.