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Rachel-K
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East of the Sun: First Impressions

Please start the conversation by telling the group what led you to pick up East of the Sun. What are your early impressions of the characters? What are you led to expect about each of them, and about their voyage? Do you have any early misgivings about any of them, or predictions? (No spoilers please!)
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vivico1
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

Well, thanks to two authors, Lisa See and a new writer Jeffrey Hantover, I have falling in love with historical novels, so this book intrigued me right off. Also if I understand correctly, this is only Julia's second novel, which also interested me. Since this is about my first impressions, and as to not write any spoilers of any kind so very early, I will just say that the description of the story and the characters on the back of the book, and on the sale page of B&N, drew me right in. They all sound interesting and I thought it would be great fun to read about them, exciting and maybe dangerous, venturing off to India for varying reasons during an incredible time in history for India, and Britian. A novel set about young Brits, going to India during the time of Gandhi, how exciting! Predictions? Adventure, danger and a real learning experience for these three, and hopefully us too. Misgivings? Well this early on, I am a bit concerned for what the book says is Victoria's (Tor's) reason for taking the trip lol, and in the 1920's? And the young man Guy is described as a "disturbed" school boy with a malevolent presence.. that's a little cause for concern!

 

I am ready to take this adventure with them all. And with all of my fellow readers in here! :smileywink:

Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Rachel-K
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

Hi Vivian,

 

I'm with you.  I was trying to describe in an email (to an old book group junkie from our boards) why this is a perfect summer read. It's exotic and the writing is very rich, but it also moves so quickly that you feel you can't quite set the book down until you see what happens on the next couple of pages. It doesn't feel like a large novel!

 

"Historical" fiction is a funny category to put books in, isn't it? A category every book will fall into eventually!

 

Rachel

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eadieburke
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

 

Please start the conversation by telling the group what led you to pick up East of the Sun. What are your early impressions of the characters? What are you led to expect about each of them, and about their voyage? Do you have any early misgivings about any of them, or predictions? (No spoilers please!)

 

 

What led me to pick up East of the Sun was the sense of adventure of these young people in the 1920's embarking on a voyage from England to India. My early impressions of the characters are that they are very naïve and I knew this would definitely be an eventful trip for all of them. Viva is more interested in having a way to get to India to recover her parent's trunk instead of thinking of the responsibility of chaperoning three young visitors to India. Finding out that Viva really doesn't know much about India at all sets the stage for anticipation of problems. After we hear about Guy's rambunctious character, you come to the conclusion right away that he is going to be a handful for Viva. With all these conclusions, we begin the journey along with the characters for a non-stop action packed experience.

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
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CathyB
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

[ Edited ]

Please start the conversation by telling the group what led you to pick up East of the Sun. What are your early impressions of the characters? What are you led to expect about each of them, and about their voyage? Do you have any early misgivings about any of them, or predictions? (No spoilers please!)

 

I love stories set in other countries. Seeing/experiencing bits of other cultures is very interesting. This book fit the bill perfectly.

 

My early impresssion is that they naive and unsure of what lies ahead.

 

Viva needs to get to India and retrieve her past - she is hesitant and frightened. She is supposed to be the mature responsible one but, it is obvious that she does not have a clue about real life situations.

 

Rose is being the dutiful daughter and doing what is expected of her - getting married. She also doesn't have a clue about life and has no one to explain to her.

 

I see Tor as just running away - she cannot stand her current environment (too much negativity) and just wants out - she sees getting married as a magic panacea. She has little self esteem - which I think leads her down a path to romanticize things.

 

Guy is the loose cannon.

 

Of course I have misgivings about what will happen to them - three naive woman all alone in a foreign country/culture.

 

Hoping for an experience!

Message Edited by CathyB on 07-06-2009 01:04 PM
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pen21
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

My first impressions of the book were how well paced the book was. I didn't want to rush through it. I savored each chapter. I also liked how the characters were being developed with each chapter revealing just a little more about that character.

 

I am really enjoying this book. I like the history of that time mixed in. So I am also learning more as the book progresses. I have to agree with another post that the young people seem very naive as to what they are getting into. They are very adventurous.

 

Luanne

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vivico1
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

I want to pick up on something Pen21 said here. Just in the first few chapters I am extremely impressed with the pacing and the character development. I like that each chapter starts with, or is about, one of the characters so far, so you get to know them a little better. But also, I have to say, each chapter progresses into the next chapter almost seamlessly to me even changing from one character to another. I have read so many books where each chapter was about someone different and you just read a page of that chapter and thought, now wait, what??? Who?? I thought?? and had to go back and read the last part of the previous chapter and it did not flow well at all. Julia has done an outstanding job of chapter transition and progression I think. That is making this book a very enjoyable read as Luanne (pen21) says.  Also, I have no problem putting it down to do the things I have to do and coming back and picking it up and just continuing to read and not feeling lost. That to me is such a great thing to get to do when reading a book.

 


pen21 wrote:

My first impressions of the book were how well paced the book was. I didn't want to rush through it. I savored each chapter. I also liked how the characters were being developed with each chapter revealing just a little more about that character.

 

I am really enjoying this book. I like the history of that time mixed in. So I am also learning more as the book progresses. I have to agree with another post that the young people seem very naive as to what they are getting into. They are very adventurous.

 

Luanne


 

 

Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Thayer
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

The cover artwork grabbed my attention right away, then I read the synopsis and was hooked.

 

I adore historical fiction and this one does not disappoint. It's fast paced, descriptive, has a great storyline and complex characters. The perfect summer read.

~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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Julia_Gregson
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

I am so pleased to get this kind of feedback about how the chapters flowed.  I too hate books where I go through the Who ? What ? Where conundrum with each chapter change, but equally you don't want to make it sound too pat.  I had a sort of mental image in my mind of creating a large braid into which each character became woven. 

 

Julia 

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Julia_Gregson
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

Thanks Dawn, this kind of feedback is invaluable.

I hope you'll enjoy my other book, Band of Angels, when it is published in the U.S.  This one is set in 1854 and is based on a real life woman, Jane Evans, who ran away with the Welsh cattle drovers and went to Turkey to nurse with Florence Nightingale.

 

Julia 

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Fozzie
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

What struck me after reading the first five chapters is that we have characters who are all looking to escape their current situations. 

 

Poor Tor wants to escape her overbearing mother.  Rose is looking forward to getting married, even if she is a bit fearful of the unknown.  Viva wants to get out of England.  Guy seems ready to leave his boarding school, but I have a bad feeling about him.  He didn't seem to have any friends and tore up a note from what could have been one.  Strange.

 

I was pulled into the book, wondering what would happen when all these people's lives intersected.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions


vivico1 wrote:

But also, I have to say, each chapter progresses into the next chapter almost seamlessly to me even changing from one character to another.


Yes, I agree.  This format, coupled with the short length of the chapters, kept me reading and turning the pages.  I wondered what was going on with characters that were "left hanging" in a situation at the end of a chapter and I just had to read on until I was brought back to that character after few chapters .  Very good job with this aspect of the book, Julia.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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CathyB
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions


Fozzie wrote:

vivico1 wrote:

But also, I have to say, each chapter progresses into the next chapter almost seamlessly to me even changing from one character to another.


Yes, I agree.  This format, coupled with the short length of the chapters, kept me reading and turning the pages.  I wondered what was going on with characters that were "left hanging" in a situation at the end of a chapter and I just had to read on until I was brought back to that character after few chapters .  Very good job with this aspect of the book, Julia.


Yes, I also agree. The format and chapter lengths were perfect. At the end of each chapter, I would look at the length of the next and say that I had time to read another (and another and another and ...) - this was right before I went to bed at night.

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Thayer
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions


Julia_Gregson wrote:

Thanks Dawn, this kind of feedback is invaluable.

I hope you'll enjoy my other book, Band of Angels, when it is published in the U.S.  This one is set in 1854 and is based on a real life woman, Jane Evans, who ran away with the Welsh cattle drovers and went to Turkey to nurse with Florence Nightingale.

 

Julia 


 

Julia,

 

Sounds wonderful! Any clue as to when it will hit the stores here in the U.S.?  I can't wait!

~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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Julia_Gregson
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

They are all on the brink of enormous change, that was what I found interested in writing about.  I didn't know when I started the book that I was on the brink too !
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Julia_Gregson
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

I think May 2010, but I'm going to check with my publishers today. 

Julia 

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Julia_Gregson
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

Band of Angels is going to be published in the U.S. in May 2010.
Thayer wrote:

Julia_Gregson wrote:

Thanks Dawn, this kind of feedback is invaluable.

I hope you'll enjoy my other book, Band of Angels, when it is published in the U.S.  This one is set in 1854 and is based on a real life woman, Jane Evans, who ran away with the Welsh cattle drovers and went to Turkey to nurse with Florence Nightingale.

 

Julia 


 

Julia,

 

Sounds wonderful! Any clue as to when it will hit the stores here in the U.S.?  I can't wait!


 

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willowy
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

          What initially drew me towards the book was the time period and the setting. I love anything taking place in exotic locations that I would like to visit, and the 1920s were such an interesting time period. There was such a carefree attitude almost before everything changed. The characters also intrigued me, they all seem so different, each with their own agendas. Yet they are thrown into this exciting experience together.

   

-----------Willowy----------
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Julia_Gregson
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

I agree with you about the 20's.  In many ways, such a terrible time following the war, but also a time of innocence, hope and transition.  What struck me, reading about the young women of that time, was how powerless so many seemed. The life laid down for you seemed so prescribed and so dominated by convention.  It made me aware of how lucky we are. J 
willowy wrote:

          What initially drew me towards the book was the time period and the setting. I love anything taking place in exotic locations that I would like to visit, and the 1920s were such an interesting time period. There was such a carefree attitude almost before everything changed. The characters also intrigued me, they all seem so different, each with their own agendas. Yet they are thrown into this exciting experience together.

   


 

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libralady
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Re: East of the Sun: First Impressions

I was initially drawn to this book on the B&N website.  I saw that it was going to be the book featured in New Reads, so I decided to take a look.  It sounded like a very interesting book; just what I was looking for.  ( I was looking for something different from my usual genres). 

 

So far, I am enjoying the book immensely.  The story is flowing smoothly and I like the character development. I find Tor and Rose to be a bit naive for taking off for India with little knowledge of what awaits them.  But, on the other hand, I think they are quite brave.  I think Viva is an interesting character and one I look forward to finding out more about as I get further into the book. 

"Sow today what you want to reap tomorrow"