Friday, August 5, 2011

Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles - Chapters 1-6

I decided to participate in the Enemy Women read-along hosted by Anna and Serena for the War Through the Generations - American Civil War reading challenge.   This week the goal was to read the prologue and then Chapters 1-6.

Do you think the prologue was necessary? Why or Why not?
I think the prologue was necessary but very dry.    I admit that I don't know much about the Civil War, much less things that happened in my own State.  I tend to think that Missouri wasn't that important but I'm beginning to realize we had a lot of battles and a lot going on.

The prologue gave us background on what was happening in Southern Missouri, something that I had no clue was happening.  However the way in which it was written was very dry and very hard to follow. It was incredibly boring and didn't always make sense to me.  So I struggled to get through it, yet feel it was necessary since I went into the story itself having a better understanding of what was going on.

What are your first impressions of the main character, Adair Colley?
I'm not to sure about Adair yet.  She's very strong willed and I like that about her.  However she seems to be too rash.  I feel she made some poor decisions so far, either from lack of knowledge about what's going on or naivety.  Perhaps a combination of both.    I'm not sure I would have gone to the Union militia to demand my father's freedom, trailing two younger siblings, if I knew I had relatives/friends I could go to for shelter and help.

The correspondence at the beginning of each chapter provides background to the fighting.  How do you think that will figure into the overall plot or what is its purpose?
I find that the correspondence helps me understand the story better. It gives me more of a background of what's happening and what things were like.  I really enjoy reading them. I'm a sucker for things like that though. I love reading war letters, diaries, etc in the original form because it just makes it seem more real.   I think the ones included at the start of each chapter really help the book.

For my own thoughts on the story so far:
I'm having trouble with this one.  It's hard for me to get into the groove of the writing. It's not flowing well for me yet and I think that's causing some issues with me not being too thrilled with it yet.  I'm enjoying it, just not crazy about it.   I'm looking forward to reading the next set of chapters though.  Now that Adair is in St. Louis (where I live) I'm interested to see what happens and what things were like.

I knew that Missouri was one of the swing states but didn't know much about our role in the Civil War.  So I am drawn into the story for that reason.


Shelley said...

My feelings about the book are right in line with yours. It's interesting, but the writing is choppy or something. I do find that either it's getting better or my mind is getting used to it as I go along.

Serena said...

Kris, thanks for joining the read-a-long. I'm having similar issues with the style of the writing, which is making it hard to stay engaged in the story. I do find it interesting that Missouri was a swing state and so torn apart by the two sides...its fascinating from that viewpoint. If you find the time, post your link in the comments at War Through the Generations...otherwise, I've posted it on the Facebook page for the blog.

Anna said...

I agree that the book isn't flowing right at this point, especially since it seems like the author jumps around back and forth in time. However, I read this book a few years ago, and while I've forgotten much of the details, I remember really enjoying it.

I thought the prologue was very informative, but I agree that it was a bit dry. I am enjoying the historical excerpts at the beginning of each chapter even though they don't really mesh with what happens in the chapter.

I don't think I'd do what Adair does either, march right up to the Union Militia and demand my father back. That seemed impulsive, even if it did take her awhile to get there and you'd think she had time to sort things out a little more on the journey.

Glad you're taking part in the readalong!