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The Cove
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Readalongs > The Cove by Ron Rash (Colleen & Jenny)

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Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Colleen and I are going to start this around the end of this week/ beginning of next week.
If anyone would like to join please do!

Colleen  | 352 comments Jenny - where are you at? I've done quite a bit of reading on this as the story has pulled me in. I'm at chapter 12 right now - let me know so I don't give away any spoilers. :)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments You are waaaaay ahead of me. I am in chapter 3, I've been sick and my brain was a bit on the mushy side, which made it hard to concentrate.
The first thing I meant to ask: which version are you reading? My book has 'A note on the revisions to this edition' explaining that it differs from the the hardcover in that he removed 2 chapters and several paragraphes.

The second thing I noticed: his writing is very lyrical which isn't really all that surprising considering he's also a poet. I like that he let's us in slowly, we get a sense of place and people first through the atmosphere his writing evokes and then slowly he trickles in their story. That's all I have so far, still trying to make sense of who these people are ;) Just use the spoiler function if you want and give an indication as what chapter it's in and then I can look at them when I've caught up.

Colleen  | 352 comments Oh no! I am just reading the regular hardcover version. I'll be interested to know what he changed???

Yes - very lyrical and I also get what you're saying about place and character as well. There's a tenseness I can feel, and also a sense of character where it is not just put out there, but more subtle.

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Colleen, he apparently took out 2 chapters and some paragraphes revolving around Chauncey Feith in order to return him to minor character status. Chapter six which is mostly Chauncey is still in this revised edition though, so I guess it's later chapters he's removed?

We're kind of reading two different books after all ;)

I've read up to chapter 8 now, so Walter is with them already.

In chapter seven there's a retrospective scene where the parakeets land in the orchard and the father shoots first one and then - as they come back for the wounded one - one after the other, the mother picking them up with the hay fork. This image of the birds somehow really stayed with me, I wonder whether there's a symbolism in there that will later reveal itself or whether it's just a really remarkable (and heart-breaking) scene.

I also got a real sense of foreboding just from reading the first paragraphes describing the cove, the darkness of it.

Colleen  | 352 comments Chauncey still seems to be a major character - in fact there's been quite a few chapters now with him telling his side. I can kind of feel sorry for him with the way he is, but know something bad is going to happen, right? Just not sure what but even the inside cover description says that there is going to be conflict and not a totally happy tale....

I did kind of guess Walter's back story - who he really is, where he came from, at least how he got to the cove, but we are sure to learn more about him.

Yeah, I'm not really sure about the parakeets (I should google them, ok I did - and it says they are extinct. :(

Beautiful! They remind me of a parrot. I wonder why they are all's a shame. Probably a protect the crop thing? Farmers destroying them??

I had to ggogle what a cove looks like, and frankly I don't get it as they all show these beautiful sunny inlets with beaches? lol

What do you think of that prologue? I don't want it to be a character I know/like....

Colleen  | 352 comments OK - it's really picking up now. I'm at chapter 15 and feel like I could fly through the rest of it, but I have other obligations to do!

(view spoiler)

Colleen  | 352 comments I finished! I flew threw the rest of it.

(view spoiler)

Jenny (jeoblivion) | 4869 comments Sorry Colleen, I've been offline for a bit but I've finished it yesterday.
Great book!

It was a slow read for me for the first chapters and then - like you - I just flew through it, or wanted to at least, had life not interfered on occasion ;)
I kind of guessed Walter's identity as well, and I thought they were a strange but wonderful match. Each of them carrying their own 'birthmark'. It was heartbreaking to watch them make plans when you already know they are never going to come true, from the moment he returned to the cove I kind of knew it would go south, and just somehow waited for it to happen. The digging of the well was torture, the last time he climbs down there, the way he comes out shivering, I constantly expected something to go terribly wrong. And then when it did I read so breathlessly I almost missed the part where Laurel gets shot.

I loved Slidell too and I really felt for him, isolated as he was after Laurel and Hank had died and Walter left. I think maybe that's where the parakeets come into play. How all life in the cove just ended. Apparently them 'flocking' around their dead and returning to where it happened is an actual thing, at least the article I read suggested that that's what they do, which made them such easy prey, in part for their beautiful feathers (lady's hats) in part as you say for crop protection. But in part they also died as a result of their natural habitat dwindeling. Same apparently with the Amercian Chestnut which is mentioned in the prologue. I've just read the Prologue again where both the trees and the birds are mentioned and they prepare to turn the cove into a lake, at which point it will really be all gone, the people as well as the place. Was it Chauncey's skull in that well (the one mentioned in the prologue)? Or had he gone over the cliff?

Colleen  | 352 comments The birthmark - I wondered where all it was on Laurel and how much showed. Yes, that well digging just had me so worried, I thought Walter was going to be hurt and then that would be when he would get found out. The author was so clever! I was so relieved, but then....

And Slidell's family killed during the war when the outliers came on to the property - I could see where he would just be out on his own, making his own decisions on people - he'd seen enough.

So the parakeets, and the trees, and the cove. The people too, of course.

Yes, I totally took it as Chauncey stepping into the well, it was specifically left uncovered (& when he stepped backwards, he fell into the deepest, darkest place he had ever been) & the government man finding him years later. No one ever knew what had happened to him.

Thanks for reading this with me and discussing! I'm not all sure what else, but there's lots here. That German ship The Vaterland sounded amazing. It's sad in times of war that we treat all foreigners (even those native born) so poorly and we judge so harshly. I really felt for the college professor who helped Laurel find some answers. Miss Vount sounded awesome. I'm not sure where the German medal had come from/what it was for.

Hank was pretty good too, he tried, but not sure how much his fiance mourned him after all this.

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