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Monthy Book Discussions > The Mountain and the Valley Weeks 3 and 4

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message 1: by Rosemarie (last edited Oct 03, 2016 08:32AM) (new)

Rosemarie | 195 comments Please post your comments for weeks 3 and 4 here.


message 2: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 195 comments In the section called The Rock, David is at a difficult stage in his life. He is nineteen and is undecided as to his future. He is torn between going to Halifax or anywhere away or the farm. He tries to leave but the farm keeps pulling him back. The other members of his family and Toby are comfortable in their roles in life, but David is too sensitive and can't settle in like the others do.


message 3: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 195 comments In the section, The Scar, we see just how bleak Chris's life will be from now on, and just how negative a person Rachel is. Poor Cnris.


message 4: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 195 comments I finished the book today. The descriptions of nature in this book are very special.
The two strands that run through this book are family and loneliness.


message 5: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) | 237 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "In the section called The Rock, David is at a difficult stage in his life. He is nineteen and is undecided as to his future. He is torn between going to Halifax or anywhere away or the farm. He tri..."

Who, or what does the subtitle, 'The rock' represent? The big rock was finally moved by David and his father. Does the rock signify the removal of something significant? Or is the rock a person? For the family, I feel Joseph is the rock. He is steady and his feelings for his family are firmly planted and hard to remove.
The description of Martha as a woman happy in her sphere as home maker was wonderfully described. As was the description of Joseph's feelings as patriarch of his family and a valued member of the community. He feels content, needed and has purpose and belonging in his life. David, on the other hand, feels none of these things. He is irritated with the smallness of his life and world. He falls out with his father because he is at odds with himself. How poignant was the description of David when he turned homeward again, "he put his head into the crook of his elbow and sobbed because he could neither leave or stay...He was neither one thing or the other.' I understand this feeling totally. I neither fitted in with my upper middle class university associates nor my working class relations. It is a painful burden to carry.


message 6: by Rosemarie (last edited Oct 16, 2016 05:17AM) (new)

Rosemarie | 195 comments David is different from the others and is truly torn. He is attached to the farm and its surroundings, but isn't like the others, who don't overthink their actions.
It is a shame that you had such a classist experince in university. I was lucky, because a went to York University in Toronto, which at that time was a laid-back place, with many draft-dodger professors and people from all backgrounds.


message 7: by Tracey (new)

Tracey (traceyrb) | 237 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "David is different from the others and is truly torn. He is attached to the farm and its surroundings, but isn't like the others, who don't overthink their actions.
It is a shame that you had such..."


My experience was painful but also it is by our experiences we are made and/or broken (and then re-made?)
I have just finished this book and loved it because it spoke to me at such a deep personal level. This, along with the quality of the writing, is my reasoning for giving it 5 stars.
The section called 'The Scar' was full of different scars of different characters; the inability of many to articulate what they felt or make sense of emotions before they reacted to them. The permanents scars on the outside of bodies is often less than the internal ones that we do not see.
Martha limited by her insecurity over her sexual attractiveness to Joseph when compared to Bess, David feeling sure he was inadequate physically as a man compared to his brother Chris.

I was intrigued to know what ill-health the author had that prevented him from working in an office but allowed him to become a farmer. Maybe a nervous or emotional disorder rather than a physical one. Whilst searching I came across the following article which makes interesting reading:

http://www.wlupress.wlu.ca/Catalog/In...


message 8: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 195 comments Thank you for that article. I am glad you enjoyed the book. The writing, especially the descriptions of nature, are amazing.


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