2-3-4 Challenge Book Discussions #1 discussion

Who Buries the Dead (Sebastian St. Cyr, #10)
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Who Buries the Dead > Question I

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Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
Hero encounters many children during her interviews with costermongers. What are your thoughts about their plight, their parents' decision to have them begin working really young and their ability to do anything different?


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments It's heartbreaking to read about but it was, unfortunately, a necessary economic reality for those poor families. Everyone had to work and contribute and most people were still deep in poverty. It's just hard to imagine. I have a 7 year old son so he's about the age the little girl was when she first started selling nuts in the street and in taverns. I can't imagine my son doing that, to think of all the dangers he'd be exposed to.

I want Sebastian and Hero to adopt them all! lol


Charlene (charlenethestickler) | 1379 comments It was a tough reminder of reality in many parts of the world, not that far in the past, sadly.


Jonetta (ejaygirl) | 7619 comments Mod
We take the protections we have for children these days as just common sense but when I read about these things, I have a deeper understanding now about the need for child labor laws and the like. We still have a lot more to do but we have come a long way.

I can't fault the parents too much as they were struggling to just survive. They did what they had to do given the limitations of their station in society.


Veronica  (readingonthefly) | 694 comments Yes, unfortunately for most of the poor it was either everyone work in some capacity or else the family would starve.


Lauren (laurenjberman) | 2239 comments It is clear that people living in extreme poverty do what is necessary to survive.

What angers me in these books is people like Lady Oliphant - shallow and selfish who can't see beyond their own needs and desires to the real people who suffer and struggle.

The class system was (and in some countries like India) still is abhorrent.


message 7: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 40 comments It was interesting to find out that Hero's writings are based on Mahew's London's Labor and the London Poor. I think when the child labor laws were enacted there was a lot of ambivalence among the poor because it meant a loss of income. It's interesting to me that literature had such a strong influence on politics at that time (Dickens or Elizabeth Barrett Browning). I don't think written fiction does now, but I wonder if TV or movies do?


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