This week's WATERFALL WEDNESDAY is being hosted by Tina at Tina's Book Reviews. She's come up with some awesome discussion questions for us. Won't you join in? You can get there right now (or a few minutes from now) by clicking on the pretty button above that Missie (at The Unread Reader) designed for this event! So grab your copy of Lisa T. Bergren's Waterfall and let's all dip our toes into the River of Time!
Here are my thoughts on Tina's discussion questions:
1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi. She's depressed, a little angry, and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?
I found Gabi's voice to be "believably teen" from page one. I well-remember getting dragged -- almost as baggage -- into some of my parents' interests, so I connected with Gabi's feelings of bored resentment. Gabi wants to be where the action is (aka: BOYS) and hates that she and Lia are almost an afterthought to their mother, who is much more interested in digging in the Etruscan dirt than connecting with her daughters. I liked the humanness, teen vernacular, and realness of Gabi. A lot.
2. Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy -- the Dark Ages in its prime. Is there any time in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could?
I'm drawn by the chivalry of medieval times -- but a little put off by the violence and chauvinism (not to mention the lack of plumbing. And medical care. Leeches and Poop are not my idea of holistic remedies.) Of course, if Marcello and Luca were there to greet me, I might consider the trip! sighhhhhhhhh.
3. Most of the men, including Marcello, have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if she's a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of men's mentalities back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?
I'm sure then, just like now, the mentality depended on the man: how he was raised, and by whom. I'm sure there was a bit of each characteristic in most medieval men -- and also in the women for the same reasons. If you're told/treated all your life your are chattel for breeding heirs, you will most likely believe it of yourself and your purpose without some sort of intervention.
In our modern times, acts of chivalry are often mistaken for chauvinism. I think that is a sad loss to our culture in acknowledging the hidden worth of a woman -- and the beautiful care of the men who appreciate it.
4. When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?
In a climate of war, within a society where daily survival is in question, I think it is perfectly fair to be suspicious of newcomers. However, it is also wise to make an effort to perceive the newcomer's character and adjust your opinion according to those observations.
Sure, we've all been in those situations. As the wife of a public school principal, I am often relegated to the "leper section" at school events. It's almost comical at times, the invisible force field that surrounds me and repels people from sitting within my immediate radius. Like Gabi, I've learned to deal with it, laugh about it, and to more easily discern who is brave enough to be seen in proximity to one such as me and the (perceived) "evil authority" that I represent.
What do you think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?
Coolest? Chivalrous knights determined to adore me in my beautiful gownage.
Worst? Violence without proper medical care. An also, because it is scary. And also, because I could get hurt or killed, and that is most certainly not on my bucket list.
Thanks for stopping by this week! Please visit TINA's blog, as she is this week's official host! (and **GIVEAWAY ALERT** make sure you go to THIS POST at Tina's Book Reviews to "linky up" and get in the running for one of FIVE autographed* sets of the River of Time series, generously provided by Lisa T. Bergren.)*autographed sets for U.S. winners only.
Happy Read-Along! Meet us at Missie's place (The Unread Reader) next Wednesday!