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The Orenda (Bird Family Trilogy, #3)
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Group Read Discussions > July 2016 The Orenda - No Spoilers

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message 1: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3414 comments Mod
Hey alln sorry for the delay... Moving! Discuss here sans spoilers!


message 2: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) I think I'll join in -- trying to get a copy of the book now.


Glenn (gedixon) Yeah, I am dying to read this book. I hear it's violent but I guess the historical period was too. I heard the author, Joseph Boyden, describe it as zero hour in the contact between the European world and the indigenous peoples of North America. The year is about 1625.


Shelley Schanfield | 27 comments I've read this book once and loved it. Ferocious, tragic, beautiful, terrifying. Yes, it's violent, but not gratuitous.

I was glad the Fictionistas picked it for July read as I wanted to read it again. THis time, I'm listening to the audiobook, which is fantastic so far. Three different readers take on the three main POVs, and they are all wonderful.


message 5: by Robert (new)

Robert Walker | 27 comments When I saw that "The Orenda" was the suggested group read for July, I checked it out from my local library before someone else got it. Set in the seventeenth century, the book pits individuals of different ages, of different beliefs, from different environments, and that speak different languages against each other. Mr. Boyden has the unique ability to describe the thoughts and fears of these dissimilar people The Orenda by Joseph Boyden when they are involved in the same situation.


Shelley Schanfield | 27 comments Robert wrote: "Mr. Boyden has the unique ability to describe the thoughts and fears of these dissimilar people when they are involved in the same situation.
..."


I am in full agreement, Robert. Boyden captures the miscommunication between the characters, especially the way Snow Falls and Bird on the one hand and the Jesuit on the other completely misunderstand each other. It's mostly heartbreaking, occasionally hilarious.


Jalilah I am about half way though and really enjoying it....in spite of the very gruesome torture scenes!
I must admit I've had this book for over a year, but was afraid to read it for this reason. When it was nominated for this group I voted for it so I could read it in company.
I love Boyden's writing style. It's very engaging. There has not been one single part up to now where I felt bored or like skipping ahead.


Christine | 27 comments I just started this and I am in complete agreement with Robert, Shelley and Jalilah. Boyden's writing style is very engaging. I think this will be a very interesting read. Looking forward to everyone's thoughts.


Janice (JG) | 68 comments I am enjoying the author's method of switching between voices, whether Bird or Snow Falls or Crow, without really letting us know who is speaking next. Bird seems even more articulate than Crow, and after pondering on this I realized that my white American English mindset assumed that Bird would have more of a pidgin or broken English speech... and shame on me, because of course Bird is thinking just as fluently and lyrically in his own language as Crow is in his, maybe even more so. Certainly his thoughts addressed to his wife are profoundly sweet. (view spoiler)


Shelley Schanfield | 27 comments Janice(JG) wrote: "Certainly his thoughts addressed to his wife are profoundly sweet..."

Yes! and those two chapters you mention put tears in my eyes.


message 11: by Eryn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Eryn Just finished this last night and it absolutely pierced my heart in SO many ways. Excited to share with the group in my first online book study.


Janice (JG) | 68 comments I'm about half way through, and I'm really starting to like Snow Falls. I think I like her delinquent attitude and her fierce independence. I try to imagine (view spoiler) Because she is so young, she can probably adapt better and faster than most adults. But still...

I'm a little confused by the character of Crow. My understanding of Jesuits has been that they were the rogue priests who liberally adapted local cultures and customs to their missionary work, and that they have always been the more intellectual and independent sect that did not necessarily always conform to either Catholic dogma or doctrine. Crow seems very conservative and doctrinal in his beliefs. Then again, I don't know much about the history of the Jesuits other than the generalizations I mentioned, and considering the time frame that Crow is evangelizing in (1600s), his behavior might have been considered rogue and liberal at that time.


message 13: by Jalilah (last edited Jul 12, 2016 05:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jalilah Janice(JG) wrote: "
I'm a little confused by the character of Crow. My understanding of Jesuits has been that they were the rogue priests who liberally adapted local cultures and customs to their missionary work, and that they have always been the more intellectual and independent sect that did not necessarily always conform to either Catholic dogma or doctrine. Crow seems very conservative and doctrinal in his beliefs. Then again, I don't know much about the history of the Jesuits other than the generalizations I mentioned, and considering the time frame that Crow is evangelizing in (1600s), his behavior might have been considered rogue and liberal at that time"


I also don't know the exact difference between Jesuits and other priests, but I know at this time period the Catholic religion was pretty fanatic. Were they not still burning witches in Europe? There certainly was no acceptance of other religions. One neither accepted Catholicism exactly as they interpreted it, or they were a heretic.
I found Crows views very frustrating and thought to myself that he would have had more success had he incorporated some of the Huron beliefs.


Christine | 27 comments I just finished and I have so many different feelings about this book which for me makes it an excellent read. I think this is the first book that I found simultaneously beautiful and horrific at the same time.

When I read some of the past goodreads reviews several people said the plot moved slowly- I don't quite agree. I felt like I moved slowly through the book not the plot. I would often read a few chapters and have to stop to just reflect on the different pov of the narrators.

One of the strengths of the author, Boyden, was his ability to keep his narrators equal. I did not find I liked one more than the other, nor did I become overly attached to any of them. I truly felt as though I was able to see through each narrators eyes as they would have.


Glenn (gedixon) Christine wrote: "I just finished and I have so many different feelings about this book which for me makes it an excellent read. I think this is the first book that I found simultaneously beautiful and horrific at t..."

Totally agree, beautiful and horrific at the same time. This is my second reading of this book and, at first, I thought it would make a great movie. Not sure how a director would pull off the distinct points of view though (which is one of the joys of the book). There is certainly a riveting plot line so… maybe it could be done. I can almost picture the cinematography.


Shelley Schanfield | 27 comments Christine wrote: "I just finished and I have so many different feelings about this book which for me makes it an excellent read. I think this is the first book that I found simultaneously beautiful and horrific at the same time..."

Yes, absolutely feel the beauty and savagery. The contrast between the tenderness with which Bird addresses his dead wife and the horrible revenge he wreaked on Snow Falls' family is stark, but it adds depth to the book's world.

Incidentally, there's kind of an interesting review which also discusses the Jesuits here. The author of this review mentions the ambivalence the Jesuits had about European culture.


Jalilah Shelley wrote: "Christine wrote: ".Incidentally, there's kind of an interesting review which also discusses the Jesuits here. The author of this review mentions the ambivalence the Jesuits had about European culture. "

Wow, that is pretty hash criticism in that review! While I agree that Bird adopting Snow Falls is serious mistake, considering the Iroquois were matriarchal, I don't agree the other critic, about the three narrators. It very much worked for me and the characters seemed real to me.


message 18: by Jalilah (last edited Jul 19, 2016 06:04PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jalilah I just finished it. Wow! I agree with everyone who says its "beautiful and horrific" ! The violence is way more intense and graphic that what I usually read, but is very compelling. I really enjoyed it in spite of all the torture scenes.

Does anyone here want to discuss more in the spoiler thread?


Glenn (gedixon) Jalilah wrote: "I just finished it. Wow! I agree with everyone who says its "beautiful and horrific" ! The violence is way more intense and graphic that what I usually read, but is very compelling. I really enjoye..."

I'm still reading - but i have read this book before, so sure I'll look at comments in the spoiler thread.


Donna | 224 comments I read this in January of this year. I gave it 4 stars.

This was my first Joseph Boyden book. I enjoyed his writing. This book had some great descriptive strokes. The portrayal of the various people and the historical details of this time period were quite vivid and I loved that. But it also shed a light on the horrific reality of the various Indian nations. Some of this was so sad (and repulsive if I'm being honest.)

I also liked the 3 narrative voices. Their experiences and outlooks were all so different and each added so much to the story.


message 21: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) Jalilah wrote: "I just finished it. Wow! I agree with everyone who says its "beautiful and horrific" ! The violence is way more intense and graphic that what I usually read, but is very compelling. I really enjoye..."

I've got to read this!


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