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THE BRIDE COLLECTOR - April 2019 > Discussion Topics

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message 1: by A Long Story (last edited Apr 07, 2019 11:01AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

A Long Story  Short Co. (alongstoryshortco) | 79 comments Mod
Here are a few specific questions to get you started with some topics in the novel! Remember please no spoilers, but if you must spoil then give lots of notice! You are definitely not restricted to these topics so get creative!

1. How do you feel about knowing who the killer is from the start of the book? Does it change your perspective of the antagonist?

2. The question of whether Quinton is just highly intelligent or psychotic comes up frequently in the novel. What is your answer?

3. Which character can you relate to and why?

4. What are the similarities and differences between the characters in the novel? How does it effect the story?

5. Paradise refers to her "ghosts" frequently. Do you feel there is an underlying supernatural aspect in the novel or a mental health theme?

Katelyn  R. (katelynhope) | 46 comments 1. I really like the fact that you know who the killer is from the start. It gives the whole novel an extra layer of depth. Yes it takes away the "who done it" suspense, but it gives you a behind the scenes look at the killers motives and thought process, which to me, is even creepier than not knowing. It also allows you to feel empathy in certain cases for the killer which gives the reader a conflicting experience and emotion. Quinton is so clearly an evil doer, but you do feel a level of empathy because in some cases it feels like its not his choice, but a product of his upbringing and mental stability.

2. I think there is a great parallel between the two. They even reference in the novel that many intellects, like Hemingway, were also considered to be mentally ill. The residents of CWI all had issues, but were so smart that they recognized most of the time when they were having a break. Quinton, I believe, was very intelligent. So much so that he was able to have doctors believe he was cured in his 20s and then went on to get a masters and assimilate into society. He could have possibly gone on to live a completely normal life, but Paradise was a trigger for him, just like he was for her, and he wasn't able to recognize that he had slipped back into a psychotic mindset.

3. I can see myself as a little bit of a combination of Brad and Paradise. Brad tends to keep his own problems hidden to deal with personally and instead works to save others from their problems. I can also relate to Paradise in that once her trust has been broken, it is hard for her to regain that trust, but once she does she is all in.

4. I think all of the characters are a little bit linked in the story which gives it a great symmetry. Brad is similar to Quinton in that they have personality similarities in their intelligence. They are both clean, well put together, organized, the same kind of intelligence and attention to detail. Paradise and Quinton are similar because they share the same past, not just their actual confrontation, but their childhood as well. They were both broken and acted as triggers for each other. Paradise triggered Quinton's psychotic break both in the past and broke him again at the end. Quinton is a trigger for Paradise too because he caused her to remember/forget anytime she remembered or saw something painful. Nikki was a representation of Quinton's psychotic thought process. Her character was described to be exact to the other victims. Brad even associates her to the victim in chapter 1. Paradise and Brad reflect each other too in much the same way as her and Quinton, but in a positive way. It's almost like for Paradise, Quinton is the psychotic nature while Brad is her Intellect and anchor for stability going back to the intellect vs psychosis theme.

5. This can be taken either way really depending on how much of Ted Dekker's novels that you have read. There is always the question of a slight supernatural possibility. So, I'll answer it like this...
If this was my first Dekker novel, I would say no there is no actual supernatural abilities in this novel. Paradise is not a psychic. The ghosts she sees are actually her brain trying to remember. She is so highly intellectual that she is able to "see" what is going on through snippets of her past and others. She can perceive what has happened to Quinton and Brad and the others she touches.

However, this not being the first Dekker novel I have read, I think that he is definitely subtly hinting that there is something more to Paradise than meets the eye. I don't think she is seeing premonitions. I think it is her intellect that gives her this insight, but there are also "easter eggs" hidden within the novel that point to some of Dekker's other works that are highly supernatural. He has a series in which there are people known as mystics who live in an alternate universe set many thousands of years on Earth after present day. In that series people from our time are able to access this other world and I believe perhaps that is what Paradise is doing. I think she is accessing the other world in her dreams because her books she writes and describes to Brad are a very close description to the world in Dekker's other novels. ESPECIALLY when she references the Roush to Brad - a creature that lives in this other world.

I love that Ted Dekker writes like this because the book works for those who have never read his works, but at the same time he has hidden little things like this for his fans too!

If you are interested in this connection, I read The 49th Mystic, but I know that there are other books prior to that one that explores the world of mystics too.

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