For the month of August, Epic Reads picked Susan Dennard’s Something Strange & Deadly as their book club pick of the month. Susan, herself, is hosting her own book club for both Something Strange & Deadly AND her latest book in the series (which just came out!), A Darkness Strange & Lovely.
She is offering tons of prizes and even a “gift” for just participating!!!! Head over to her blog to find out more details. The best part is that you can sign up anytime during the month of August and answer the weekly questions anytime this month. But if you want a shot at winning a weekly prize, you’ve got to “play” weekly.
Since two copies have been sitting on my shelf waiting for me to find the time to read them, I figured I really need to participate. Besides, Susan rocks. She’s a Michigan author and she’s one of the nicest people on the planet. Seriously… I am not kissing butt, she really is nice. She talked to me at a book signing and I’m not all that interesting.
Anyhoo… if you need more incentive, I’m giving away a signed copy of Something Strange & Deadly. Yes, Susan, it’s the book I bought at the signing waaaaaay back when. I’ll run this giveaway quick and it’ll only be open for the U.S. so I can get the book out in the mail quick-like. Sorry, shipping out of the U.S. isn’t cheap. Scroll to the bottom of the post to enter.
This week’s book club question:
Eleanor’s mother expects a lot from poor El. She wants Eleanor to marry and save the family from financial ruin (despite the fact that Eleanor is only 16), she wants Eleanor to become friends with the rich “cool” kids (like Allison or the Virtue Sisters), and she wastes money the Fitt family doesn’t have on new gowns and fancy house decor. She demands Eleanor behave according to “proper etiquette” and squeeze into a corset that deforms her ribs.
Do you think, given the time period, Mrs. Fitt is justified in her demands on Eleanor? Why or why not?
Susan Dennard has on her blog the craziest thing I have EVER seen!!! It’s a copy of a book on etiquette from the 1860’s!!! It’s so amazing to read (I got lost in it!) that I had to share it again here!! Remember, I didn’t find this, Susan did!!!
My Answer: Considering the rules and wording in this book of etiquette and the overall difference in cultural values between now and the 1860’s, I believe it’s safe to say it’s not unheard of for Mrs. Fitt to put pressure on Eleanor to find a rich husband to marry so she can rescue her family out the debt that her mom seems to be putting them into. Think about it, if the son can’t “rescue” the family, why can’t it be the next child in line – the daughter? If a son is asked to sacrifice his life choices for the family, why can’t a daughter?
The real problem is the mother, IMHO. Mrs. Fitt needs to realize that life isn’t the way it used to be before her husband died and she needs to learn to adapt. I have no clue how Eleanor is so “normal” – or “abnormal” for the time period! She’s so down to earth compared to her mother.
I guess my main point is, we can’t really judge this situation based on today’s values. It’s like judging a horse race using NASCAR rules – or something like that :-/