2-3-4 Challenge Book Discussions #1 discussion

Why Mermaids Sing (Sebastian St. Cyr, #3)
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Why Mermaids Sing > Question L

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Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
The remaining passengers aboard the Harmony resorted to cannibalism to survive. Your thoughts about their plight and solution?


Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 1379 comments It's the Donner Pass story in the ocean instead of in the snow.
I hate that they rushed the boy's death, which added murder to the cannibalism.

It was amazing that one person held to his values and perished by the sword, and that the captain did not eat the flesh, yet was riddled with more guilt than the others.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 2239 comments This was an excellent plot device. I, once again, made use of Wikipedia and discovered that this was not at all uncommon in that time period. There were several ships that got into trouble and passengers had to resort to cannibalism.

The problem in this case was not the cannibalism per se, after all the will to survive is strong. Rather the fact that they killed the cabin boy in order to eat him is what is so evil here.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
I agree with both your comments. Hastening Gideon's death was wrong on so many levels.

With that said, I cannot imagine that kind of hunger or fathom the idea of cannibalism. I won't judge them for resorting to it...just murdering someone in the process.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments Lauren wrote: ".The problem in this case was not the cannibalism per se, after all the will to survive is strong. Rather the fact that they killed the cabin boy in order to eat him is what is so evil here."

Especially when you consider the timing. According to the captain's log, the crew mutinied and took off with most of the food on March 11. They killed poor Gideon on March 25 and were rescued the following day. That's 14 days. Is that enough time to resort not only to cannibalism, but murder in order to do it?


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 2239 comments I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be in this kind of situation and have to make the awful choice to eat human flesh or die of starvation.

14 days is a very long time to go without food and by that time, people are often not only desperate, but possibly not thinking rationally either. That said, this does not condone murder in any shape or form.


Loriidae It was a brilliant plot! I really enjoyed this aspect of the novel and how it all fitted together.

I don't honestly know what I would do or how I would react, what is repugnant to us now in a cozy armchair after take-away Chinese, may be entirely different when faced with that situation. I would like to think I was above it.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 563 comments Mod
I didn't see it coming and loved that it was something different but that all fit the plot (ie: not forced to fit the plot). It was horrible to read about and so sad. I didn't want to think too much about it.


Tracey (trakka) | 407 comments Yes it was hard to read about the cannibalism but I just do not know what I would have done if faced with that situation.


Kris - My Novelesque Life (mynovelesquelife) | 563 comments Mod
Tracey wrote: "Yes it was hard to read about the cannibalism but I just do not know what I would have done if faced with that situation."

I know...and hope we never are!


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
Same here but I guess they had to cover all probabilities.


Mary Beth  | 193 comments Lauren wrote: "I cannot even imagine what it would be like to be in this kind of situation and have to make the awful choice to eat human flesh or die of starvation.

14 days is a very long time to go without fo..."


I agree, Lauren, I feel the same way, my thoughts exactly.
Its all based on survival.


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