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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I agree. Talk about being checked out! Her kids being left hungry doesn't cross her mind!

 


Sheltiemama wrote:

I wanted to slap her when she did that.

 


Fozzie wrote:

 

Fourth, I am worried about the safety and sanity of Anna.  On page 207, she fed the coyote a chunk of beef, depriving her family of much needed food.  More troubling  is her thought on page 151, "It's so much easier with the coyotes.  They ask nothing of her."  She has checked out mentally from her life.  I think Lesya is the only hope for that family.  Petro is well on his way to behaving like his father.

 


 


 

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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I had the feeling that Stefan would kill it as he saw his wife getting closer to it - just one more way to hurt her.


DSaff wrote:

It does seem like a perfect storm for disaster, doesn't it?


Ronrose wrote:
Is it just me, or is anyone else concerned that the coyote is going to attack Anna?  I know the "Hollywood" ending would have the two becoming friendlier as the story goes on, but I have a definite feeling that the reality of life on the harsh plains of Canada would not lead to a fairytale ending for a pregnant woman and a half starved, wild animal.

 

 


 

 

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Stewies_Mom
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I completely agree with your statement that the title had taken on so many meanings by the time the story had been concluded.  I felt the same way.

 

I didn't notice the coyote.  Either I was too busy looking at the beautiful scene, or my eyesight is getting really bad!

 


Claire-Wachtel wrote:

It sounds like some of you noticed the coyote on the book cover right away; others needed to take a second look!

 

How did you like the jacket design on the whole? Did it tie into the title and story for you? It's something we're often thinking about as editors and publishers, and I'm eager to hear your thoughts.

 

On a related note, it sounds like many of you loved the title, too, and I've read your wonderful interpretations. Does the title still resonate for you as you read further along? Has its meaning changed over the course of the book? By the time I turned the last page, I know that, for me, it seemed as though the title had acquired five or six different meanings.


 

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Stewies_Mom
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎05-28-2008
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

That's funny.  I shared the book with my husband, and he looked up at one point and said "Is it wrong that I want to kill Stefan"?

 


Zephyr_Marie wrote:
Stefan is one of those characters that do not become more likeable as the story progresses. He had me clenching my hands while I'd read. :smileytongue:

 

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Stewies_Mom
Posts: 140
Registered: ‎05-28-2008

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I don't think Anna "took" Stefan back.  I don't believe that in the 1930's, a woman would have had much choice in whether or not her husband came or went.  Stefan chose to come home and there wasn't anything Anna or the children could have done to prevent it.

 

However, Anna seemed to put aside her true feelings for an attempt at reconciliation with Stefan.  Her acceptance and desire (I think that is what she was feeling, at one point) for him was her ultimate failing, as a mother to Lesya and Petro, and as a person, to herself.

 

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bookloverjb85
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎10-12-2007

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I just have to say that when Myron brought out the gun and pointed it at Stefan I wanted to shout Hooray!!!  Finally someone had the guts to do it.  It's sad that it had to be one of the
"children" though.
--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
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fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


spaced57 wrote:

Ok, now I'm confused about this.

I remember Teodor wanting the sister to write on paper their agreement with the land and the $10.00 and he used the kids to witness this.

 

I also then remember a small scene where the little girl gets up during the night when all were sleeping to throw pieces of "Jesus" into the fire and she sees a piece of paper on the counter near it and decides to throw it in the fire. Now, I beleive this was the proof, the paper that his sister signed. Later, Teodor tells he cannot find the paper for proof of their agreement.

So, when he went to the office to pay, did he have proof then? Or did they turn him away for not having proof and that is when the letters began, that were written back and forth with the land office trying to sort out the situation that it wasn't Stephan that worked the land as Stephan told them, and made his son lie too, but actually Teodor? 

Obviously that trip Teodor made never resolved the land issue then?

So, my confusion is that I was led to believe he gave her the $10.00 and she just lied about that to Stephan knowing he would drink it up. And that she was suppose to go to the land office and pay it and do the paper work stating Teodor worked the land. But, obviously she didn't do this due to the abuse from Stephan. I wonder if it was because of Stephan was mad that she said she didn't have the $10 and that is when the beatings started and making the son turn on his mom too. She began to turn on her brother Teodor then.

But then later when he is suppose to be going to the land office, I thought it was just to give the proof of the letter that his sister signed and that it showed he had already paid the sister the $10.  If he went to the land office in the storm, why didn't that take care of the land issue then? Anyone have any ideas on this?

As you can see, I'm a little confused about this? I hope my question hasn't confused this more. 

 


 

As I understand it, Teodor "gave" the $10 to Anna and made her sign the paper with the children as witness.  He then took the money back and went to the land office late in the day and in a snow storm, paid the money and returned.  When Anna told Stefan what she had done he at first was angry and then laughed because they had the money and no one could prove anything.   Then Anna told him that she didn't have the money, that Teodore paid it directly to the land office.   That shook Stefan up quite a bit.

MG

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HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall


ethel55 wrote:

Yes, I have been curious while reading about the climate--I'm the one who was looking up hardiness zones for Alberta!  It's only October and they are already getting flurries and cold temps.  I wonder how, with the harvest barely in, they will afford any supplies/clothing for when real winter hits? 

 

I think Teodor and Maria's children are a testament to a working-together farm family.  Katya seems a bit scattered at times, and Sofia yearns to be like the other kids.  In contrast, I don't know how Anna would survive without Lesya, both before and after Stefan's return.  Petro worries me...both in how he is treated and how he will perhaps mimic his father. 


I am soooo with you on this post. I can't see how they will survive winter, especially next winter, when there is so little done, so little money, and so little food. Maria's faith will have to go a long way, perhaps it will.

 

I also worry about the children of Stefan and Anna. Lesya is the only one with any sort of survival instinct and willingness to work. Petro is too much like his father to be comfortable with. I fear he will have some impact on Maria's family that will be detrimental to them.

 

I think I am glad I live in today's world. I don't have to farm to make a living. Whew!

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m3girl
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I want that damn Stephan to go back to town...get in a gun fight and lose!  I want him to leave his family alone - they were struggling without him - but with him they will all fail.

 

I was terribly upset with Anna for having sex with Stephan - he's such a pig - but then she was lonely....blah blah blah and so I gave her a break.

 

I wasn't happy when Theo let Stephan the alcoholic in for drinks....just to have Stephan screw him with the police...not surprising that Stephan did that....

 

The oldest son had the gun on Stephan and I hoped he'd had a change to pull the trigger.  They could have buried the body on the farm and no one would be the wiser.  I don't necessarily condone that by any means (it's fiction) but something that I'm sure Maria may have thought about at one point or another.

 

The story moves along at a good pace.  Right now I have taken a break but will pick up the final section - where all the crap happens and people die - and probably not the good ones....

 

Susan 

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emmagrace
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

m3girl wrote:


I want that damn Stephan to go back to town...get in a gun fight and lose!  I want him to leave his family alone - they were struggling without him - but with him they will all fail.

 

I was terribly upset with Anna for having sex with Stephan - he's such a pig - but then she was lonely....blah blah blah and so I gave her a break.

 

I wasn't happy when Theo let Stephan the alcoholic in for drinks....just to have Stephan screw him with the police...not surprising that Stephan did that....

 

The oldest son had the gun on Stephan and I hoped he'd had a change to pull the trigger.  They could have buried the body on the farm and no one would be the wiser.  I don't necessarily condone that by any means (it's fiction) but something that I'm sure Maria may have thought about at one point or another.

 

The story moves along at a good pace.  Right now I have taken a break but will pick up the final section - where all the crap happens and people die - and probably not the good ones....


 

Yeah!! Right on! Die Stefan!

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abicreasmom
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I agree with you. It was disappointing to see her cave in to him, but most women have probably experienced being with someone that wasn't exactly "good" for them but yet couldn't make the steps to get away from them. I see Stefan as a dark cloud, looming over his family and weighting them down. I really hoped that he would not return at all especially since Anna had begun to take care of herself and take interest in the baby. When he returned I knew that it would only result in pain for both families.
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Lildove3
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I agree with Emmagrace Stephanis no good for Anna reguardless if she was lonley or not.

The of shoud have never let Stephan back in period.  The oldest son did have a gun and he should have done Stephan, and that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!!

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abicreasmom
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

It seemed that there never was a true "fall" season; it began snowing in October which for here (western NC) is peak leaf season. It usually doesn't snow until December and sometimes January. For me, it puts into perspective how brutal the weather could be in Canada

 

Theo and Maria both bring vital characteristics to the survival of their family. Maria is committed to church and prayer. She spends a lot of time praying for her family. Theo is hard working and determined to provide for his family. I think that he feels some guilt for having to leave them for a year for a sensless act and he is truly trying to make it up to them and prove to them and himself that he can be the man and provider of his family. This family seems very loving and caring, they truly encompass what a family should be. They protect each other and show compassion to one another

 

Once Stefan arrives I could see what a burden he is to his family and Theo'sAt Stefan's house it just seems depressing; I would have hated to be a child in that home. I can understand why Lesya spends her time in the chicken coop; the chickens are better company than her mother and father. Anna's life without Stefan seemed so much better; she was closer to her brother and his family and was beginning to take care of herself and her children once Maria helped her to accept the coming baby

 

I agree that Theo is dangerously proud. He almost got himself killed trying to protect the wheat and then when he went to the market to sell it he almost lost the deal completely. He didn't want to admit that it was on Stefan's land or he was Stefan's hired hand and in a way I don't blame him. Stefan did not do anything at all to provide for his family but yet he wanted all of the glory. Stefan is just a wretched, evil, and lazy man.

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MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I'm a little late in saying this but, well done.


ladybug74 wrote:

I imagine the Autumn season in any rural area is beautiful, as it is here in the Southern U.S. I can imagine the trees, the open fields, etc. If it wasn't for my allgergies, I could really enjoy the country life!

 

Theo and Maria's family is a very close family. They are all determined to survive as a family unit, despite all that their family has been through. Through Theo's imprisonment, the fire, the dust storm, and everything else that has happened to them, they have stuck together and made it through.  Even the young children work hard to help their family in any way that they can, which is impressive! It's difficult to imagine how tired Theo and Maria must be at the end of the day because they both work so hard to make ends meet and bring their family through these tragic circumstances. Through it all, there is such a strong sense of family and togetherness with them.

 

When comparing Theo's home and Stefan's home, I would defintiely prefer to be a member of Theo's immediate family or to live in his home. Stefan is lazy and rules his home like a dictator. I feel so horrible for his children, who have to struggle to do things that their parents should be doing. They have been a part of Theo's family when Stefan was away and have felt that love and togetherness, only to have it ripped away when their father returned home. I cannot imagine how depressing that must be. Theo expects his family members to work hard, but they do this as a family and look out for each other. His children seem to know that they are loved and that they can depend on thier parents and siblings. I found myself wishing that Theo and Maria would take away Stefan's children as I read this section of the book.

 

Anna and Stefan's family life is very dysfuncitonal. Both of them lay around and let their children try to do work that should be done by the adults in the household. In the very least, their parents should be helping them with these difficult chores, as Theo and Maria do with their children. Anna was severely depressed in the beginning of the book, but she had seemed to do much better when Maria encouraged her to be a part of her family and work along with them. All of this ended when Stefan came home, though. It's hard to believe she is laying around in bed with him when she hated him so badly earlier in the book. If this were to happen today in the U.S., their children would be taken away and Maria would probably be referred to counseling.

 

I do think Theo is proud, but not dangerously so. He did what he had to do to help his family survive. Nothing that he has done was any worse than Maria's meeting with the jailer earlier in the book when she basically traded herself for some grain for her family. Times were hard for this family and both of the adults did what they thought they had to do for their family. I admire the strength of both of the adults in this family, as well as all of the children in this book.


 

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/
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ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,523
Registered: ‎10-24-2008
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

HannibalCat, I can't agree with you more. I don't know what Stefan is thinking. To me he is a cade of the first order. He only cares about what kind of big scheme he can get his foot in the door for. He has big dreams but does not seems to want to work for them.

 

I don't know why Anna puts up with him.

 

I am deeply touched by these families. Maria and Tedor are hard working and so are the kids. They seem to know that if they all work together they will have a better life.

 

I am getting caught up with this book. It is really good.

 

ReadingPatti

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bookowlie
Posts: 177
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I agree, Stewies_Mom.  In that time period, especially in a rural area, women probably didn't have much choice whether to allow their husbands to come home.

As for her "acceptance and desire", I think that is a timeless issue of battered women and the way a battered wife will often have a pattern of reconciling with their abuser, for reasons none of us can understand.  As a mother, I can't relate to the risk she put her children through, even if she didn't care about her own safety.  I felt so sorry for Lesya in particular.  I felt that Anna was such a poor female role model for Lesya.

 

 


Stewies_Mom wrote:

I don't think Anna "took" Stefan back.  I don't believe that in the 1930's, a woman would have had much choice in whether or not her husband came or went.  Stefan chose to come home and there wasn't anything Anna or the children could have done to prevent it.

 

However, Anna seemed to put aside her true feelings for an attempt at reconciliation with Stefan.  Her acceptance and desire (I think that is what she was feeling, at one point) for him was her ultimate failing, as a mother to Lesya and Petro, and as a person, to herself.

 


 

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bookowlie
Posts: 177
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I think the autumn season was very important in this Canadian climate.  Teodore and Maria's family are determined to harvest the crops quickly before the harsh winter comes.  In this region, winter can come very early so I felt they were racing against the clock to get as much food harvested to put away for the winter.  The family, especially the children, were malnourished and couldn't afford, health-wise, to eat any less.  They are good at going to market and getting a good price for their crops.

Teodore and Maria have a warm, loving household and everyone eats dinner together.  They are always working together and doing something productive for their survival. 

On the other hand, Anna and Stefan's household is cold, dirty and unwelcoming.  There is no sense of love and caring.  Anna and Stefan's kids are unkempt and don't feel loved.

I think Anna start improving a little mentally before Stefan came back.  She started to feel a little less afraid and started to engage a little with the others.  Her kids also were less fearful when Stefan was gone.

I think Theo was dangerously proud.  He is determined to do everything without asking or accepting help from a neighbor.  There is so much to do to survive that it would have made his life a little less hard if he was willing to have others outside the family help a little.

 

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dclement04
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Registered: ‎09-30-2008
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Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Now that Stefan has returned, we can see how each of these households operate-Can you compare what it's like to live inside each house?

 

I dislike Stefan alot....he treats his family terrible, he's lazy and a drunk. i would assume that to live in Anna and Stafan's house is very difficult......i know i can relate their situation to my similar situation when i was growing up. i would also assume that the kids feel frightened of their father, their mother doesnt stick up for them and is kinda loony and just not there all toghether.

its a tough road for the kids and the father is a bull**bleep**ter (excuse the language)...he thinks he can talk his way out of anything and make the problem or situation better...hes also shady....hes jealous of Teo and i think just wants to have what Teo has in land and his family

 

Maria and Teo's household is much warmer and inviting....Maria is very caring of her children and is attentive to their needs. i feel like the children love their parents and thats how it should be....teo is the man of the house and is trying to take care of his family....he genuinely cares for his wife as we see sometimes they get intimate with each other with small kisses and things....i would have no objection to having parents like them....but just not in that time setting haha. 

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ReadingPatti
Posts: 2,523
Registered: ‎10-24-2008

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

Maria and Theo, they and the children all work together to survive. I believe that they all know that in order to prosper they must all to their part to work toward that goal.

 

Stefan is a schemer and a dreamer. Instead of being with his family and helping them to survive he is off somewhere with his dream of making a lot of money. He is cruel and mean. He thinks he is a big shot and he is nothing but a bully.

 

Anna and the children are so much better off when Stefan is not there.

 

I think Theo should be proud of his hard work. After he is to one who plowed and planted the acres. He did all he could to help his family and Anna's family. So he should be proud of that.

 

ReadingPatti

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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009

Re: Middle Chapters: Fall

I agree with your take on the characters here.

Defining Stefan as a schemer and a dreamer. Stefan does not put his family first.

Everyone else in the book is looking after his family.

Theo should be proud of his hard work. Making a living that way is difficult. Theo and Myron just seemed to take it stride.

pen21


ReadingPatti wrote:

Maria and Theo, they and the children all work together to survive. I believe that they all know that in order to prosper they must all to their part to work toward that goal.

 

Stefan is a schemer and a dreamer. Instead of being with his family and helping them to survive he is off somewhere with his dream of making a lot of money. He is cruel and mean. He thinks he is a big shot and he is nothing but a bully.

 

Anna and the children are so much better off when Stefan is not there.

 

I think Theo should be proud of his hard work. After he is to one who plowed and planted the acres. He did all he could to help his family and Anna's family. So he should be proud of that.

 

ReadingPatti