SOMETHING STRANGE AND DEADLY READ ALONG
October 10 – October 31, 2012
WEEK 2: OCTOBER 17
Okay my blogger friends! It’s time for the Something Strange and Deadly Read Along! I know I’ve got Something Strange and Deadly in my queue of Halloween reads and I thought it would be great to get even more people involved! It was such short notice that I have no co-hosts so I will be coming at you with all of the posts! Here’s how I have it scheduled:
October 3rd: Intro post and sign-ups
October 10th: Week 1: Chapters 1-7 (through page 90)
October 17th: Week 2: Chapters 8-14 (through page 178)
October 24th: Week 3: Chapters 15-20 (through page 278)
October 31st: Week 4: Chapters 22-end
UPDATE 10/11: Susan Dennard has graciously donated an “Aim For the Knees” T-shirt as a giveaway as well!! This will be for participants only, so don’t forget to add your links! One automatic entry for signing up (as long as I see your participation posts) and additional entries for each week you link up with the read along! This will be the official giveaway instead of the original book. I’d like to keep the giveaway SS&D related 🙂
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Week 2 Questions:
1. On page 101, Eleanor is reading Elijah’s letter where he mentions the mysterious Gas Ring and how once they see their errors, “Father will be most proud” – Eleanor corrects the tense by saying he would have been proud, not will be and that Elijah never got used to referring to their father in the past tense once he passed away. What do you make of this “mistake”? Is there more to this mistake than Eleanor realizes or was it just an innocent oversight?
When I first heard this, I really did think that meant their father wasn’t dead somehow. I began to question if he really did die. This opened up a LOT of questions for me. Was he dead? Did Elijah have hidden motives? Negative ones?
2. We first hear about the grimoires in this section which Jie explains are books of black magic. What roles do you think these books will play in the story? Since Elijah has clearly involved with grimoires, do you think it’s for the side of good or the side of evil?
Gosh, it was just really hard to say. I feel like the clues have been adding up that maybe Elijah isn’t on the side of good. I know Eleanor wants to believe the best in him since it’s her brother, but we just keep getting more and more clues that maybe his actions are not with the best intentions. Then again, I really do want to believe that he’s on the side of good. Maybe he’s looking into grimoires to battle against the necromancer. He was smart and always scholarly. It’s also possible that he is looking into these books to gain the knowledge of how to beat the necromancer.
3. We start to question a lot of Clarence’s actions at motives in this section of chapters. Do you think he has it in for the Spirit-Hunters? Why does Daniel warn Eleanor against him, and what business does he have with Peger?
Now it’s starting to seem that Clarence DOES have a bigger secret than we really knew. Maybe he’s just using Eleanor to get to the Spirit-Hunters? I’d guess that his family does have connections so using the reporter Peger could have a lot of advantages to getting the information that he wants. Why is he tired all the time? Why can’t he sleep? I began to question a lot now if HE’S involved with the necromancer and these are the secrets that he’s keeping from Eleanor. But at the same time, he does seem to be growing on me too. I’m starting to trust him more despite the fact that more and more questions seem to rise about his true motives. Is his footman Willis there to protect him from other things? It seems like the deeper we get into the story, the more of a mystery Clarence becomes.
4. Eleanor and Jie discuss the roles and limited freedoms of women, especially regarding clothes and “proper behavior”. We know that Jie has been disguising herself as a boy so she will not have to abide by the silly rules that women are supposed to follow. When asked, Eleanor says that she has no choice but to obey, and Jie tells her “You always have a choice” (p166). We’ve come along way since Eleanor’s time in the nineteenth century, but do you think certain “rules” like these still exist? Women and men are equal in today’s Western societies, but are there any “norms” that women are still restricted from that men have full freedom to pursue?
Of course there are still rules and certain expectations that women are expected to follow. Gender norms, ways to carry themselves, ways to dress – But really we’ll never get away from that. Or if women were to really and truly become “equal” to men, I don’t think that would be for a long time. Obviously the differences and rules have come quite a long way since the 1800s, but there are quite differences that exist in other countries.
I really liked that this question was brought up though. I thought it was interesting that Jie was brought into the story in such a way. It seems like it was a very deliberate point because Susan Dennard could have chosen any type of character to put in Jie’s place – another American girl, another male – but specifically made this point with Jie and the way that Americans perceived the Chinese women in that time.
4. Chapter 14 ends with quite the cliffhanger! What do you think this spirit is all about? Do you think it’s connected to the Dead at all or is this a separate entity? Why is it specifically connected with Eleanor?
At first I was thinking maybe it was Eleanor’s father. Maybe this was the connection between her and the spirit world and why she senses it so strongly – But then why would he attack her? Did it have anything to do with the necromancer? I mean, I get that he can animate corpses and all, but does necromancy include the the spirit realm as well? The questions are definitely starting to pile up. It seems clear that this spirit seems to be a big clue to something that we’re missing here too, but what could this be? I think I just got more and more confused. Why don’t we know more about this spirit yet? What is the sercret behind it? We’ve read half of the book so far and we’re not getting any answers! I’m definitely curious to see what’s going on.
EXTRAS: Also add any of your favorite quotes, scenes, or other thoughts about the book so far!
Week 3 Questions: For October 24, 2012
1. We’ve watched Eleanor chase after the Dead and after Daniel without hesitation. Do you perceive Eleanor as brave or foolish to act with little thought to consequence?
2. Eleanor gets a letter from Elijah to tell her to stop searching for him – that it’s a bad idea and it’s hurting him rather than helping him. Is Eleanor in denial that her brother is working with the necromancer? Or do you think the necromancer is threatening Elijah now that he knows Eleanor is searching for him?
3. We find out the history of Daniel Sheridan in these chapters and that he has quite an interesting connection to the Fitt family that Eleanor never knew about. Were you surprised to find out Daniel’s history in Philadelphia? If you were Eleanor, how would you have taken the news?
4. We also find out the real story of the Wilcoxes and that both Clarence and his father have a major connection to the Fitts also. We’re clearly getting closer to solving some of the mysteries that have been building up in the story. What do you make of this connection? How do you think this will affect the climax of the book??