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The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax (Mrs. Pollifax, #1)
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Group Reads > The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, Chapters 12-end

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
Discussion thread for the last half of the book. Please tag spoilers!


message 2: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments I'm tickled at Our Emily's qualifications to be a doctor, nurse, captive, entrepreneur, magician, and Deep Thinker. Yep, all qualities the average mom needs!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 566 comments This is a covertly feminist book, isn't it?

I just love her quiet courage and dignity.


message 4: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 334 comments Karlyne wrote: "I'm tickled at Our Emily's qualifications to be a doctor, nurse, captive, entrepreneur, magician, and Deep Thinker. Yep, all qualities the average mom needs!"

all of those and, finally, spy!

the rest of the series builds on that, too. but here in the first one, it is really "unexpected"!


message 5: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments I was thinking that if I had to be stranded on a desert (with trees and vegetation, deserted, not desert) island with someone else, I'd choose someone who'd spent her life learning a variety of stuff. Someone who knew how to build a fire, plant a garden, look for medicinal herbs, fish, purify water, clean a wound and shoot some snakes. And someone who could talk about the meaning of life over the campfire. I'd choose Mrs. Pollifax and her many skills over a professional, anyday. I think that's what Carstairs, subconsciously, saw, too - a competent, tough, thinking lady.


message 6: by Susan in NC (last edited Apr 11, 2019 12:40PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Abigail wrote: "This is a covertly feminist book, isn't it?

I just love her quiet courage and dignity."


Yes! That really came through in Barbara Rosenblat’s narration - yet at the same time, Mrs. P’s zest for life, innate optimism and curiosity- a powerful combination! And sense of humor and not taking herself too seriously- she’s irresistible!


Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I also love her courtesy and caring for others--at one point Farrell is about done in and Emily knows that if he sits down he will never have the strength to get up again. So, despite her fatigue she stands as well to give him courage.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Hana wrote: "I also love her courtesy and caring for others--at one point Farrell is about done in and Emily knows that if he sits down he will never have the strength to get up again. So, despite her fatigue s..."

Yes, her quiet strength shows true leadership in that moment, I felt!


message 9: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Hana wrote: "I also love her courtesy and caring for others--at one point Farrell is about done in and Emily knows that if he sits down he will never have the strength to get up again. So, despite her fatigue s..."

You know, you often hear about how older people don't want to be a burden, but Emily takes it beyond just words. She takes it from the negative to really positive actions. I wouldn't mind if she moved in next door, so that we could have tea together...


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Karlyne wrote: "Hana wrote: "I also love her courtesy and caring for others--at one point Farrell is about done in and Emily knows that if he sits down he will never have the strength to get up again. So, despite ..."

I couldn’t help thinking the same...what a great friend she’d be!


message 11: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 334 comments She would make a great friend, and wouldn't she be fun as a traveling companion.


Bobbie | 86 comments This was great. I had run across one of these in our little library shop at some point, bought it for .50 and took it home but never read it, having never heard of these. I think I donated it back and now wish I had kept it. I am anxious to read more.


Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽ | 1179 comments Mod
My local library has several books in this series. I think they’re all large print. :D


message 14: by Hana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
Karlyne wrote: "You know, you often hear about how older people don't want to be a burden, but Emily takes it beyond just words. She takes it from the negative to really positive actions. ..."

I think of Mrs Pollifax as sort of Senior fantasy. I suspect more than a few of us (myself included) wish we could reinvent ourselves and our lives with as much vigor as Emily.


message 15: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 334 comments oh, Hana, that is SO true.
I find myself - like many - having to actively fight my world getting smaller as I age.
it can be so insidious! like, my vision after dark isn't as good (especially depth perception, I find) so I start limiting driving after dark. in the winter, that's a big part of the day! and it's a slippery slope down to where you stay home more and more, as things become too difficult and/or scary.


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 566 comments Great label, Hana! For me, though, it's more than the derring-do--it's the way she deploys her humanity and resists becoming cynical. The real fantasy for me is that openness and goodness are strengths that are ultimately rewarded.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Jackie wrote: "oh, Hana, that is SO true.
I find myself - like many - having to actively fight my world getting smaller as I age.
it can be so insidious! like, my vision after dark isn't as good (especially dep..."


True, Jackie - and I’m finding this accelerated by unexpected health issues over the last couple years - I’m recovering but still a little fearful and overly cautious with my sudden physical limitations. I don’t want to turn into an old lady ahead of my time!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Hana wrote: "Karlyne wrote: "You know, you often hear about how older people don't want to be a burden, but Emily takes it beyond just words. She takes it from the negative to really positive actions. ..."

I t..."


Yes!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Abigail wrote: "Great label, Hana! For me, though, it's more than the derring-do--it's the way she deploys her humanity and resists becoming cynical. The real fantasy for me is that openness and goodness are stren..."

Oh, I hope you (and Mrs. Pollifax) are right!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 566 comments Well, I did describe it as a fantasy . . .


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Fair enough!


message 22: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Jackie wrote: "oh, Hana, that is SO true.
I find myself - like many - having to actively fight my world getting smaller as I age.
it can be so insidious! like, my vision after dark isn't as good (especially dep..."


Haha, Jackie! I have always had terrible night-vision (it goes along with terrific near-sightedness), so I rarely, rarely drive at night. Especially along deer-infested highways...

However, I did get some of the yellow-lensed Polaroid glasses for my husband who drives a lot, and they came with a free pair. Even if I'm just riding along, they help quite a bit!

Back to Mrs. Pollifax - once, many years ago, a co-worker and I were moaning about how far off Saturday was, and she said, "But we should never be wishing away our todays." That made a huge impression on me and prompted some soul-searching life changes. It's something we ought to do more often than not, I think... Regrets are not fun to live with.


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Karlyne wrote: "Jackie wrote: "oh, Hana, that is SO true.
I find myself - like many - having to actively fight my world getting smaller as I age.
it can be so insidious! like, my vision after dark isn't as good ..."


So true - she sounds very wise.


Bobbie | 86 comments That was an old saying of my mother's also. She told me "Don't wish your life away", when I was in high school and wanted to be older. I have never forgotten that.


message 25: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Bobbie wrote: "That was an old saying of my mother's also. She told me "Don't wish your life away", when I was in high school and wanted to be older. I have never forgotten that."

I think high schoolers are the about the only ones I'll forgive for living in tomorrow, because they're often so powerless and have so few choices about how they're living at this moment. I still remember the mind-numbing awareness I had that not only did the hours at school crawl by, but so did the days, weeks and months and then there was the depressing thought that there wasn't much I could do about it today - except think about "tomorrow" when I could at least make choices, for good or bad, about my life. Whew! (I have several grandkids in the throes of junior and high school, and, although I don't let them see it because I think pity is paralyzing, I do feel sorry for them. I'm always looking for ways to get them outside of school's narrow path and to give them ways to escape childhood that involve actually growing up.)

This is a bit off-track (haha), but I'm blaming Mrs. Pollifax and her adventurous life!


message 26: by Jackie (last edited Apr 16, 2019 10:55AM) (new) - added it

Jackie | 334 comments Mrs. Pollifax does make you think about the larger questions.
This book is about an adventure, and all that involves, but it beautifully makes us think about the larger questions in life and the people we meet and what is really important.


message 27: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Jackie wrote: "Mrs. Pollifax does make you think about the larger questions.
This book is about an adventure, and all that involves, but it beautifully makes us think about the larger questions in life and the p..."


These are the best kinds of books!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 566 comments Comfort fiction that makes you think--my sweet spot of reading and writing!


message 29: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Absobloomin'lutely, Abigail!


Susan in NC (susanncreader) | 1208 comments Bobbie wrote: "That was an old saying of my mother's also. She told me "Don't wish your life away", when I was in high school and wanted to be older. I have never forgotten that."

Smart lady - my mom’s variation on that was “don’t sweat the small stuff”, and when our son was little, she told me not to worry so much about laundry or dusting, and just enjoy him while he was little. She said she had worried too much about that stuff as a young mother, but the years fly by and you can’t get that time back!


Elinor | 188 comments This book just kept getting better as it went along. Mrs. Pollifax's situation became ever more dire, yet her courage became deeper as she faced the most physically challenging tasks. She must have been very strong physically as well as emotionally. She certainly rose to every occasion!


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 566 comments True grit.


message 33: by Hana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
This video shows goat herding in northern Albania. Tough country! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMge-...


message 34: by Hana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
More goats in Albania! (Who knew?) (view spoiler)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z43b...


message 35: by Hana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I was curious about the goat smell....the goats I once met did not smell, but I thought perhaps they were unusually clean. It's more complicated than that! https://backyardgoats.iamcountryside....


Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 566 comments Trust you, Hana, to find video of goat herding in Albania! Mrs. Pollifax would not recognize our world.


message 37: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Abigail wrote: "Trust you, Hana, to find video of goat herding in Albania! Mrs. Pollifax would not recognize our world."

I don't recognize our world very often, either. On the other hand, we do have lots of goat farmers nearby, including close friends, and it is amazing how clean and white and adorable they are. The goats, I mean.


Michelle | 30 comments I never would have found the Mrs Pollifax books without this group reading it -- and I loved it and immediately went and gobbled up the next two in the series! Now I see they have only the first half of the series in ebook format :(


message 39: by Jackie (new) - added it

Jackie | 334 comments I had the whole series in paperback and gave them up when I moved, sadly.


message 40: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments Michelle wrote: "I never would have found the Mrs Pollifax books without this group reading it -- and I loved it and immediately went and gobbled up the next two in the series! Now I see they have only the first ha..."

I just finished the second in the series, The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, which takes place in Turkey, and as so often happens, that area has been mentioned several times recently to me. And gypsies. Life is such a pattern of so-called randomness....


message 41: by Hana (new) - rated it 4 stars

Hana | 1104 comments Mod
I did the same thing and really enjoyed the second book. It brought back memories of the time, about 20 years ago, when I spent over a month in Turkey. I loved it!

I've never been to Albania and I never met any gypsies. If you are in the mood to explore more on gypsies try the superb Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey. It's non-fiction but as compelling as any fiction you'll ever read. An awesome book on Turkey is Portrait of a Turkish Family. It's a sort of fictionalized autobiography and is just splendid.


message 42: by Karlyne (new)

Karlyne Landrum | 1906 comments They sound super interesting! My daughter had a friend (who unfortunately lived in Southern California) whose mother was a real-live gypsy, and my daughter was fascinated by the whole idea.


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