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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Book Buddies read number three Mudbound by Hillary Jordan There will be SPOILERS. Anyone is welcome to come in and contribute.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) We probably might want to set some sort of reading schedule. How about we start with the first two chapters entitled Jamie and Laura (paperback pgs 1-31)

Is that ok, Shay? If not let me know and we can change whatever you want.

message 3: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Sure, anything is okay by me. Just glad to have someone to discuss books with.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Me too! :)

message 5: by Petra (new)

Petra When is this starting? I'm in the middle of 2666 right now and don't know if I have the time right now but perhaps in a couple of weeks.

message 6: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 25, 2010 05:42PM) (new)

Petra wrote: "When is this starting? I'm in the middle of 2666 right now and don't know if I have the time right now but perhaps in a couple of weeks."

Petra I think they have start already. I might be able to join you in a couple of weeks time if you would like?

message 7: by Petra (new)

Petra Gail, that would be great! How does mid-August sound? We can touch base around then and see if we're ready? I'll speed up reading 2666 (still have about half to go).

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

That sounds like it would work for me. I am looking forward to it.

message 9: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Jul 28, 2010 12:50AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Hi Everyone,
I just noticed that another group here The Book Addicts is reading Mudbound for their August selection. We can join in on their discussion as well as having our own.Is that ok with everyone? Shay and I are planning on starting it today but only reading the first two chapters.

BTW, Petra, what do you think of 2666? I am considering reading it. Thanks!

message 10: by Petra (new)

Petra Marialyce, 2666 is an interesting story.
Bolano has a way of writing simply and yet conveying the characters fears and uncertainties throughout. The reader is almost a distant observer of events as there's not much conversation occurring and it's as though the story is being related by a second person. That took a bit of getting used to (for me).
It's very well written. Although easy to read, it gives the feeling of being rather dense. I think that's because the Reader has to think about what's happening or how things are going to be tied together. It's not spelled out (at least not yet). It's a mysterious story and quite intriguing.
I'm quite enjoying it.

message 11: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Jul 26, 2010 12:54PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) ***Jaimie and Laura*** SPOILERS***

This book starts off great don't you think? I love how you get that sense of being in the mud with them digging Pappy's grave. Scary thought being in a hole that deep or having a body float to the surface when it rains too hard.

You can see I think where this is going with Laura. She is considered an "old maid" at thirty-one and she will accept Henry even though you can already see the undercurrents with Jamie.

Laura's family was educated while Henry's was not but yet they are stuck up and haughty. When Thalia says" What good is college for a woman?"(which at one time, my father said to me!!!) ..and then Eboline says "unless of course you're poor or plain", it sets up, I think, the inner turmoil this family will play in Laura's life.

..and the fact that Laura's mother cries when she can't find a suitor and is thirty as if being married is the do all and end all of a life.

Well, I am hooked and think it is starting out wonderfully. What's your thoughts, Shay?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Petra wrote: "Marialyce, 2666 is an interesting story.
Bolano has a way of writing simply and yet conveying the characters fears and uncertainties throughout. The reader is almost a distant observer of events ..."

Thanks, Petra. I am definitely adding it to my TBR list.

message 13: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I really like modern Southern novels. I summered many years of my youth in the south, in Alabama and Virginia. I'm from Hawaii, and the South, to me, is as much a culture shock and homecoming. Hawaii and the South are similar in many ways- the language has its own rhythms distinct from standard American English; the sense of the importance of belonging to community and a place, etc. So, I guess what I love about southern novels is that the world it describes is so similar, and yet, different from the world I grew up in. I love how Southern novelists treat the land as an additional character in the book and the way land is almost a receptacle of memory- a park you flew a kite in as a child, the lake you went fishing at, etc. They understand that when you leave your home you leave a piece of yourself behind. I love the way food is described- the Sunday dinner, that food is an expression of generosity and love. Other than fellow Hawaii natives, the only people who appreciate my dinners and BBQ's are southerners. Everyone else thinks I cook too much, eat too much, etc. (I am looking at you in-laws, Stouffer's frozen lasagne and bagged salad is not Sunday dinner.)

As to the novel itself, I agree with you Marialyce. I was shocked that I'm reading Sense and Sensibility and this novel and both have characters consumed with getting their daughters married off. Despite a difference in time periods of 120 years. It was awful the way her mother was describing her- good cook, plays piano and sings well, etc. Like she's listing off the good qualities of a horse.

I love the part where Laura says, "by the same logic, my father-in-law was murdered because I was born plain rather than pretty...." and a whole list of other events that I really want to know about. Really masterful how the author is just "teasing" us with a little bit of knowledge.

Let me know how much to read today or I'll just read a chapter or chapters of the equivalent amount. Sorry, couldn't get online yesterday. Sudden summer storm, could barely get out of bed, arthritis and it was one of those days when the kids sense weakness and went in for the kill.

message 14: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Jul 28, 2010 12:52AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I love Southern novels too and I have read quite a few that I thought they were truly wonderful. I love what you said about how the Southern authors treat the land. I truly had never thought of that and it is so very true and so very beautiful.

I am not from the South but someday hope to be. I have a daughter who lives in VA and I love it every time I visit. It is so peaceful, so serene, so Southern. I just need my husband to retire and then we will migrate.

I certainly want to go forward, Shay. Do you think up to page 70 is too much? I do want to savor what is coming up. I was particularly intrigued by Laura's statement about the word "cleave" meaning to divide with a blow, as with an axe". Pretty ominous I think.

Hope you are feeling better today.

message 15: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments No, page 70 is fine. I must admit that this is a novel that I feel I could read in one sitting in one greedy gulp. This author does a great job of foreshadowing, you have a dead man, murder, and ominous mention of the word axe. Wonderful.

I'm not feeling better, still gloomy and cloudy, but the kids are behaving better. So, that makes everything feel better and more under control.

Of all of the south, my favorite state is Virginia. So close to culture and it's so genteel. Yet, everything is still so close to the country.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Sounds perfect, and I know I could have read the whole thing yesterday too! I'll be back! I hope you feel better by the end of the day.

message 17: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Unfortunately, I probably won't get to read it until this evening after the kiddies go to bed. I tend to save my "real" books to read when I can be more undisturbed.

message 18: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Jul 27, 2010 01:00PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) ***I goofed and went to page 82***

This book is wonderful. I love all the characters (well maybe not Pappy!)

Jamie*** Wow! A twenty year difference between him and Henry. So Henry was like a father figure to him. I loved their first meeting one another. "Hello little brother." and Jamie saying" ....he who howled like a red Indian whenever my father or any other male tried to pick me up went meekly into my brother's hands.

Ronsel*** an Eleanor Roosevelt n----. You know every time I see that word it truly bothers me. I loved reading of the contrast between how the black soldiers were treated here in this country and then in Europe. I can't say I was surprised by this. Being in the tank division for General Patton was interesting especially since my father was in the infantry under General Patton. My father related a story about how Patton hated dirt or disorder. When Patton would be viewing the troops or even just riding into camp, many of the soldiers would jump into the water just so they would be clean enough for Patton.

Poor Laura! Being stuck out in the middle of nowhere with Henry (the sap) and her father-in-law. Certainly not the life she aspired to and it must be such a worry to try to raise the children in an environment like that. I loved how feisty she got with Henry.

Henry, the big dolt, so book smart but not a bit savvy. Where does he come off just doing all these things without his wife being made aware of his plans? I myself, would have hung him from the outhouse.

I like the introduction of Hap and Florence. I can see them growing closer to Laura and maybe even Henry.

I guess it is hard for us to imagine a world where there was so much prejudice. It, to me now, seems like something you read about in a book, or see in a movie. I know it took longer for the South to accept the blacks and sometimes I wonder if they truly have. My daughter says that in many of the rural parts of VA things have not changed all that much.

Well, Shay, I am truly enjoying this book and keeping myself from finishing it tonight so we can chat first. Hope you are loving it too!

Rick-Founder JM CM BOOK CLUB  | 7278 comments Mod
Great discussion!! everyone
hope it helps moving the thread higher up on the topic list
love reading this super little "Group within a Group" you girls have put together!!!

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Rick, we appreciate you popping in too!!!

message 21: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Ugh, the system went down for maintenance and ate my comment.

Did you think that, at the end of Laura's chapter, that that was rape? It struck me as such. I think that there is only a thin veneer of civilization on Henry and I think that living on the farm is going to start stripping it away.

It's striking, isn't it, that Hap said he only learned to read 7 years ago? I don't know how people expected African-Americans to get ahead, when it was such an uneven playing field. Imagine the pressure you must be under, like Ronsel, having to be an exemplar of your race. (The part where they were told they had to be cleaner than all of the other soldiers.) Especially, when you consider most of us are just average. How must that feel to have to be better, smarter, more hard working, just to maybe be considered equal?

Will write more tomorrow. Let me know how far you think we should read tomorrow.

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Ahhh, that happened to me as well. Fortunately I had copied it to word to do a spell check!!! (I knew my bad spelling would come in handy one day.)

I am glad you girls are enjoying the book. I have been skimming your posts without reading them in detail as I'll be reading it with Petra later on.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Yes, you are probably right about the rape, Shay. It just didn't strike me until you mentioned it. The part you mentioned about Ronsel struck me too!

My husband who hires and teaches many young men and women who have barely made it through school, says we would be surprised by how many people can't read or write. He said that the only way someone can get beyond making the minimum wage in his company is because of their ability to be able to read and write fairly simple text. He also said that these people are few and far between. Shameful and shocking!

Is it ok to go to page 122 today?

Gail, You and Petra are going to love this book!

Thanks Rick, We are enjoying ourselves.

message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul Marialyce, one of my functions here in Britain is teaching evening adult literacy classes. Your husband is right. Sometimes, we might wonder what they've been doing for eleven years in school. Or what the schools have been doing with them for eleven years.

Sorry, completely off-topic. I'll shut up now :)

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Sorry, completely off-topic. I'll shut up now :) ..."

Paul you are welcome to drop in any time.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I know what you are saying, Paul. I taught for quite a few years, but was lucky enough to teach in a upper middle class neighborhood and didn't start seeing the problems until the last five or so years. Many of the new entrants were immigrants who lived five or more families to a house. The parents spoke limited English if at all and the children's backgrounds were limited.

We did the best we could, but administration insisted they be placed in regular classes. I think if the kids had been put together and first and foremost learned English well including reading it, writing it and knowing its grammar, we would have accomplished something. Putting a non reader or low functioning reader into a regular class is and was a disservice both to the students and the teachers. We "must" keep the kids "age appropriate" and of course, there was no retention. So, we sent a bunch of kids onto the the Jr High (grade 7) not prepared in any way for the rigors of that curriculum. Frustrating!! I am sure my district is not the only one that does this. Factually, it is all about money. My husband often says educate them now or pay for them later.

... and I will stop my rant here.

BTW My daughter just married a young man from London. He is coming here to live and they are proceeding with the process of getting his work visa. My husband use to work for BA so we have been back and forth to your beautiful country many times. I am scheduled to go in September for part 2 of the wedding celebration.

message 27: by Shay (last edited Jul 28, 2010 07:42AM) (new)

Shay | 528 comments Wow, I guess Marialyce and I were both teachers. I taught middle school for years before NCLB and elementary after that. You know, Paul, that teachers always say, it all starts in the home and that learning is a partnership. It's not true and it's not a cop out. By the time we get kids in kindergarten, a lot of whether they succeed or fail in reading, therefore school, is set is stone. The average vocabulary in kindergarten is 2500-5000 words. That gap is never overcome and only widens. So, pretty much most of a child's success is entirely dependent on how we get them. Vocabulary and spelling list length, about 20 words, is not arbitrary. It's about the most we can teach and a child can learn in a classroom setting. So, best case scenario, we can teach about 720 words a year times 13 years, or 9360 total. I believe that to do adequately on the SAT requires a vocabulary of 100,000 words. So, most of the acquisition has to come from home. If it doesn't, well, I don't have to tell anyone what the results are.

message 28: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Marialyce, why do you think Laura stayed with Henry and moved? I know she didn't really love him. Unlike most women of that time, she had a job and could have supported herself. Was societal pressure that strong both to stay married and to make her feel that she needed to be married to be whole?

Laura describes the suicide of her brother-in-law as an axe blow. What do you think about the axe as a reoccurring image? Is it ominous? Do you think that's how they kill the father? On a farm, an axe is kind of a scary image for a child. It's kept razor sharp to split wood and you're always warned about losing a finger or a toe. An axe is often used to kill chickens. (All of my relatives who lived on farms have some chicken without its head story that's gross.)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) I guess, Shay, that in those days after the war, marriages just lasted whether it was good one or not. I think too, that Laura had had so much pressure at home to get married that she would hate to be unmarried. She learns to settle for what is and does not try to change it. Having to return to that state would have been a blow that she could not stand along with the fact that she had the children by now. I thought it was so ugly the way Henry showed his "superiority" and power over her by having sex the way he did with her. I like him less and less as the story proceeds.

That axe reference is there quite a lot. It is pretty ominous. Could it be that an axe can give one sharp fatal blow? It is a very scary object invoking images of Lizzie Borden and Jack Nicholson in The Shining. I am sure it will as you said be involved in the death of the father in law. (and maybe others)

I continue to be amazed by the simplicity of Hillary Jordan's words but the powerful images they portray.

Ok to go to page 122? I hope you are feeling better too!

message 30: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments To page 122 is fine. I feel a little better today.

message 31: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Jul 28, 2010 01:45PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) ***Spoilers* pgs 83-122***

Fair Fields Henry's name for the farm = Mudbound Laura's name for it. I could just see her saying it too In a kind of sarcastic way. I loved it!!

I love Florence ---Laura was out of her head with mamma worry. What she said on page 83 is so true. Being a mother and your child hurting, you had better get out of our way. I agreed so with that statement.

I kind of liked Henry for about two seconds there but then he went and spoiled it and I am about to take an axe to Pappy!

I thought what Florence said, "Delta'll take a woman like that and suck all the sap out of her till there ain't nothing left but bone and grudge against him that brung her here."

What do you think, Shay, of Hap and Florence? Their relationship seems to be the exact opposite of Laura and Henry's.

Had to love Laura's getting the other doctor for Hap. She is sure going to have to take some s___for that move.

...and if I haven't said it before I LOVE THIS BOOK!

message 32: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Marialyce, I love this book too. I know that the characters probably aren't based on real people. But, somewhere at sometime, there were probably real people who lived lives like Hap, Florence, and Laura. It sounds stupid, but somehow I almost feel as if it can end well for them in the book, then maybe the "real" life Haps, and Florences, and Lauras ended up happy too.

Great that you would use those quotes from Florence. I was going to use them too, so striking and moving. I think the quote about Laura and farm life is so accurate. I never met my great-grandmother, who worked on the cane fields in Hawaii. The few pictures we have show her as always looking like an old woman- stooped, tired, miserable. Farming is a hard life and worse when you hate it.

I wonder if Hap and Florence's relationship is going to be a source of problem for Laura. If seeing it will make her hate and resent Henry even more. What is the most remarkable about their relationship is that even after Hap is hurt and they've lost so much, he doesn't lash out at Florence. Even at his worst, he is better than Henry at his best.

How far should we read today? I'm up for 60 or so pages if you are.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) 60 pages sound terrific to me. We seem to be savoring this book together. I hope you are feeling better.

...also hoping we see more of Laura's feistiness as well as more of Florence and Hap and much less of Pappy and Henry.

I love what you just said as we both are hoping this all turns out well for the characters we like (and those real life ones that typify the ones we are reading about.)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) This book just keeps getting better and better.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So much happened in those 60 pages, what's your thoughts. Shay?

message 36: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I felt so horrible for Laura when she had the miscarriage. Can you blame her for being so angry? She's so far away from her family and friends who could help her. What Florence said is coming true.

World War II. I'm not saying the 60's weren't a time of change, but I think it all began with World War II- the Civil Rights Movement, Women's Rights Movement had their genesis there. Rosie the Riveter, probably the first time in history than women worked full time outside of the home in large numbers, even amongst the middle class. In this story, you can see the seed of the Civil Rights Movement in Ronsel. First, I think it opened the eyes of "white" America of the generation that served. They saw all of the real "Ronsels" serving and dying with honor and distinction and they came home changed. Second, the GI bill gave access to college for many who never would have been able to go. Statistically, the more educated you are the less racist you are. Finally, I think within the African-American community, serving as soldiers opened their eyes. When he said, "There I was a liberator, a hero, In Mississippi I was just another n----- pushing a plow. And the longer I stayed, the more that's all I was." I hope he leaves before it breaks him. Can you imagine enduring the thousands of indignities?

message 37: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I don't even know how to comment of Vera and Renie. All I can say is I'm grateful that the author had faith enough faith in herself to not include a graphic description of the rape of a child. This novel is proof that it is just as horrific when you don't provide the details. You can convey the horror just by describing the aftermath.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) How true that is. Your imagination can certainly fill in the details for you.

***SPOILERS*** pgs 123-184

I agree with you on all you said. World War 2 was certainly the great equalizer in many ways. I thought it was quite interesting of the author to include the liberation of Dachau and the love of Ronsel for a white German woman Resl, a"sorrowful kind of pretty, that's even prettier than the happy kind." ..."The two of us had something in common . Her people were conquered and despised, just like mine." ...and yet he leaves her.

I found Florence again ever so aware in her comment of Ronsel's feel for the Delta. "It was the Delta pressing in on him and squeezing the life right out of him." Laura and Ronsel share their feeling of being weighted down by where they are.

Laura in love with her husband when she carried his child. Losing that baby such a loss on so many levels for her.

The tragedy and utter depravity of incest and the arrival of Jamie brings Laura back into the realization of her life.

Pappy still the bigoted pig that he is! Henry the control freak.

There were some parts that I did chuckle though! Florence feeding Hap brains and eggs (oh yuck!) and giving him his "pencil pills" for his infection.

What about the next 60, Shay? Got any premonitions about what will happen?

message 39: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I think that Ronsel and Jamie will get to be friends. I think that they are the only two people who can understand each other and maybe even heal each other. I hope Laura gets better, but I think that can only happen through friendship with Florence. I don't think that anyone else can understand what Laura is going through except another woman. I think, though, that Laura will get worse.

Sixty more pages sound good. I, too, loved those little humorous moments to lighten it up a little. Very telling that they only happen between Florence and Hap.

message 40: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Jul 30, 2010 11:16AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) You know you are right again! The love and humor and togetherness only comes from those Florence and Hap.

I keep on seeing Jamie and Laura coming together too!

message 41: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Marialyce wrote: "You know you are right again! The love and humor and togetherness only comes from those Florence and Hap.

I keep on seeing Jamie and Laura coming together too!"

What I love best is that this is Hap and Florence at their worst, they were so close to losing everything, especially their independence. Yet, it brought out the best in them and brought them closer. When Laura had the miscarriage, she pulled away from Henry even more- 3 weeks of shutting down.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) That Florence I love how she comes back at Hap with her scriptures. Happiness comes from the heart with those two. Laura is just an object to Henry. He loves her less than his land and she knows it.

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Wow! Shay, we were both right! Must be our teacher brains!

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Want to finish it today, Shay?

message 45: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Yes, I want to finish it today. I think it's at the point where we have to know how it ends.

Read through Laura's chapter on page 245. I guess everyone has a "good" side. I was amazed when Pappy offered money for Jaimie's bail. Amazing that he told Henry to keep it a secret- he would rather help Jaimie than get credit for helping Jamie. I guess he knew that Jaimie would never accept his help. Notice how Pappy didn't get a chapter- he never gets to speak in his own voice. We only know him through other peoples' perceptions of him.

Jaimie and Laura. Not surprised by it. I thought, though, that it would be Jaimie that would have initiated it. I loved that passage where Hap explains how he came to marry Florence; that she wasn't the prettiest woman, but she was the best choice. I don't think Henry chose well. If he knew that he was going to farm, he should have chosen a woman who would have been happy on a farm.

What do you think about Jaimie now?

message 46: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Jul 31, 2010 07:39AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Well, I have always like the bad boy image and I think he is definitely that! I think what the country failed to realize and maybe still doesn't is that these men and women come back from war scared in so many ways. They might not have been wounded physically in battle, but the emotional scars they carry run deeper than any others.

I still like Jamie. I think he knows who he is and tries to escape from that in the bottle. Laura finds in him the man she hoped to one day marry, but she (or her mother) chose the wrong man for her and then she was stuck big time.

I think Jamie sees in her a woman who is not appreciated and in his way tries to fill in the many emotional spaces his brother fails to. I see him as the most fragile character and feel for his pain. I can see him killing himself or at least living a very tragic life.

I did see that one kind moment of Pappy's. If only he could show in some small way, the love he has for Jamie perhaps Jamie would be better. Great observation of Pappy's lack of voice in the novel. Don't they say that it is through other's eyes that the real person is seen?

I am ever so anxious to finish today, but have to finish painting first. Hope you are feeling better today. We are having a glorious cool, humid free day in NY.

message 47: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Jul 31, 2010 01:02PM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) ***SPOILERS***

I have to say that I am sorry the book has ended and I always feel that way when a good book does.

I found myself cringing at the treatment of Ronsel. The fact that these things really did go on in our country is a disgrace and why?... because he loved a white woman?... because he dared to ride in the front seat of his white friend's car? I was ever so nervous when that excuse they had for a doctor pulled out his scalpel. ...and Making Jamie decide which part to cut off was over the top.

Surprise with Jamie being the one who killed Pappy though! I thought for sure it was going to be Florence but Jamie beat her to it. Also surprising to me was that Laura stayed with Henry. I think by the end, however, he has come to realize her value and has become although imperfect the man she loves. I loved that she is carrying Jamie's child though but think perhaps Henry knows.

What a wonderful tale. I truly loved the language, the flow, the humanness of this book. I know I will be on the lookout for more books by Hillary Jordan. I hope she continues to write. I gave it 5*****.

Shay, how do you feel about it now that it has ended?

message 48: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments Sorry, had no internet. Had to shut it off to punish the kids. It's been a long, long summer.

Yes, exactly. I was shocked that it was Jaimie that killed Pappy. I thought it would have been Laura and towards the end Florence. What do you think about Jaimie? It seems like he is one of those people that lets bad things happen because he is weak, not because he is evil. I think he became a pilot out of weakness, because it was cleaner, safer than fighting on the ground. We know that he flew bombing missions mostly, not milk runs and other things, because he was afraid to fly over water. So, he probably killed more people in war than he had to. Not out of courage or hate, but out of weakness; he became a bigger "killer" than he had to. Not that war is murder, but I think it is in Jaimie's mind somewhere, that's why he drinks so much.

How do you think Jaimie and Ronsel end up? Ronsel's story ends with him speculating. Maybe I'll end up married, at college, etc. I think that all of those things come true for him. Ronsel has a history of overcoming obstacles- he fought in an elite tanker battalion when most African-Americans were digging ditches. I don't think Jaimie gets over being a drunk. He couldn't get over all of the "clean" killing he did by plane, where he couldn't see his targets. I don't think he can get over what he did to Pappy and Ronsel.

I don't know if Henry knows if that's Jaimie's baby. I'd like to think that if he knows, he'd be fine with it because of all he has done to Laura. Also, I think it may be Jaimie's only "legacy" on earth. I know that Jaimie is married at the end, but I just get the feeling that he is not going to be around a long time.

I still don't know how I feel about Laura staying with Henry. How do you feel about it?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) The romantic in me wanted Laura to be with Jamie, but the realist knew her life would be better with Henry. I think with Laura that she was a "thinker" and that she knew her children and her life would be better staying with Henry. She claims she loves him at the end and maybe she does. Perhaps the oppressive farm life makes her into an optimist. After all she has been through, life would have to get better. Henry is not the exiting man we all hope one day to marry but he is reliable and wants to provide the best for his family. I think she recognizes that in him and does realize he loves her, perhaps not in a showy emotional way, but quietly and peacefully and perhaps that is good enough for her.

I would think that Jamie would come to no good end. It's his drinking that will kill him even before he is dead. Perhaps he will even kill himself as a punishment for all he has felt he has done wrong in his life. I do have hope for Ronsel and see his life as one of accomplishment and achievement. After all he goes through he still has the "shine".

As I said I truly loved this book, but I have seen others who thought it was pretty bad. I guess just like in the book, it takes all kinds of people to share an experience differently.

Hope the kids are better today. Don't you hate it when their punishment is punishment for you too?

message 50: by Shay (new)

Shay | 528 comments I think any punishment is our punishment. Even if it doesn't directly involve us, they will make you miserable.

I, too, loved the book. To me, one of the things that makes it a great book is that I'm still thinking about it. What do you plan to read next?

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Books mentioned in this topic

Mudbound (other topics)
The Gargoyle (other topics)

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Hillary Jordan (other topics)