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Group Read Discussions > July 2018 Group Read -- Spoiler thread for Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Grann

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message 1: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9315 comments Mod
I've set up this thread to be used for talking about possible spoilers while discussing Killers of the Flower Moon.

message 2: by Jamie (new)

Jamie Zaccaria I can't seem to figure out, did Ernest love Mollie at all? How much of their relationship was real and how much was pretend? Poor Mollie.

message 3: by Angel (new)

Angel Hartline (angeltown) | 18 comments I was wondering that, too, Jamie! To me it seemed like he did love her (though obviously not enough), but he was bound so tightly to his uncle from his teen years that he felt his hand was forced. Also I feel like he probably felt his own life would be in danger if he refused to participate... people that got in the way were pretty much falling like flies. It's such a shame that he wasn't brave enough to do the right thing.

message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan I felt so sorry for their children, having to grow up knowing that their own father tried to murder them for their mother's money.

message 5: by Patty (new)

Patty | 3077 comments The question about love is not something a true non-fiction writer can even begin to write about; unless that person said that they loved the other person.

From Ernest's remorse, I think he had a conscience. But he was so easily led by his uncle to do these things; things I think would be hard to do to someone you love.

Mollie kept her first 'marriage' from Ernest. Was she not sure of Ernest's commitment to her, maybe even feared his reaction?

It must have been an interesting dynamic these marriages between the Osage and White populations, with all the sociological, racial, misogynistic, etc. going on.

message 6: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9315 comments Mod
I think if enough money's involved, it can be a strong motivator even if you do love someone.

message 7: by Tawallah (new)

Tawallah | 38 comments I found that epilogue frightening. It seemed as if not only Bill Hale was the only mastermind behind the Reign of Terror. And it made me so angry to think that the Osage tribe has received a measure of justice but the full truth has not been told. Initially I thought it was a conspiracy but it seems to be systematic racism that allowed this to happen. And that is much scarier than Bill Hale. This could happen again.

message 8: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 9315 comments Mod
June wrote: "I found that epilogue frightening. It seemed as if not only Bill Hale was the only mastermind behind the Reign of Terror. And it made me so angry to think that the Osage tribe has received a measur..."

Oh yes. Read this:

message 9: by NancyJ (last edited Jul 28, 2018 02:41PM) (new)

NancyJ (nancyjjj) This book moved me a great deal. After I read it, I realized that my greatgrandmother (who was native american), was about the same age as Molly, so I tried to imagine what life was life for her. My grandfather hid his heritage from people, including his own daughter (my mother) for nearly his entire life. When I learned about this (as an adult) I found it very exciting to hear something surprising about my heritage. But I felt very sad (even more so now) that he felt he had to hide something so basic about himself. Now I realize that he was escaping the racism that was so strong at that time (and in some places still is).

Bill Hale was perhaps the most infamous of the murderers, but many more were suspected but never charged. The doctors, and countless guardians of other Osage were also guilty of murder, many by poisoning. It's easy to blame this on the greedy and jealous neighbors of the Osage, but the government was complicit as well. This is a clear example of institutionalized racism. They created laws that made it easy for people to be victimized.

They treated adults like children, forcing them to have guardians to "protect" their money. Guardianships were forced on people not because they were being foolish with their money, but it was based solely on the amount of indian blood in their bodies. The guardians didn't protect people, they simply stole from them.
While the newspapers made a big deal about mansions and wasted money, the most foolish big spenders were white men. They were not given guardians.

The ethical guardians who tried to speak out were silenced by murder or fear of murder. I have no doubt that the people who were stealing from the osage didn't feel that they were doing anything wrong. The law treated the indians as less than other people, their neighbors were doing it, so why shouldn't they. They lived there too, so why shouldn't they get some of that oil money? But that became a slippery slope that eventually led to murders, a lot of murders.

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