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The Golden Lion of Granpere
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Archived Group Reads 2018 > Golden Lion: Week 5: Ch. 18-21

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message 1: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1993 comments Mod
We have come to the end of our little excursion. Hopefully you found it a light, refreshing jaunt between heavier journeys.

•Which characters begin to have a change of heart and why? Does this seem in keeping with their behavior in previous sections?
•Did you find the end satisfying? Was there anything which has been left unresolved?
•What are your thoughts on the book as a whole?
•We’ve said that it is much lighter than Trollope’s more famous novels. What merit do we find in reading his lesser works?
•Can you sum up the story in a single sentence? What about a sentence using only emojis?

Rosemarie | 217 comments I think it took Michel an awful long time to admit he was wrong. A marriage between two people who love each other and are suited to each other usually has a better chance of success. And for him the marriage was a win/win situation for business and personal reasons.
I felt sorry for Urmand because Michel put him in some awkward situations.

I enjoyed it as a fun read.

message 3: by Linda (new)

Linda | 115 comments What machinations to make sure that no one loses face in ending the engagement! I wonder how long it took Trollope to figure out this plan?

Michel’s behavior doesn’t always stand up as believable for me. I understand his sense of duty as head of house, his belief he has to find the best match for Marie, and that he hadn’t believed in the grown up love which Marie and George had felt for each other. However, he seems stuck in his beliefs even when he is presented with evidence to the contrary. Somehow he thinks Marie will change her mind after she’s written the letter to Adrian and so Michel brings him back. Has he not been told enough times that she won’t marry him? He says he’s not to blame for Marie initially accepting Adrian’s proposal- what? Does he not remember what he convinced her to do? Thankfully, he finally comes around.

The best part of this section was that Marie finally stands up for herself and tells George it was all his fault. He had not communicated with her for a whole year- what was she to think? In this way, Marie has become one of the most independent minded heroines of Trollope’s novels. Evidently, Trollope felt he could take more chances with his characters in shorter pieces of fiction than in his more substantial novels.

Definitely lighter in mood and no real villains here. Throughout, I found many of the same themes which Trollope developed in other works. Since it is a much shorter novel, I didn’t develop the same bond with the characters as in the Barchester or Palliser series, but still a good read.

message 4: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1993 comments Mod
I very much enjoyed discussing this book with the group. Our conversations lifted the story beyond “sweet little romance” for me. It was fun looking for the themes Trollope often uses.

I especially liked analyzing the pressures put on young Marie and how her sense of duty and affection made them especially effective. And I loved seeing Marie finally confront a George. Both he and his father seemed blind to their own short-comings. And stubborn. But, then, they are related so the apple didn’t fall too far from the tree. :)

I agree with Linda that there seemed to be a lot of juggling at the end to save egos and noses. It may be that in a longer work these would play out somewhat more naturally or even been left unresolved if in keeping with a more developed character.

Overall, I found it very pleasant to travel with Mr. Trollope. And you all, of course.

Rosemarie | 217 comments I also noticed that Michel's wife was pretty certain that Marie was not really all that fond of Urmand.

message 6: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1993 comments Mod
Hmmm. I kinda saw her as someone who didn’t have strong emotional ties. I may have read this as her being unable to understand that there might be other considerations than just advantage.

Nina Clare | 135 comments I enjoyed the subtle comedy running through the story. It would make a nice tv adaptation with all the humour and character quirks brought to the fore. It was a nice summery read after the deep emotions that WH roused up!

message 8: by Renee, Moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

Renee M | 1993 comments Mod
I’m glad you enjoyed the read. That subtle humor is one of my favorite qualities in Trollope novels. :)

Clarissa (clariann) | 535 comments These end chapters were quite fun for me, but it also made me think the story needed a bit more room if Trollope wanted to connect with the complexities of family duties and the pulls on Marie who is trying to be both a good daughter and a good fiance. And likewise Michel being pulled between his idea of social rightness and his position and his real affection for Marie and his son.

Jen from Quebec :0) (muppetbaby99) | 12 comments Ultimately, this is a book about social rules, and the mandatory 'duties' of various people, depending on their 'station'/societal rank or their sex.

At times, I also found parts of this book to be frigging hilarious!

Heck, just the fact that his whole entire novel is based on absurd miscommunications which could have been fixed within hours and instead leads to more than a year of missteps for the MCs, (and a full length novel as opposed to a short story for readers) is rather funny, too. ----Jen from Quebec :0)

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