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Archived Group Reads 2011 > Our Mutual Friend Chapters 14~17 (End of 1) The Bird of Prey Brought Down ~ A Dismal Swamp

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Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Published in September 1864
For discussion of these chapters


message 2: by Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) (last edited Nov 25, 2011 05:47AM) (new)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So much has happened in these chapters with the death of Hexam and the hiring of John to be secretary (very funny misunderstanding of the word here) for Mr Boffin. I think the Boffins are so much fun as they meander their way through fashion and trying to be part of the wealthy class. The ghost scene sets up more mystery as Mrs. B sees those faces in the rooms and in her thoughts. She does seem to take it in her stride though, she does not get ruffled at all by their presence. It seems like Wegg has held onto his job as reader and will be moving into the Bower. He certainly is able to land on his "foot" so far...

Do you think Hexam's death was an accident or was it foul play? I feel for poor Lizzie and Charley as they are now truly orphans.


message 3: by Christyb (new)

Christyb | 44 comments I had to laugh at the misunderstanding of a Secretary and Steward by the Boffins. " we have always believed a Secretary to be a piece of furniture, mostly of mahogany, lined with green gauze or leather, with a lit of little drawers in it. Now, you won't think I take a liberty when I mention that you certainly ain't THAT. Why, as to Steward... the odds are that Mrs. Boffin and me may never go upon the water."


message 4: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments Christyb wrote: "I had to laugh at the misunderstanding of a Secretary and Steward by the Boffins. " we have always believed a Secretary to be a piece of furniture, mostly of mahogany, lined with green gauze or l..."

I loved it too, Christyb.


message 5: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 497 comments Marialyce wrote: So much has happened in these chapters with the death of Hexam and the hiring of John to be secretary (very funny misunderstanding of the word here).
I had noted exactly these words: “we have always believed a Secretary to be a piece of furniture, mostly of mahogany, lined with green baize or leather, with a lot of little drawers in it. Now, you won't think I take a liberty when I mention that you certainly ain't THAT.”
Aren’t the Boffins lovely???


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) They are.....wouldn't you love to have them as your neighbors?


message 7: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments Yes, and think of the irony -- this is a couple who have lived for 20 years among the dust mounds? Resilience of the spirit it seems!


message 8: by LauraT (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 497 comments When my mother died this spring he left a piece of forniture to each of her nephew and nieces. To my son she left her Tallboy - Massimo is the only tall "anything" in my family!!!
I recalled it when reading that part!!!


message 9: by SarahC (new)

SarahC (sarahcarmack) | 1424 comments Sometimes we sound like Dickens characters in our own families and conversations, don't we LauraT! I am sorry about your mother's passing. That is interesting to me that she left furniture to some family members. I am researching family history, and I see that in older generations, my family did the same. Often it was a bed and dresser (we say in my part of the country). I think just a piece or two so that several family members would have an heirloom, which I think was such a kind gesture.


message 10: by LauraT (last edited Nov 29, 2011 02:21AM) (new)

LauraT (laurata) | 497 comments In my family this is typical SarahC; but sometimes, being families really big sometime ago, it was done big damages: dividing sets to give each one a pice: so silver cutlery divided to 6 pieces each, two bed side tables given to two different persons and so on.
Now we were only two - my brother and I - and just two neces and a nephew. Things have been more easily divided, and I'm happy that my children will have, hopefully for the rest of their life, something "solid" to remind them of their grandmother.
I know that now it can be more difficoult respect in the past: in Italy we used to stay where we were borne; now I don't know where my kids will be studying or working in let's say 10 years time - and to go around with a Tallaboy or a toilette to the USA can be a bit of a problem! We'll see!

This is again to say as you have SarahC that with Dickens you feel ... at home!


message 11: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Marialyce wrote: "They are.....wouldn't you love to have them as your neighbors?"

I really love the Boffins, especially Mrs. Boffin. She is so kind. I loved her interactions with Bella, and the woman caring for the orphan she wants to adopt.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Kelly wrote: "Marialyce wrote: "They are.....wouldn't you love to have them as your neighbors?"

I really love the Boffins, especially Mrs. Boffin. She is so kind. I loved her interactions with Bella, and th..."


They both only get better.....


message 13: by Sera (new)

Sera I enjoyed Book I very much. I am curious as to for what Weg is looking in the Bower house. Plus, I'm still not sure whether Rokesmith is a good guy or a bad guy. Intersting connection with the one lawyer...what could it be?

I can't wait to keep reading.


Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) So glad you are enjoying the book. Yes, book 2 has lots happening! You will be surprised, Sera.


message 15: by Tim (new)

Tim (tjb654) | 45 comments Sera wrote: "I enjoyed Book I very much. I am curious as to for what Weg is looking in the Bower house. Plus, I'm still not sure whether Rokesmith is a good guy or a bad guy. Intersting connection with the o..."

Sera, it's easy to miss, but a hint as to why Rokesmith wishes to avoid Lightwood is in the last sentence of Book I, Chapter 4: "If Mr Julius Handford had a twin brother upon earth, Mr John Rokesmith was the man." If you put that together with what was said about Julius Handford in Book I, Chapter 3, you begin to understand why Rokesmith doesn't want Lightwood to see him.


message 16: by Sera (new)

Sera Tim wrote: "Sera wrote: "I enjoyed Book I very much. I am curious as to for what Weg is looking in the Bower house. Plus, I'm still not sure whether Rokesmith is a good guy or a bad guy. Intersting connecti..."

Nicely done, Tim. Thanks for letting me know.


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