The Newbery Award and Honor Book Club discussion

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Realistic Fiction > The Perilous Gard

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message 1: by Adelina (last edited Feb 07, 2009 10:05AM) (new)

Adelina | 37 comments Well, due to much time on my hands, I finished!! I loved the book. The ending was good. I am curious to know what happens to the creaure they buried. Kate seems to think it was not good they reburied it, but then it never continued. hmmm... I am very glad Kate did not take the berry at the end. I couldn't imagine marrying someone under flase pretenses, especially since we knew he was going to ask Kate not her sister to marry him.


message 2: by Megan (new)

Megan | 86 comments One of the standout features of this book for me was Pope's unique voice. Sometimes when I read historical fiction I feel like I can't relate to the characters because the author has spent so much effort making them historically acurate that they are no longer recognizable as feeling, thinking humans. Kate, however, frank and sarcastic, reminded me often of people I know and occasionally even myself.
I'm really curious to hear what others have to say about the rescue scene at the bonfire, and also the people of the well in general. I'm wondering if I'm the only one who felt a twinge of sadness when they flooded and abandoned the caves. Were they evil, really? I don't know...


message 3: by Bennett (new)

Bennett | 8 comments There were a number of things that I liked very much about this book. The fantasy element of the Fairy Folk was well done. Like the underground world that they inhabit, they never quite emerge from the shadows into what the reader can easily define. From the time we first see the Lady as an indistinct shadow in the Elvenwood until her final appearance hiding in the shadows of the castle the folk are just out of reach. Gwynhyfara almost becomes someone with emotion and feeling as she spends time teaching Kate the Fairy way, but not quite.
The main characters were equally well done. Kate so believable. The sadness and grief and damaged relationship of Sir Geoffrey and Christopher. And poor addled Randal. Do you think with the Fairy Folk now gone that Randal remains the simpleton or does he get his wits back?
Overall, I liked the book very much. It wasn't one that I would rave over or be anxious about until I recommended it to everyone, but still a satisfying read.


message 4: by Bennett (last edited Feb 14, 2009 07:24PM) (new)

Bennett | 8 comments By the By, my favorite passage,
"Sir Geoffrey, where's Christopher?" she demanded.
"Gone," said Sir Geoffrey.
"Gone where?"
"Away. He left very early this morning, as soon as it was light."
"But he couldn't have - he can't be -" Kate protested. "Why, why should he go away now?"
"Because I sent him."
"But you can't have! Not now! Surely not now, after all he's - you haven't forgiven him? Even now?"
Sir Geoffrey stood regarding her.
"No, I haven't forgiven him," he replied gravely. "But I asked him to forgive me."


message 5: by Ranae (new)

Ranae | 9 comments I liked this book very much. After reading it I began pondering about Kate and the other plucky heroines I've read about and loved. It seems that they seem to not fit in in some way with those around them. They are either not pretty, clumsy, don't know what to say, etc. Do we like this type of heroine because we can relate to them. Would I like a female heroine just as much if she was gorgeously beautiful, full of grace and charm and intelligence? I don't think so. I think because we feel our own inadequacies so clearly, we wouldn't be able to relate, it wouldn't be believable.


message 6: by Megan (new)

Megan | 86 comments I definitely agree that our heroines and heroes have to be relatable. Christopher's narrow-minded guilt, his radical, self-inflicted punishment, and his less than well-mannered behavior made him contrast sharply with all those smooth, ever-charming, never-doubting heroes. And really that made him more likable.


message 7: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 7 comments Well, I finally finished. I enjoyed the second half of the book much more than the first half. I am always a sucker for a happy ending. My favorite part was when Christopher was about to go into the fire and the creature was saying he looked like a god in all the gold and Kate snorted and said he looked more like a fool than a god and Christopher retored that only she would say something like that to a kind on his death. I loved that Kate being true to herself was what finally broke Christopher out of the spell.

I also agree that we tend to like our heroes with flaws so that we can relate. I'd love to know if anyone could think of a hero/heroine that they liked that was flawless.


message 8: by Megan (new)

Megan | 86 comments I too am easily won over by that happy ending gimmick, if a book ends in an engagement/wedding I'm usually bound to like it...he-he-he, it's like a guilty pleasure.

Meanwhile, I'm racking my brain for that flawless couple and the closest I've come up with are the heroes/heroines from picture books I liked as a kid (the damsel in distress type), but I don't know if picture books count.


message 9: by Jackie (new)

Jackie | 7 comments Isn't it funny how we all are won over if the book has a happy ending. I find the same to be true with movies. I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds engagements/weddings to be a guilty pleasure in a book, but it really is. It also tends to make me feel really girly (which is not a bad thing at all!)


message 10: by Adelina (new)

Adelina | 37 comments Even in the picture books...are they really flawless. I can't think of any flawless hero heoine yet. My brain hurts....For me to really like the ending, it has to be happy but not expected, or cheesy. Ya know? I think this book was a prime example, although it was expected somewhat, it wasn't too cheesy.




message 11: by Desiree', Teacher n Training (last edited Dec 23, 2015 05:29PM) (new)

Desiree' (sequoia01) | 249 comments Mod
The Perilous Gard is written by Elizabeth Marie Pope; originally published in 1974 by Houghton Press. this book is a Newbery Honor book for 1975.


message 12: by Joy (new)

Joy | 217 comments I really wanted to like this book, but it fell a little short for me. I have read other books featuring the Fairies/Faerie, most notably The Moorchild (which is also a Newbery Honor) and The Land of Silver Apples (by Nancy Farmer who has won three Honors). I wasn't terribly interested in the plot until Kate actually arrived in the land of the Fairy Folk. I thought that part was well done.


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The Perilous Gard (other topics)

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Elizabeth Marie Pope (other topics)