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Topic: The Widow's War Discussion Chapter 40-49

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Subject: The Widow's War Discussion Chapter 40-49
Date Posted: 8/1/2011 1:53 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
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Date Posted: 8/3/2011 10:49 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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It's been a long time since I've blown through a book in two days, but I did it with this one.  I'm so proud of Lyddie for standing up for herself and making her own way, even when it is difficult.  As I watched her refuse to the sign the paper at the last minute both times, I was reminded of a boss telling me once, "It's never too late to do the right thing." 

The last scene warmed my heart...she had her granddaughter with her, which indicated that things probably thawed with her daughter, she had her house, and she had Eben.  Something makes me think that he wasn't a "tenant" for very long!

Date Posted: 8/3/2011 11:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
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Like you, Christa, I just zipped through this book. Sally Gunning's writing was fantastic! Lyddie had so much heart. For the life of me, I couldn't imagine her wanting to take on the care of herself and others after she was burned - but she really was determined! And I can understand why. Yes, I don't think that Eben stayed just a tenant for very long either. What I most enjoyed in Gunning's writing was how she managed to tackle every emotion/need on the part of Lyddie: survival; independence, family, companionship, sexuality; usefulness, etc. The way that Lyddie stood her ground without getting nasty or having a hissy fit was admirable! Good, good book!

Date Posted: 8/3/2011 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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I can't remember the last time I flew through a book like this! I finished last night around 1:00am :-)

Jeanne, I agree Gunning is a good writer!

Christa - Lyddie was a great character, wasn't she . . . down to earth, good head on her shoulders, etc.

I liked how the cousin admitted his part in Edward's death and that more came to light about Sam's involvement.

I do wish the relationship with Mehitable would have been fleshed out a little more.

The historical details were excellent in the book. I do wonder though if the repercussion for leaving the church would not have been a little harsher.

We spent 10 days along the Atlantic coast this summer and I wish I had read this book before we went. We hired a tour guide for part of the Freedom Trail walk in Boston and the tour guide impersonated the character of James Otis (including full colonial dress in 90 degree weather). He was an excellent storyteller and was able to answer many of our questions about the history of the area.

 

ETA: Thanks for organizing Jerelyn!! I love book discussions.

 



Last Edited on: 8/3/11 12:57 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/4/2011 12:20 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2010
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This was such a great book. I devoured it in just a couple of days without even realizing it! I loved how Lyddie stood her ground and got on by herself when anyone else would have given in. I was cheering her on the entire way and enjoyed her strong will and determination. Her character was great!

Am I the only one though that was kinda hoping Lyddie would end up with Sam and not Eben? I did like Eben's character, but Sam seemed to be a better match for her despite the Indian/Englishwoman aspect. And he seemed to do well enough financially, so I'm sure he could have cared for her just as well as Eben. There just seemed to be more of a relationship and past between them. She cared for him, he made sure she was paid to make her way. Neighbors that shared land, both lost a spouse, etc. Her relationship between her and Eben seemed to be more...arranged? But then again, maybe back then it was enough of a "thing" to marry or mingle with the 'heathens' that Sam wasn't her best option for mate. I just thought for sure she'd end up with Sam as I was reading along. Eben's a good guy though and I was happy to see him as "tenant" at the end, though like you all have already said, I'm sure that status will upgrade quickly! :)

Date Posted: 8/4/2011 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
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I thought I remembered that there was a follow-up book to Widow's War, so I went looking, and sure enough, "Bound" is the story of an indentured servant who makes her way into Lyddie's household.  So we'll all have to read that one to see what happened to Lyddie and Eben.  But from the PBS summary: Lyddie Berry, heroine of Gunning's The Widow's War, and her companion, the lawyer Eben Freeman...hmmm...

Kelly, I also thought for a while that she was going to end up with Sam.  Lyddie herself explained it to Eben when he asked and she said she just couldn't cross that "gap".  I really respect Sally Gunning for staying true to the realities of the historic times and not making a more modern statement. 

Bonnie (LoveNE) - ,
Date Posted: 8/5/2011 8:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
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Hmmmmm although I was entertained, I felt Lyddie should have received a lot more "hate mail" so to speak from the towns people.  I certainly was her greatest supporter and was happy that she found a good friend in Eben. Maybe it was that the books pace felt too fast but it just seemed impossible from married to extramarital sex to owning her own boarding house with only her BIL making a serious effort to make her miserable for not conforming. Am I too far off?

Date Posted: 8/6/2011 4:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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Bonnie - I had that thought too - Lyddie would have felt more repercussions for leaving the church. Gunning did mention some shunning and perhaps that was appropriate to the time period. Also, Lyddie did not live in town so she may have received less notice than someone in a more prominent position.

Personally, the pace was a little fast but this was back in the day when if a woman died in childbirth, she was replaced in a matter of months.

Gunning has a website and I thought this was interesting (the story behind the story):

http://www.sallygunning.com/story.html 

 

Bonnie (LoveNE) - ,
Date Posted: 8/6/2011 4:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
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Very interesting Shelia thanks for the link. My parents used to own a timeshare in Brewster but I wasn't looking for info back then!