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Topic: Begin discussion of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane

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Subject: Begin discussion of The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane
Date Posted: 10/1/2012 12:49 PM ET
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Sorry I'm starting this a little late in the day.  Had a busy morning with my Grand-daughter & then took her off to 4K.

So here we go.

1. The story follows several sets of mothers and daughters: Connie and Grace, Grace and Sophia, Deliverance and Mercy, Mercy and Prudence. How do these mother/daughter relationships differ from one another? How are they the same? Did you identify with one set more than the others?

 

A.  I think they differ in the aspect that as time passes, things change.  Women had very little rights and stature during the time of Deliverance & Mercy.  But, as the years past and people, women in particular, began becoming more educated and realizing that they could control and defend themselves, women took steps to stand up and be heard. 

B.  My feeling on how they are the same, is the way in which each mother/daughter interacted.  These seemed to be women who had strong mother/daughter bonds, even though they each saw thing differently, but knew that they would never turn away from each other.  They each in their own way were strong, determined women, but also kind, generous and helping others.

C.  For me, I did not identify with any one set more than the other.  I felt identified to all of them.  I say this because I grew up in the care and teaching of my Great-Grandmother, my Grandmother and my Mother.  So, with each generation teaching and passing on knowledge and the different ways in which they showed and shared emotion & knowledge, I found myself while reading this story remembering my upbringing and a lot of the same feelings and actions the characters in the story had.  My Great-Grandmother was born in 1909.  My Great-Grandfather was born in 1898. (but we’re talking about the women…  smiley ). 

 

Date Posted: 10/1/2012 1:48 PM ET
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Hi Tammy!  First of all, I really liked this read.  Once I got passed the first 40 pages I was hooked.

I agree with you when it comes to all of the mothers and daughters having strong bonds and dedication to each other.

I feel that Connie and Grace were so opposite in their lifestyles and beliefs.  Grace always came across as an "eccentric" as opposed to Connie's level headedness and structure.

Mercy was,  IMHO way too  submissive towards Deliverance, but I need to remember that the story was set in a different time when "children were seen and not heard".

I didn't relate to any of the mother or daughter characters, I related more to Liz, Connie's friend.

 

Date Posted: 10/1/2012 2:11 PM ET
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I still have about 50 pages to read and I know I should get to it, but I think I need a nap first.  LOL    

As usual I had to stop everyonce in a whiile and remember who I was reading about.  I like the format of two parallel stories 1600 and 1900 but I am always frustrated when they leave you hanging at the end of a good part and move 300 years forward or backward.  My mother and I had a good relationship so it's hard to say I connected with one or the other of these specifically, I think I was more like Janine's relationship with the older guy professor.  Sort of passive agressive....knowing he was cracking but not being able to do much about it.

 

Date Posted: 10/1/2012 2:26 PM ET
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Yeah, I liked the character Janine.  More of a liberal. 

This book is totally out of my usual genre and it took me some time to get used to the format of jumping back and forth in time.  But, with that said, I enjoyed the images I got from the 1600s...a little too primitive in some ways for me (I need my phone, oven, microwave, puter, etc. LOL)...but liked the "atmosphere"...kick back ya know?

Date Posted: 10/1/2012 4:54 PM ET
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I feel that Connie and Grace were so opposite in their lifestyles and beliefs. Grace always came across as an "eccentric" as opposed to Connie's level headedness and structure. 

Yeah, I agree, Grace & Connie were opposites. But I felt like Grace was trying to teach Connie that life didn't have to be so orderly & structured.  And Grace did seem a bit too carefree in the way she went about her life that maybe that made Connie feel she had to be more levelheaded & structured.  I think that after Connie figured things out, she found a balance that worked for her. 

On the other side of it, I think Connie showed her Mom that having some order & structure is needed in life. I felt like Grace did settle down some at the end.  She did come back to the house she grew up in.

Mercy was, IMHO way too submissive towards Deliverance, but I need to remember that the story was set in a different time when "children were seen and not heard". 

Oh my gosh!  I can't count the times my Mom said that to me. lol!!  And like you said, it was the time setting.

I like the format of two parallel stories 1600 and 1900 but I am always frustrated when they leave you hanging at the end of a good part and move 300 years forward or backward. 

I know what you mean Deb!  I was like, "Tell me more, NOW!" lol!!  I also liked the way the forward & backward read so smoothly, even though, like you said, it left you hanging.

Liz and Janine --  I felt that these 2 were like counter-balances for Connie.  I felt like Liz was an 'in the moment' type & I agree Janine was liberal & passive aggressive.  She wanted women to move up in the structure within Harvard (the liberal part), but she went along slowly letting her influence take it's course (the passive aggressive part).  (does that make sense?)

 

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 10/1/2012 5:35 PM ET
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Just got my copy today, I'll hit it hard and join in in a couple days.

Date Posted: 10/1/2012 6:04 PM ET
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Can't wait to see you here Barb.  I hope you like the book! :)

Date Posted: 10/1/2012 7:31 PM ET
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Just checking in, I'm not quite finished with the book so I'll be along in a couple of days. Good to see it's off to a strong start, good job Tammy.
Date Posted: 10/2/2012 5:20 PM ET
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Thanks Chris!

How about the reservedness of Prudence?  And yet she wrote in a journal.  Even though it was just short entries, to be a person of that nature, I'm surprised she would do that.

In my personal life, I don't like writing in journals, it makes me feel too open to everyone.  I don't mind conversing with people about my life, but to put it to paper....makes me feel uncomfortable.  I have tried many times & never kept more than 3 or 4 days & then ended up tearing it up & throwing it away. :)

Date Posted: 10/2/2012 7:07 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2012
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If my recollections are correct, most people, not just females recorded their lives in journals of one type or another.  Possibly because of the distance between neighbors, towns, etc. left them feeling "out of the loop" and felt the need to communicate.  Communicating with ones' self was better than no communication at all.  In the time of Prudence...she may have lacked the self-confidence to voice her opinions with others.  There are many, many journals in museums that were written by famous historical people (presidents, philosophers, etc.). 

I, too have tried journaling...just not disciplined enough to do it on a continual basis.

Date Posted: 10/2/2012 9:38 PM ET
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I journaled for about 30 years including keeping up journals for my kids.   For my kids it was the usual stuff like when they took their first steps etc.  I stopped each when they each graduated from high school, then stopped journalling for myself too.  Ocassionally I would go back and read it and it was things I wrote that had made me anxious, and re reading it made me anxious again.   Believe it or not, just today I threw out some of them.  I kept the kids journals of course.

Date Posted: 10/3/2012 3:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2012
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I've not read it yet.  I haven't been able to get past the first 20 pages.  Hopefully it picks up soon.  I'll join in as soon as I get it done!


Charlene

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 10/3/2012 7:18 PM ET
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It's going pretty quickly for me, halfway through in just over a day. I've enjoyed it so far but the thing that just happened when I went to bed last night kind of annoyed me. Hope it doesn't go off in that direction. 

Date Posted: 10/3/2012 8:26 PM ET
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Barb, let me guess.....the part where it seemslike it is going to be a romance novel?   Don't worry.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 10/3/2012 8:47 PM ET
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No, the burned door. It just didn't seem to fit in but I ended right after that. I don't want it to go off on a "I'm being terrorized by an unknown witch hunter" tangent, no one knows what she's up to. That professsor is getting weird though. We'll see at bedtime tonight. The romance is alright, it's secondary. 



Last Edited on: 10/3/12 8:48 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/3/2012 9:23 PM ET
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Barb...you'll be really surprised when you read further and find out the origin of the symbol burned on the door...I was!

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 10/4/2012 12:45 AM ET
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I went and read for awhile, got about 3/4 through, and it didn't go squirrly yet. I was having flashes of it going all Scooby-Doo on me, lol. 

Date Posted: 10/4/2012 10:45 AM ET
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Barb, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the way the story goes.

Date Posted: 10/4/2012 10:49 AM ET
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Here is the next discussion question:

2. Most of the main characters in the novel are women. How have women’s roles changed from the 17th century to the 21st century? What about their obligations and opportunities?

I believe women’s roles have changed very dramatically.  We have so much more independence.  It is a lot easier for women to be on their own today & very much accepted. 

I think our obligations are now of our own choosing and not what others put on us as in the past. I believe in the past women’s obligations were dictated by the members of the local village or town she lived in, whether lawfully or morally. Today, with the freedom to choose, oppose or accept the obligations we encounter have helped to bring an end to persecutions against the way in which a woman conducts herself.  It’s so much easier today for a woman to voice her opinion & speak for herself.  Of course, I'm only speaking of here in the US, not for other countries.

Women’s opportunities today are almost endless.  I say almost, because I believe in certain sectors of the business world there is still a limit on how far a woman can rise.  As for the rest, I believe our opportunities are endless.   

 

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 10/4/2012 2:23 PM ET
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Finished. It did get a little more supernatural than I normally like but over all I liked the book. She took it just over the edge of believable, I probably would have liked it better if it had stayed possible. Some magic would have been possible in that instance, just not quite blue orbs coming off the fingers, ya know? Interesting take that some of the Salem witches may have actually been witches. They lessened quite a bit in the second half but I found the detailed depictions of things that Connie was imagining whenever she thought about what someone else was doing annoying. Was she having a 'vision' or was it just what she was picturing? I was never sure which made it a wasted addition. I don't mind the going back and forth, it was pretty easy to keep track of where we were by the characters. I was mostly two steps ahead of Connie, especially over the almanac reference, and thought she came off kinda stupid in parts. I mean the instant I saw the journal entry that said "mom asked for her almanac, I told her I gave to to the ,,,," I was like 'Oooh, there it is' and Connie was oblivious. It took her forever to grasp some pretty obvious things. There were several times I would have liked to reach in the book and slap her for being daft. 

Most of the mother/daughter pairings were a little contentious, they seemed to match up one calm and one more spirited. Was it Prudence who got rid of the book? She seemed to not have any magic in her or even believe it. Grace kind of annoyed me with how flaky she was and how she could have helped Connie and chose not to. Especially when her boyfriend's life was on the line. I much prefer the direct approach though, if you have something to say spit it out already. Don't give me a bunch of riddles. May have something to do with the fact that I'm not very perceptive or good at riddles, lol. I wouldn't say I identified with any of them. 

Detailing how women's roles have changed would take another book. The women in the past sections of this book were kind of out of their time as far as being more advanced than their contemporaries, they were still held to their place but the knew they didn't belong there. Like Livvy knowing the child died of lead poisoning but also knowing no one would believe her, they didn't know what lead poisoning was yet. Livvy also seemed to be often cautioning Mercy to hide her knowledge, the consequences of women having any kind of knowledge at the time would be dire. I don't think the actual witch trials lasted that long in the US (although they have a sporadic history centuries old) but there were other consequences to being too smart, like expulsion and ostracizing. It paid to keep your mouth shut. Sometimes it still does. 

That was an odd journal Prudence kept. So trite. I haven't really ever bothered in my own life, mine would end up pretty trite too because I'm not that interesting. I was given a diary when I was about 10 and wrote in it a little, mostly what singers I had crushes on and what we watched on tv. I was even boring as a kid, lol. I did use to keep notebooks of rambling feelings, usually inspired by drinking, but I enjoyed the act of writing them out much more than rereading them. It was kind of an aid to thinking more than a record. I don't think I have any of them anymore, they didn't always make much sense the next day. 

Date Posted: 10/5/2012 1:24 PM ET
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Not finished yet, just checking in. I'll probably be done by tomorrow. I can say that I used to keep a journal for like a minute back in the day and it sounded remarkably like Prudences journal. "Went to class today, learned about WWII." "Ate fries and chocolate milk shake for lunch today. Dipped fries in shake, gonna do that from now on."

Date Posted: 10/5/2012 5:36 PM ET
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Hi All!  To answer Tammy's #2 question regarding women's opportunities and obligations now compared to then...naturally there is not much of a comparison due to the right to vote, women's lib, poor economics, etc.  In regard to obligations, IMHO there are way too many women who shirk their responsibilities in this day and age when it comes to their role as mothers.  I'm not talking about moms who HAVE to work outside the home and are stretched so thin with their time and energy.  I'm speaking about the so called "mothers" who let their children run-a-muck regardless of their ages while they're busy boozing, drugging, out partying with their friends, etc.  Granted, there were probably many women back in the 17th century who neglected their offspring, but in modern times it's become more prevelant.  Back then, women were obligated to "obey" their husband...did I hear somewhere that that phrase has been eliminated from the modern day wedding vows?  I do believe so.  Opportunities for women in the 21st century are limitless.  Look at the women in political offices, CEOs of multi-million dollar companies just to name two examples.  In the fiction world of Deliverance Dane, wouldn't it have been wonderful if she would have been allowed to voice her wisdom on a vast number of subjects to her townspeople?  Smart cookie that one...very "futuristic" for the time.

Date Posted: 10/5/2012 6:34 PM ET
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I'm speaking about the so called "mothers" who let their children run-a-muck regardless of their ages while they're busy boozing, drugging, out partying with their friends, etc. Granted, there were probably many women back in the 17th century who neglected their offspring, but in modern times it's become more prevelant. 

I absolutely agree Sandy!  I didn't go there in my thoughts on this question, because I didn't know how to phrase it properly.  I knew someone would.  Thanks!! 

Barb & Sandy --  Again I agree about D. Dane being ahead of her time & having to hold back with the knowledge she possesed.  Yes, it would have been wonderful if she had been allowed to use her knowledge.  She could maybe have saved so many lives. 

Back then, women were obligated to "obey" their husband...did I hear somewhere that that phrase has been eliminated from the modern day wedding vows? I do believe so. 

I got curious and looked this up.  I knew they had either taken the word obey out or it was optional, but that was all I knew.  Here's what I found.  Just in case anyone is curious. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage_vows    

I was amazed at the dates of when the changes occured.

Date Posted: 10/7/2012 11:18 AM ET
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Good Morning Everyone! 

 3. As an historian, Connie likes to interpret the past in light of the present. Sam, however, is a preservationist: he likes to keep the past intact, sometimes at the expense of the present. How are their opposing feelings about the past made apparent? Would you classify yourself as an historian or a preservationist? 

I'll answer a little later. :)

Date Posted: 10/7/2012 11:53 AM ET
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I'm a bit of each though tend more toward the historian.   The history will be there for ever  while eventually the preservation will become just replaced wood.

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