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Amanda_R
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The Book as a Whole: The Ending

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Near the end of the novel, Elizabeth's long-shot oil well comes in. Did you think it would? How would the novel have ended if it hadn't? Were you satisfied with the ending of the novel, as a whole? Why or why not?




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Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.




Message Edited by Amanda_R on 06-06-2007 10:44 AM

jd
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jd
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending

Oil wells in Texas were just beginning to be discovered during the time of her novel. The permian basin became one of the riches oil fields ever and are still being discovered on a regular basis. The discovery of oil rewrote Texas during and after the depression. Because it allowed money and jobs and an economy that prior to the depression was primarily based on agriculture. The money and oil allowed huge colleges to be built and support them today. Just as ending of the book was a new beginning for all the characters, so was the discovery of oil for Texas, closing one chapter and starting a new one. - jd
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prima
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending

I had a feeling that the oil was going to be there. Everything was going good for the rest of the Stoddard ladies, why not for Elizabeth. They had suffered for so long and had to deal with many disappointments, I just knew Paulette would not let Elizabeth's end happen with out her own triumph.

I was a little disappointed in the ending, though. I would have enjoyed one final chapter that perhaps jump ahead a few years. Perhaps to tell us of Mayme and Vern's having children, Bea becoming an established author, Elizabeth finding happiness with Mr. Lacey, and of course jeanine and ross enjoying life at the ranch.

But, I guess I just gave my self that glimpse into their happily ever after!
jd
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jd
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending

I liked that the book ended on hope and not a forgone conclusion that the characters had a happy everafter life. - jd
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bookluver196
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending

Read Paulette Jiles response to my question (under "questions to the author"). She hints that there might be further books about the Stoddards!

Cheers,
Laurie
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bentley
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending


Amanda_R wrote:


Near the end of the novel, Elizabeth's long-shot oil well comes in. Did you think it would? How would the novel have ended if it hadn't? Were you satisfied with the
ending of the novel, as a whole? Why or why not?





Reply to this message to discuss any of these topics. Or start your own new topic by clicking "New Message."


Note: This topic refers to the book as a whole.




Message Edited by Amanda_R on 06-06-2007 10:44 AM





I just finished the book and I must say that I enjoyed it tremendously. It was tough because I am juggling two books and two discussions this month which I do not ordinarily do. The book was just the right combination of history and fiction and Jiles's writing style was excellent.

I personally liked the ending..it was full of hope and like the song said: "happy days are here again". All of the women in the book are fulfilling some of the dreams that they always had and not simply by marrying somebody. They accomplished their dreams with hard, old fashioned work and study and pulled together as a family. Like Elizabeth said, she felt that the drought was over and it certainly was for them. The Stormy Weather had passed and they all survived and were able to move on. Every one of the characters grew in stature and confidence by the end of the novel. So for me it was the best ending for a novel that you could have. And being a book of fiction, there is always room for a sequel. I just loved the story of a family of strong women who overcame adversity and who despite a bad encounter with a man who had let them down in so many ways, had not stopped them from hoping and believing in other men who came into their life who were different and promised them a different life than what they had encountered with Jack. Even Jeanine had come to the point in the road where she could look at the photo albums with no regrets and put a placeholder in the back of the album for the good times and memories to come.

A great read.
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pkjiles
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending

The women are resourceful, as has often been mentioned, but remember that they were raised within sight and sound of unruly crowds, large machinery, a collapsing economy --- all this was the background to their childhoods, and it was regarded as normal.

They carry that flexibility and resourcefulness forward from the end of the book into a future time when there will be a desperate two years of losses during WW2, rationing, and the men once again gone --- this time to war.

Their inner characters are the continuity, the thread or the pathway that leads forward tino the time to come.that
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bentley
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending



pkjiles wrote:
The women are resourceful, as has often been mentioned, but remember that they were raised within sight and sound of unruly crowds, large machinery, a collapsing economy --- all this was the background to their childhoods, and it was regarded as normal.

They carry that flexibility and resourcefulness forward from the end of the book into a future time when there will be a desperate two years of losses during WW2, rationing, and the men once again gone --- this time to war.

Their inner characters are the continuity, the thread or the pathway that leads forward tino the time to come.that




That is true, that is why we need a sequel to see how the Stoddard women continue to survive and thrive hopefully. (smile
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Fozzie
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending-WWII



pkjiles wrote:
They carry that flexibility and resourcefulness forward from the end of the book into a future time when there will be a desperate two years of losses during WW2, rationing, and the men once again gone --- this time to war.





That sounds like the makings of the next book!
Laura

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Fozzie
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending-It's All There



prima wrote:
I would have enjoyed one final chapter that perhaps jump ahead a few years. Perhaps to tell us of Mayme and Vern's having children, Bea becoming an established author, Elizabeth finding happiness with Mr. Lacey, and of course jeanine and ross enjoying life at the ranch.

But, I guess I just gave my self that glimpse into their happily ever after!



You sure did!

The ending was all I needed to know about what would happen to the women. Nothing in life is certain, but I left the book feeling certain that the characters had made good choices that were leading them into the next chapters of their lives.
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: The Book as a Whole: The Ending



bentley wrote:
The book was just the right combination of history and fiction and Jiles's writing style was excellent.



I agree. This was exactly my type of book. A great story set in another place and time with lots of historical detail peppered in. I learned a lot and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks, Paulette!
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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pkjiles
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending

You're welcome.

The ending is a reprise, a gathering of some of the important symbols used throughout the book and had I thought of it more carefully I would have had the porcelain doll there somewhere, if you all remember Jeanine made a body and the dress for the doll from scraps of the wedding dress.

Aside from the movie, 'Bringing up Baby', I think the main refences to the world outside Texas are the various quotes from various news sources of the conflict in Europe gathering way. They are just there --- everyone ignores them on the whole, they remain in the background.

And of course most readers know where Wake Island is; Mrs. Joplin releases the one small drop of jealousy that precipitates Jeanine's decision and at that point I found the story moving toward closure.
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homereader
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending

I liked the ending, because it left a message of hope. Each of the sisters were developing in their own way. There are no guarantees for the future and I wouldn't want the ending to be too perfect.
Life is not perfect, nor should the end of a story wrap up in a perfect way (in my humble opinion).

I wasn't actually as interested in how things went with Elizabeth, as with the 3 girls, so it didn't really matter to me how the oil well venture worked out.

Janet
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Fozzie
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Re: The Book as a Whole: The Ending-Oil Well



homereader wrote:
I wasn't actually as interested in how things went with Elizabeth, as with the 3 girls, so it didn't really matter to me how the oil well venture worked out.

Janet



Really?!? How interesting! I felt like the oil well was almost a character itself --- I wanted to see what would develop with it.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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