Saturday, August 20, 2011

Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles - Read-a-long Week 2

I'm behind in the read-a-long, took me awhile to get the chapters read.  So here's the second week's questions that I missed last week.

This is week two of the Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles read-a-long for the War Through the Generations - American Civil War challenge.  For this week, each of us had to read chapters 7-15.  These chapters follow Adair Colley and her plight in the women's prison near St. Louis.

How would you compare Adair’s thinking to that of a more traditional southern woman, like Rhoda?
I agree with Serena and Anna.  Adair seems to have more traditional, modern ways about her than the traditional southern roles that come to mind.  She speaks her mind, she speaks up for herself.  She's not willing to let people get away with something she thinks is wrong.  This is rather different for that time period.  Women were supposed to be behind the men and do what was expected and not speak out.  Adair, she doesn't work that way.

Describe the relationship between Adair and Major Neumann.  Is it believable? Do you think the war has influenced it and in what way? Has their plight moved you?
I think the relationship is a little, weird, at first.  It seems to be pure lust at first because, I mean come on, how well could he really know her since she is a prisoner.  It's not like they have a lot of time to hang out and get to know each other.   However, I think it started out with him finding her very pretty and wanting to help her. He doesn't really like his role and doesn't think most of the women should be in the prison.   I think in trying to help Adair, Major Neumann did start to learn more about her and did begin to fall for her.    I think Adair, on the other hand, might be caught up in it.   She's mostly out to save herself.  He doesn't seem to share much about himself with her.  So at first I think Adair liked the attention and thought he was handsome.  

What do you make of Adair’s “confessions?”  Do you think she should have followed Major Neumann’s advice and given them anything plausible just to be released?
I actually like her confessions.  I thought it was rather witty of her and smart.   It allowed her to see Major Neumann more and let him get to know a bit about her.  I don't think she should have followed his advice. I suppose it would allow her to leave the prison, but she would be making something up and could harm others. I thinks he did the right thing. 

What is your overall impression of the book at this point?  Are you enjoying it more?  Less?
I'm enjoying the book more than I did at first, but still not loving it.  I think the parts at the beginning of each chapter are still my favorite. 


Anna said...

I think Neumann has grown to genuinely care for Adair, and while I'm able to buy their romance, I'm wondering how much of Adair's never having been in love before factors into her feelings. I enjoyed this section of the book a lot...too bad the next section dragged a little for me.

Kris said...

I hadn't thought about Adair not being in love before and not really knowing those feelings, that's a good point.