Jackie Jackie's Comments (member since Feb 16, 2008)

Jackie's comments from the Chicks On Lit group.

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Jun 10, 2011 10:54AM

2996 Why don't we start discussion of Book 1 on July 1? That would give time for everyone to get a good head start even if they are not finished. I'll set up chapter outlines in a few days.
Jun 02, 2011 05:21PM

2996 Ok.. at least 3 or so. :) Anyone have an opinion on time table?
Jun 02, 2011 05:20PM

2996 Martin does take a long time to get his books written. My husband says all the time he's afraid Martin won't get it done before he croaks (morbid, I know). I've been dragging on the last bite of No. 1.. I so don't want to read what I know is coming.

Season 2 has been picked up for the show.
May 29, 2011 04:51PM

2996 Anyone interested in doing a buddy read of the entire series? I've already started the first one but I'm not finished with it yet and I'm willing wait for the 2nd if someone has to start from the beginning.
May 28, 2011 04:28PM

2996 I guess I'm seeing the disadvantage of knowing what is about to happen because I've gotten to the part of the book where the big twist (which I already know) is coming and I don't know if I want to read it.

Some of the fantasy elements become a little more to the forefront later on. A few of which, I'm looking forwarding to seeing how they do on the show.
May 25, 2011 07:09PM

2996 I'd be happy to do a read with someone or a group. I'm not ready for Feast though. I'm still working through book 1.

@Viola - I'm funny about spoilers, sometimes I care, sometimes I don't - I think it depends on how much of a twist it is and how vested I am in the book. The bigger the bomb, the more I mind. Little things, I don't bother me. In his defense, I'd heard him talk about these books and the plots in them for years (literally). If he ever thought I was going to read them, he wouldn't have said anything. He hates spoilers, too. I skip ahead in books sometimes and when he catches me doing that, he always gives me a hard time.

I will say I'm already ready for someone to stab Cersei in the eye. STAB her. She reminds me of the way I felt about Atia from Rome. I was ready for her to get her due as well and then HBO canceled the series.
May 24, 2011 07:28PM

2996 I'm about 2/3 of the way through the 1st book. It's more full of twist and turns than any other story I've read in a long time. Martin does a good job of the political intrigue. Some of the stuff is not new to me.. My DH says he wouldn't have ever discussed the books with them if he thought I would ever read them. So some of the big shockers, I already know.

I will say the first 100 to 200 pages are slow. It takes a little bit to pick up.

The HBO misses some of the finer subplots and interactions (like Theon Greyjoy) but it's pretty faithful. There is a lot of a violence but it doesn't seem as graphic as the show, which may be it's the difference between what my imagination will allow vs. actually seeing it.

Since the 5th book is coming out this summer, the internet is just rife with rumors about what's going to happen. I'm not sure I can be ready for the 5th by the time it gets here, which is fine, because I'd have to fight my DH for it.
May 23, 2011 06:00PM

2996 My husband had been trying to get me to read them forever. I've tried before and but ended up putting it down.

After the HBO series came on, I tried it again and I'm pretty hooked atm. Martin's story crafting has suckered me in. Seeing Peter Dinklage as Tyrion had nothing to do with it at all. :)

Anyone else reading or watching the show?
Mar 21, 2011 05:03PM

2996 I think the bible is under lock and key here for the same reasons that the Catholic church kept the bibles in Latin for so long (not read by lay peoples), masses were in Latin. Knowledge IS power and the best way to control the power is control the information.

It is easier to make people conform when you direct the flow of knowledge. It reminds me of a line from a John Meyer song - "they own the information so they can bend it all the what" Martin Luther started a revolution by the power of information. Gilead doesn't want the information available unless they control the interpretation.

To answer the question about why the ceremony is performed that way, I think the Wives would have been behind that. If you knew your husband was going to have to have sex with someone else and you didn't really have a say in it (and they don't really) then, again, the best solution is to try to hold some control over it, make sure they are there and they can prevent any real intimacy from developing over what is truly one of humankind's most intimate acts.

The Handmaid and husband are not suppose to be alone together or speak of anything privately. I've known a few marriages that ended because of an outside relationship that started out innocently enough but turned into something else when the other party gave something the spouse could not.. in this world, were human survival is in question and fertility is a prize, what kind of power would the Handmaid have if they weren't repressed by the entire system? Husbands would be theirs for the taking, Wives can't have that.

"Neither shall you covet your neighbor’s wife. Neither shall you desire your neighbor’s house, or field, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."

I think there is the issue of using sex to repress part of the population and as a reward for others.. but I also think this has to do (partly) with property rights. Offred belongs to Fred, she no longer is called by her own name even. The only important thing is show who her womb belongs to. Sex with the doctor would be stealing away his right to pass his genes into the future.
Mar 17, 2011 12:10PM

2996 I loved that line, too! The snark made me giggle. Although Serena Joy was supposedly modeled after Phyliss Schlafly, I don't really know a lot her either.

For some reason, she reminded me greatly of Tammy Faye Baker - I think because I saw TFB as a high profile woman whose fame was rooted in religion, but she was defined only by her marriage to Jim Baker (during the time I was reading this book for the first time - early 90s).

As soon as I saw the writing on the wall, I'd try to buzz out to Canada. If I couldn't have, I'd be an Econowife. Being a Martha wouldn't do, I can't clean with a flip, Handmaid is out - I'm not having babies for someone else. Aunt wouldn't work - I don't buy into their belief system. But I could hide out as an Econowife and just blend.
Mar 17, 2011 11:51AM

2996 I think the titles are to strip a person of their individuality. A woman becomes defined not by who she is, but what she is. Her feelings or needs means nothing. A woman is solely defined by what she does for society as a whole.

I do think having Aunts is more effective than using men for a couple of reasons. They see other women buying into the new order. From a practical aside,there is less room for any romantic relationship to form that will undermine the conditioning taking place. It's also a use for the women who already buy in but need a place - there are only so many positions for a Martha or Wife.

I think Atwood included the tourist scene to let the reader know that there are still outside cultures that aren't involved in the turmoil that engulfed the US, where the countries where the social position of women still normal so to speak. I think that she is also showing the economic issues that move trade are still at work. It was hard to be isolated even when when this was written. It would be very difficult for Gilead to cut off trade, so the next best thing is to control the access and interaction, which is what they did. Offred was very careful to give the answer she thought the authorities would want her to give.
Nov 13, 2010 01:09PM

2996 I didn't really get a sense of strong friendship between Margaret and Nancy. It feels like that Moran is trying to imply a friendship between them toward the end but I wasn't really digging on it. Like Patty said, the character development was very poor so I never really did get a sense of their feelings and attachments. It's a shame, too, because this could have been a great story.
Nov 10, 2010 04:29AM

2996 The logical choice for me would have been to have the 2nd marriage annulled as well. Although I could see how Nancy relates to this with her situation and how it was difficult for her when the ex turns up after he hurt her, Henry doesn't get off so easily, imo. Margaret didn't leave him by choice. And it was his own decision that took them to NZ.

I think one of the reasons I dislike Henry so much is I thought that Margaret would treated more warmly and that it would have been struggle for Henry to decide what to do. But it doesn't seem that way. He's happy to get the children back (and free labor for his farm, I'm sure - can you tell I've been in cynical mood for this read? lol), it seems that Margaret is just a burden, an obligation that he can't sit aside, not his loving wife who followed him half way around the world.
Nov 05, 2010 09:12PM

2996 I didn't really have any favorites, although Margaret was the one I felt for the most. I was also left wondering what a situation like that would have been like for the kids.

I disliked Henry the most. He had no consideration for Margaret's wishes in the beginning and no consideration for her at the end either.
Nov 03, 2010 05:59PM

2996 I would have big issues if my husband wanted to uproot my life in a urban setting (for the time) and leave the culture where I grew up to move to rural, undeveloped place I could only get to by month long ship ride. Yep, that's how they all traveled back then but unless I had to flee my homeland due to starvation or safety issues, moving there would be a no for me.

I love to visit new places. But moving? I don't know. Especially back then. You couldn't go home to visit easily.. no phone, no internet.

I was sour on Henry from the time he made it obvious he wouldn't put Nancy aside. When Margret first shows up, he and Nancy had not been married long. They had no kids together. But she's young enough to be his daughter. She's pretty, slim, has all her teeth and she's not marked by the pox. Pretty snazzy for him to get new "fresh" bride and let the old one live on his scraps and charity. He was the one who wanted to move to NZ and Margaret pays for it. And keeps paying for it.

I also thought it was really convenient Nancy didn't realize she loved Henry until Margaret shows up and she might lose her meal ticket, too. Bleh. I'm just jaded, maybe. It was really hard to remove myself from modern thinking because the book just didn't pull me in.
Nov 01, 2010 07:34PM

2996 I'll admit i just picked this up because it was a Chickie read. I'd never seen or heard of it until I saw it was on our reading list.

It was a fast read but I do think it was a bit shallow on the emotional end. I couldn't really get a feel for any of the main characters, really. I came out not really liking any of them to be honest. I think part of it was the fact that it was very hard for me put myself in their shoes. I think Margaret got a very raw deal.

If I had been the 1st Mrs. Oades, Nancy would have been gone. So Mr. Oades thought I was dead, now you know I'm not. Mrs. Oades No.2 would have to go.
Library Card!! (34 new)
Oct 08, 2010 05:49PM

2996 Well, I just got back from library with a huge stack of books (/glee!!). I'll say that getting the card has renewed my passion for reading. I've been in a funk for a while and I hadn't read all that much since the spring. I'm not thinking about what I can afford to buy so I just order all kinds of books. I also found out that the library has audio books that I can download to my ipod so we'll see if I can figure it out.

One of my most treasured memories from childhood is the first time my mother took me the library. I walked into this building and there were all those wondrous volumes of knowledge and fun just waiting for me. And it was free! The library branch and its reading room became a haven for me. I think it's beyond sad that they would move funds from books to anything else, but most especially children's books. Libraries should be about books, right?
Library Card!! (34 new)
Oct 08, 2010 09:26AM

2996 Elizabeth,

I'm glad the measure passed!!


I can relate a bit. I live in an area with a very high school drop out rate (highest in the country as of 2004), advance degree holders here are about 5% and the estimates are 1 out of 4 adults are functionally illiterate.

It's a little sad to thing they would move funding from books to DVDs. I almost don't even know what to think about that.
2996 I don't have very many 5 star books. As of right now, there are four 5 star books on my GR list. 3 stars is a good, solid book in my rating system, although some 3's are more solid than others, we only have a 5 star system here so most books get stuck there.

The few books I've given 5 stars speak to me on an emotional and very personal level. Usually it's a book that finds me at the right time in my life and has some lesson for me. After I'm finished, I feel like I learned something about myself or come to an better understanding about something or someone in my life. It's all very subjective and even if none of the books I think are 5 stars receive critical praise or are widely commercially successful, they'll always be favorites for me.
Aug 25, 2010 07:24PM

2996 Ok.. that last post was a bit disjointed. I'll try to post some thing more coherent tomorrow.
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