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SALEM FALLS reading group

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message 1: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new)

Christy (christylewis) ASSIGNMENT #1:

Read to page 94 by Thursday. As you're reading, pay attention to the characters. If this were a movie, and you were cast as one of the characters, who would you be, and why? Post your answers under this topic header before you go to the next assignment.

Check back on Wednesday for assignment #2!

message 2: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:46AM) (new)

Michelle (mbradtke) I think I would be Gillian. She is at the same age as my daughter - 15, and is searching for who she is. She experiments with witchcraft in the hope of reincarnating her mother, and becomes obsessed with the practice. Inwardly, Gillian is vulnerable yet is the leader of her small group of friends. I'm looking forward to reading how her character evolves - the relationship with her girlfriends, her relationship with her father, and potentially her involvement with Jack St. Bride.

message 3: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:47AM) (new)

Christy (christylewis) **Have you finished assignment #1 yet? Post your answers here for the first question regarding which character you would be in the book.

Here are the first discussion questions (also post answers here) -

1. Do you think town citizens have the right to pick and choose who lives there? Why or why not?

2. Do you think its possible for a person to reinvent him/herself? If given the chance, would you like to reinvent yourself? Explain.

*****Next assignment -- read through page 159 by Monday****

message 4: by Ashley (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Ashley Character: I would be Chloe. Now as creepy as that sounds....let me explain. In a movie, I'm sure they would cast someone as her character- probably to play her in the scenes where Addie remembers her, but they might also place her presence throughout....making Addie do a double take, thinking she just saw her.
When I think of that whole situation, I am moved. As weird as it may seem to some, keeping someone alive in your heart is kind of beautiful when you really think about it. Leaving things out for her and asking people to take care of your child that has passed might be a little extreme, but the heartbeat behind that story-line is beautiful. I would want to be Chloe because her character isn't even present, but empowers so much of the story. I want to leave that kind of impact and be so deeply treasured after I am gone.

Questions: #1- There is no easy answer to this. In many regards you want to say "Yes- who would want a rapist living next door", but then part of you says "Well, you can't hold people's pasts against them forever" and "people can change". I think if given the choice to choose who lived around us based on their "paperwork", we would all live millions of miles away from anyone. Everyone has a skeleton in the closet, some people's just get exposed. In certain situations though, there are real issues, and in those cases, people should, at the very least, be made privy to information that could effect them.

#2 - I believe everyone has the ability to change--you just have to want to. However, your past will always be a part of you. The re-invention comes in deciding to let your mistakes challenge and change you, rather than define you.
In regards to myself, everything I do shapes and molds me each day. A part of me is reinvented every time I wake up.

message 5: by Denise (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:49AM) (new)

Denise | 29 comments Mod
I identified with Meg, the size-14 friend of Gillian who wants to curse Hailey. I could definitely relate when I was a teen and I'm interested to see how her character comes around.

#1. I struggle with this issue as I put my daughter into public school this year. We live in a small (but growing) community, and I know not everyone she comes into contact with is going to be pleasant. But you know what? My cousin put her son into Lutheran school because he was such a problem child. So you can't run away from reality by avoiding people you don't like (say, if I were to put my daughter into Lutheran school because she didn't get along with students or teachers at public school). I don't know if that answers the question, but it's what it brought to mind for me!

#2. Madonna does it all the time ;) While at the core you are the same person, if you make an effort to learn your dark side you can come to peace with your demons and yes, change. But you have to be aware of yourself and your flaws and *decide* to change.

message 6: by Paige (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Paige | 2 comments Character: I would love to play Selena. I know she doesn't play a major role (or at least not yet), but her mystery intrigues me. As she blows back into the life of Jordan McAfee, she is comfortable in her own skin even though her big city mindset may be misplaced in this small town.

#1: Absolutely not. You could and should arm yourself with knowledge in order to make the best decisions, but you can't prevent bad things from happening. Life isn't a popularity contest-the cool kids aren't the only ones that make the world go round. You can protect yourself and your loved ones by preparing for the unknown, not trying to prevent it. Because if you eliminate what you think is the problem from your backyard, you're just going to run into somewhere else.

#2: Yes! People reinvent themselves all the time. I agree with the others though, your past will always be a part of you. I think I am given the chance each day to "reinvent" myself. I try to act on what I have learned in previous experiences, while remembering what is truly important to me.

message 7: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:52AM) (new)

Christy (christylewis) Very interesting ladies. I've enjoyed reading what each of you are thinking as we're reading this together. I will post the next reading assignment and questions tomorrow. Any more takers out there who would like to read along and answer? :D

message 8: by Tina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Tina | 6 comments Okay - I'm trying to get caught up here. But from what I've read so far I identify most with Addie - from someone who has lost a child, I understand the little things she does to help her through no matter what others think of her.

Question 1 - No I do not think they have the right to pick and choose. He who screams the loudest isn't always right. Sometimes there are other parts of someone that if you knew all the parts would make it easier to understand. We live in a world where we are too quick to judge others before we know the "story"

Question 2 - Oh yes, I think if you really want to make life changes you can! I think we all evolve over time from lessons of our lives.

Back to reading...

message 9: by Julie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:53AM) (new)

Julie (jooliaaah) hi christy,

i am going to read along and join the discussion! i just bought the book and will start reading tonight. i'll catch up with you guys. i have a couple of jodi picoult's books but haven't read any. i'm excited to dig in and join you guys.


message 10: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:55AM) (new)

Christy (christylewis) Oh, I am SO behind with my reading....sorry to be soooo late with this post....

Read to page 189 by Sunday. If you're already there, give yourself a break for a few days so that the rest of us can catch up! :o)

Is everyone liking the story so far? I think its a great spin on an old story; the way Picoult is taking something that we've all read about and turned it into a modern day that, and love the way she makes the feelings of the characters seem so real!

I'll be all caught up soon! Hang in there with me, please!

message 11: by Julie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Julie (jooliaaah) character: from page five, where addie was introduced i knew i related with her. she is strong and determined, with an old soul. i could tell right away that she had been through some very tough times but instead of wallowing in her sorrow and feeling pity for her life she was resilient and cared for those around her (her father). she took care of business and didn't let the two tragedies in her life claim her. under that sturdy persona is someone very sweet and tender, someone who is longing for companionship.

1) i live in the epitome of suburbia (think weeds on showtime) and have for five years. i live in a very expensive neighborhood of two parent families complete with a stay-at-home mom, two kids and a dog. i'm a single mom and have been for thirteen years, my brother lives with me to help with the bills, i work outside the home *gasp*, date, (different men even!!!!) and am much younger than any other mom in our neighborhood with a fourteen year old child. there are many families (mostly moms) that would love it if i moved. no one is outright rude to me but i am definitely uncomfortable for them. i don't fit in their stay-at-home mommy club. i don't think it's right for anyone to pick and choose who lives in their neighborhood/town. i think people who have those attitudes, like wes and many of my neighbors, show a complete lack of depth. no one should be quick to judge and write someone off...if you do you could be missing out on knowing a great human being.

2) completely reinvent no. the definition of reinvent is to create a new version of something. you cannot create a new version of yourself because as many of the posters have said, your past is what shapes and molds you. i do believe people can change but i don't believe in change overnight. change comes only with hard work and much time.

message 12: by Julie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:01PM) (new)

Julie (jooliaaah) just checking in....what happened to our discussion? this book is fantastic and i look forward to our next round of questions and answers.

message 13: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new)

Christy (christylewis) Sorry gang...I've had to wait on Dell to send me a new battery for my laptop. Please accept my apologies.

By now, you've probably finished the book, so here's a few more questions....

1. Throughout the novel, the author uses quotes from Arthur Miller's The Crucible and from the story of Jack and Jill. How do these quotes increase your understanding of the story as a whole? In what ways do these seemingly disparate sources work in terms of the subject matter?

2. After pretending to be sick from school, Gillian explains to her friends, "I am not faking; I'm method-acting." Method acting is often described as a tool for telling the truth of a character under imaginary circumstances. How might this definition help us better understand Gillian's actions and her motivations in this novel? What is the truth in her life that needs to be shared?

More questions in a couple of days!! (I promise!)

message 14: by Tina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:06PM) (new)

Tina | 6 comments I finished the book and really enjoyed it! Would love to discuss more!

message 15: by Denise (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

Denise | 29 comments Mod
I hear ya, Christy. Just got all moved in this weekend. Still unpacking. Found my book yesterday. I'm still trying to get to page 189. The kiddoodles return tomorrow, so I better get reading. Oh, and unpacking. Thanks for the questions!

message 16: by stephanie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new)

stephanie (furies) late because i have been traveling, but reading while doing so!

i don't know which character i relate to most - i think, strangely, it's thomas - the believer in the possibility of love, smart, geeky, unwilling to change himself just to get a girl - who he ends up getting just by being himself, not by using magic, etc.

1. I don't think you should be able to choose, really. I mean, this kind of reminds me of how realtors wouldn't sell houses to certain minorities in order to keep the neighborhood "safe". And like what happened to Jack, often times the families would be run out of town (or tried to, anyway). It's pretty depressing, and it makes me really happy that Jordan is around to kind of be the rational conscience of the town.

2. I firmly believe in the potential for change. You might not be able to completely leave parts of you behind (certain traditions, likes and dislikes, affects), but there's a definite possibility for change in terms of behavior. This is of course biased by my firm belief in psychology, but it reminds me of this line of a poem I read, by Marie Ponsot - "And what's the point of a story/if there's no hope for change?"

message 17: by Christy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:13PM) (new)

Christy (christylewis) More questions --

1. The tension between truth and fiction is a major theme here. Similarly, the concept of believing in lies so strongly that they become truth is also a big part of the story. Do you think Gillian and the other girls actually believe the lies they've told? How does this change by the end of the story?

2. From all I've ever read, witches have always been the victims of persecution. Why do you think that as the 'general public,' we are so enticed by witches and their history?

Feel free to post your answers! Have a good day!

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