Waterfall Wednesday (1)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hosted by Tina at Tina's Book Reviews, Missie at The Unread Reader, Joy & Serena at Edgy Inspirational Romance, Nic at Irresistible Reads and Jenny from Supernatural Snark, each week we'll be reading and discussing a set of chapters from the book. There will be prizes for participants, so click the button for more information and to sign up!

Discussion Questions for Chapters 1-6

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 had a hard time connecting with Gabi at first. She's really frustrated, which makes her frustrating to read. I also found her impulsive actions a bit selfish - though I think that's part of who she is as we come to see in the rest of the trilogy. I had a hard time accepting that this daughter of famous archaeologists would be so careless with the tomb, and dragging her sister along for the ride. Let's just say I was glad the time travel happened so early on before I started to really dislike Gabi.

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've always been obsessed with 17th century France - Louis XIV, the Sun King; Versailles palace; Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. In fact, even going into 18th century France, I'm still intrigued. The tearing down of the Bastille, the French Revolution, Napoleon - I love it all. French history fascinates me, and the culture is so proud, artistic, and democratic that I can't help but love it. Visiting Versailles will go down as one of the best moments in my life, and I've never felt more at home than in a country that prides itself on the values of its beloved Tricolore - liberté, egalité, fraternité. In fact, my husband and I are in the midst of planning another visit in March!

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 mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?

One of the things that I love about Marcello is that despite his shock at Gabi's conduct, he doesn't try to change her too much. Yes, he wants to protect her, and I admire that about him, but he doesn't try to lock her in her room to keep her out of harm's way. His behavior is very similar to another man-from-another-time, Mr. Jamie Fraser, so I didn't mind Marcello's actions at all. It's a different time, better or worse, and I like that Gabi can remain respectful but independent, and that the men may find her bizarre or forward without taking complete advantage of her or dismissing her as a crazy person.

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?

Well, I always feel like an outsider, but that's due to my innate and intense shyness. It's hard being the new person in any situation, and I think that's what makes Gabi stand out. Back then, people didn't travel far unless they had to, so to see this strange girl all alone, many miles from home, is an oddity. Of course they're curious about her! Plus she has a funny accent and limited Italian, so she does stick out quite a bit. I think it's natural for the people to be skeptical and judgmental of her, since she is an outsider in every sense of the word.

5. What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?

I think spending time in castles would be pretty awesome. I've always wondered what it felt like to be in a castle full of tapestries and fires. Is it comfortable? Is comfort relative? I also think riding around on horses everywhere would be fun. You know, until the saddle sores caught up to me.

To me, the absolute worst would be a lack of plumbing. I like my flushing toilets and running water far too much to want to live without them forever. Oh, and a lack of medicine. Yikes.

Amazingly beautiful and painstakingly crafted signature courtesy of Small Review


Aylee said...

Hmm, yeah now that I think about it, it is hard to believe that Gabi would be so disrespectful of the tomb with her parents who they are.

Ooh, okay I kind of wish I had chosen 17th century France now too. I love learning about that time of upheaval! I also got to visit Versailles once on a grade 9 school trip. Talk about excessive wealth! But so beautiful.

Ditto about intense shyness and pretty castles and lack of indoor plumbing!

Jenny said...

Clearly we are all intensely attached to our indoor plumbing since we've all mentioned it in our posts. I love my shower and my toilet. I need them:)

Wandering around castles would be amazing, I can't even fathom what it would have been like to live in one day to day. And luck you getting to go back to France in March!

Small Review said...

I always saw Gabi's disrespect for the tomb as a mix of adolescent curiosity and a little unconscious "screw you" to her parents for putting their work before their kids.

Oh what I wouldn't do for a castle! I'm sure it would be insanely uncomfortable (cold! hard! dark!), but they look so pretty! Maybe I could get a castle with modern amenities?

See, this is why I love historical fantasy. All the coolness of castles, but magic makes them comfortable and clean. :)

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Absolutely. I too dream of exploring the castle in this book.

Julie said...

Castles! I have always wanted my own turret room. Wouldn't that be awesome!

A couple of other bloggers have mentioned their shyness...interesting.

Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) said...

I agree with you about Marcello and how he treats Gabi :)

Lack of medicine would certainly suck...not having headache pills :(

Gina @ My Precious said...

Its so funny, but almost every blog I've visited seems to share the same feelings about indoor plumbing.

Boy, you sure know a lot about history and such. I hope you do enjoy your trip in March. My husband watched a tv show a couple nights ago which finally sparked his interest in international travel.

As for Gabi, yeah, when I first started this book I was concerned I was going to hate it because Gabi wasn't sitting well with me at all. I'm glad it got better, much better! This is one of those books I could have easily given up on if it weren't for this great event.

And another aspect which would have really turned me off is this one is labeled under Christian Fiction. Even though its definitely had its fair share of references to God, I'm not really bothered by how its read so far.

Missie said...

hehehe...Mr. Fraser! *le sigh*

Okay, what...where was I. Oh, yeah. Please take me with you on your romantic vacation to France. *puppy eyes*

I visited a few castles in England. Totally mind blowing.

P.S. Hello pea.. meet pod. I'm really shy too.

Lisa said...

I loved that Marcello respected Gabi they way he did. I also understood his need to protect Gabi and I think he did it in a way that gave her independence but still watched out for her.

Anonymous said...

As long as I didn't have to CLEAN the castle it would be cool!

Melissa said...

I am so with you on #1. I am still worried that her selfishness will overcome her pluckiness and I'll dislike the rest of the book.

Here's mine:Waterfall Wednesdays-Week 1

♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

My keeper shelf said...

I like the romanticised ideal of living a castle but I bet it was cold and crafty and smelly!

Anonymous said...

Wow- you make me want to travel to France and like right now...:)

Living in castles would be awesome....I think I might even be able to live without the toilet if I was a rich princess living in a castle having servants empty my chamber-grossness...


Melissa (Books and Things) said...

YES! Indoor plumbing... WIN! Why do I find that answer fascinating? LOL

mrs_laura_koehler said...

I have to agree that Marcello is somewhat accepting of her behavior. He could be more strict with her and try to change her ways or tell her where her place is and he doesn't. I def have to give the man his props :)

Great answers!!!

Serena Chase said...

I want to go to a castle, too! Don't ya'll think Lisa Bergren, travel writer and novelist extraordinaire, should put an Italian vacation itinerary on her blog for us girls (grown ups as well as teens)who might consider taking a River of Time trip to Toscana together? (Group rates are almost always cheaper, aren't they?) Stay in castles, see the sights that inspired the books, meet Marcello for a candlelight dinner... Oh, wait. He's fictional. Doggone. It was a good idea...


Ah Logan,

We have much in common. I too, would love to sleep in castles and by fires until I had to go to the CHAMBER POT in the middle of a winter night and freeze my toes off, literally! I'll take the comforts of home!

And could I come in a suitcase with you to France??? My husband refuses to go. Not even if it's my number one place I want to visit. I can't imagine what it must have been like to see Versailles. I have a great little travel book about out of the way places in Paris I'll email you about.

And yes, I want my "facilities" as my grandmother used to say. All of them! Great answers!!


Lisa Tawn Bergren said...

Hey, friend. Thanks for being a part of WW. Adored your answers.

When you go back to France, take the Fat Tire bike tour to Versailles. We got to ride all over the property, took a picnic to Marie Antoinette's fav picnic spot at the end of the lake (after visiting a 500 yr old market for supplies) and into the chateau. FABULOUS.

And Serena, I'm in. A River Tour to Tuscany? Grinning from ear to ear at the thought of it!

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