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The Home-Maker > The Home-Maker FINISHING Thoughts/Discussion Questions

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen | 336 comments Mod
FINISHING Thoughts/Discussion Questions

message 2: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 11 comments I had got a copy a bit earlier and I read it a week ago.

And I am still thinking about it... One of the most powerful (in the meaning of touching my heart) novels I have ever read. Very personal.

Link to my review here.

message 3: by Toast (new)

Toast (hotbutteredtoast) | 55 comments Part 2 of the book is encouraging. Triumph after the tragedy. Even Eva started to flower.
Part 3 of the book was the blooming as the family found their roles, almost lost them but managed to thwart Society's demands afterall.
Loved the scenes with Lester and the kids, especially Stephen. See why the emphasis is placed on this as a book about Children's Rights. But also how everything revolves around Eva's role and her elemental empowerment at the shop not at home. And being guilt free! There is a lesson here for Men too.
Overall, a very even-handed book, an especially hard thing to produce when discussing 'the family'. And so bold and enlightened considering when it was written.
I have to say, I didn't like the reader it turned me into at first - to judgemental, dogmatic - and I was a reluctant reader after that. But I am glad I finished it because I got to 'meet' Stephen.

message 4: by Susan (new)

Susan | 166 comments I love the scenes with Lester and the children, too, Toast. Stephen and the egg-beater! The scene with the water dipper. My thought is that Stephen’s personality is closest to his mother’s just as Helen’s is closest to her Dad’s. Dorothy Canfield’s children’s book Understood Betsy is another that shows her empathy and understanding of children’s inner lives.

message 5: by Emma (new)

Emma I very much enjoyed this. It seems pretty progressive for its time, but it’s a shame the only way they could all be happy was for there to be no chance for Lester...I wonder how things would have settled if Lester had regained his mobility.

message 6: by Karen (new)

Karen | 336 comments Mod
Happy New Year All !
Thanks for sharing your thoughts Emma, Susan , Toast and Mela.
What are your thoughts on how the book ended , did Lester make the right decision ?
So sad that Lester thought the only way he would be accepted by society and stay at home bringing up the children ,was if he stayed in his wheelchair.
I must admit , I was a bit confused about Lester's accident on the roof.When he was fired from the store he was feeling suicide would be an option for him and then realised the insurance wouldn't pay out.
On page 252 ( Persephone Edition) it says Lester hurled himself from the icy roof , so it wasn't an accident ?

message 7: by Tania (new)

Tania | 201 comments I have just finished this one. I was unsure whether the fall was an accident, as well. He seemed to have talked himself out of suicide for the same of his children, but maybe he was more reckless than he would have been in a different state of mind. I'm sure he did make the right decision in the end, but it's a shame he felt that was the only way he could stay at home.

message 8: by Karen (new)

Karen | 336 comments Mod
Tania wrote: "I have just finished this one. I was unsure whether the fall was an accident, as well. He seemed to have talked himself out of suicide for the same of his children, but maybe he was more reckless t..."
Hi Tania, glad i'm not alone in thinking that !
It was a shock also when Lester suddenly gets out his wheelchair to stop the bedroom setting on fire.
The doctor says at the end that Lester won't be able to be helped and will only walk with crutches.
I agree with Elaine Showalter in the Afterword, that a lot of questions are left unanswered.
Will Lester the male home-maker end up angry and confined and invisible as a woman might be ? I would of loved him to have started a little poetry group .

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