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Discussion Starter #1
Discussion Questions for Part II ("Book 2"), chapters 1 - 9

1. Ana begins to get acculturated into her new environment. Was this realistic enough or did it drag?

2. We get to the first sex scene. My wife insisted that no novel was complete without a sex scene. Was it satisfying? What was Ana's problem at the end, do you think?

3. Based on Ana's departure (chapter 6), does it appear as though she'll be able to handle traveling by herself?

4. Were Matt's activities at home, reading Ana's blog, entertaining or a waste of time?

5. What do we learn about Ana from the following scenes?

    a. her meeting the young girl in the waiting room

    b. her meetings with the lawyers

    c. her meeting with Agent Aldridge, and

    d. the dinner party.
 

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Discussion Questions for Part II ("Book 2"), chapters 1 - 9

1. Ana begins to get acculturated into her new environment. Was this realistic enough or did it drag?
I felt it was just perfect

2. We get to the first sex scene. My wife insisted that no novel was complete without a sex scene. Was it satisfying? What was Ana's problem at the end, do you think?
Without the sex scene the book would be perfect for kids, but the sex scene was done very tastefully and may it still could be recommended for young'ens since they know more 'bout sex than I did until I was 21 ;D
Her reaction was typical shouldn't a done it.


3. Based on Ana's departure (chapter 6), does it appear as though she'll be able to handle traveling by herself?
I was a bit concerned about her traveling alone, but she quickly showed by her moving from one place to another made a lot more sense and how she went about it was pretty cool. I was concerned about her getting enough rest in the AP sleeping on her backpack.

4. Were Matt's activities at home, reading Ana's blog, entertaining or a waste of time?
I thought it was pretty cool that he missed her so much, but it showed his emotion for her and I think a necessary part of the story

5. What do we learn about Ana from the following scenes?

a. her meeting the young girl in the waiting room
Her empathism of a young girls emotions/feelings who is obviously confused

b. her meetings with the lawyers
She knows how to handle herself in just about any situation

c. her meeting with Agent Aldridge, and
the meeting itself sorta surprised me, but Aldridge seems to be an ok guy

d. the dinner party.
No surprise there with her confidence
 

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Discussion Questions for Part II ("Book 2"), chapters 1 - 9

1. Ana begins to get acculturated into her new environment. Was this realistic enough or did it drag?

If I don't notice it, that indicates to me that it was done quite well. Here, we see how Darcy has managed to make a content life with Matt and Abuelita, how her finances work, how she manages to remain hidden with help from Hleo and her lawyers. We also see that Darcy and Matt aren't all that interested in wealth, and hope to use their wealth to help others.

2. We get to the first sex scene. My wife insisted that no novel was complete without a sex scene. Was it satisfying? What was Ana's problem at the end, do you think?

I think the book would have worked either with or without it. But then, it does help to make the point that while Darcy cares for Matt, she is not willing to recognize/admit that she loves him…yet(?) Does she have some secret that keeps her from falling in love with Matt?

3. Based on Ana's departure (chapter 6), does it appear as though she'll be able to handle traveling by herself?
I just imagine her as this helpless little girl…(and then she goes and beats up a couple of thugs!) And I'm surprised Hleo didn't spring for First Class, although it kind of fits with Darcy's wanting to fit in and enjoying a simple life. In these chapters, I'm starting to see Darcy become savvier at handling herself and others.

4. Were Matt's activities at home, reading Ana's blog, entertaining or a waste of time?
It was a good way to give us some facts about Darcy's world.

5. What do we learn about Ana from the following scenes?

a. her meeting the young girl in the waiting room

I think Darcy must have been quite a handful herself as an adolescent! I get the feeling Darcy was a lot like Michelle.

b. her meetings with the lawyers
Darcy strikes me as an introvert (not in a bad way). She prefers the simple, quiet life and has no real use for money or fame. The only reason she is doing any public stuff now is out of a sense of obligation.

c. her meeting with Agent Aldridge, and
She's starting to learn how to handle people

d. the dinner party.
I wondered if V.T. was trying to give Matt a run for his money! But he is too self-absorbed to be Darcy's type.
;D I had to laugh when she tried the wasabi b/c the first time I had wasabi, I was so desperate to drink something that I reached for the soy sauce, it being the only liquid within my reach. :eek: Luckily, my mother noticed my plight and quickly handed me a glass of water.

BTW, I looked up fantod.

N :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Discussion questions for part 2, chapters 11-23

1.  What was basically learned about Ana from her medical exams at Duke?

2.  In chapter 19, Matt puts together some things Hleo told him and asks Ana Darcy a question that really embarrasses and upsets her.  Why?

3.  Partly as a result, Matt schedules some diversions--kite flying and a social visit (chapter 23).  Does Ana's nervousness before the latter seem reasonable?

4.  While Christmas shopping (chapter 21) Matt finally gets to see Ana in action.  We readers have seen her in tight spots several times before, but what is Matt's reaction?

5.  Who impressed Ana the most during their night out (chapter 23)?  Could this have had something to do with what happened once she and Matt got home?  What new thing or things do we learn about Ana at the end of the evening?

6.  Do you see any signs of Ana changing, "growing up?"
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I remember the first time I ran across the word "fantods." I was in junior high school and I was reading Huckleberry Finn. What a great word.

Yes, Neekeebee, V.T. was making a run at Ana. It won't be the last time. Also, my first brush with wasabi was not unlike yours and Ana's. Great stuff, but to be used with much caution!

I've been wondering whether young adults might enjoy Distant Cousin. Clearly, some parental consideration should be exercised (unless the sex scenes were edited a bit), but given the movies young adults (and even younger children) see today, not to mention television, I suppose the greater question is whether they might find the story itself fun. I'm under the impression that not that many youngsters today are readers. If anyone has thoughts on this, I'd be interested.

Clearly, Ana has inner conflicts. We can guess some, and we'll learn of others. She comes from an elaborately hierarchical society, though, so she's not unfamiliar with the fine points of relationships. If she were a Borg from the planet Alumina, then everything would be new. In her case, not that much is new, but nearly everything is different. She's dealing, pretty much, with culture shock. Any of us who've lived in other countries probably have an inkling.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This past week I've been wondering if KindleBoarders have all taken their Kindles to the beach, to enjoy spring break. More likely, though, life got in the way. It has a habit of doing that. In any case, I'm going to scatter a few more questions to take us to the end of part 2, and then we'll hit the steep downhill of book 3.

1. What impelled Ana and Matt to finally tie the knot?

(Author's note: my wife and I didn't honeymoon on Grenada, but we did visit once. The inner harbor, the restaurant, the food, and so forth, were what we experienced. It's a storybook place--and not that far away!)

2. Why did it turn out to be fortunate that they married when they did?

3. What was Ana's really big news?
 

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I'm still here, BrassMan! (Waves both arms frantically in the air.) ;D

Discussion questions for part 2, chapters 11-23

1. What was basically learned about Ana from her medical exams at Duke?

She is basically human, with some enhancements. The parts of her that are non-enhanced are down-the-middle normal. Clever getaway, by the way; it put a smile on my face. :)

2. In chapter 19, Matt puts together some things Hleo told him and asks Ana Darcy a question that really embarrasses and upsets her. Why?
I think Darcy must have been under great pressure to live up to expectations as the tribal chief's daughter back home. She, being somewhat head-strong, probably hated that, and hated being different. Now she probably just wants to blend in and live a quiet, simple life, and if Matt and others insist on treating her as wealthy, famous, royal, it threatens to destroy the new life she has tried to create on Earth. I wonder what Plan B is? Some other identity on Earth? Or some other planet?

3. Partly as a result, Matt schedules some diversions--kite flying and a social visit (chapter 23). Does Ana's nervousness before the latter seem reasonable?
Yes. In addition to the normal pressures any of us would feel meeting a significant other's friends for the first time, she also is afraid she might do something to give away her identity.

4. While Christmas shopping (chapter 21) Matt finally gets to see Ana in action. We readers have seen her in tight spots several times before, but what is Matt's reaction?
It must have been quite a shock for Matt to see his petite little girlfriend handle the would-be attacker! :eek: I thought it was funny that he didn't report the incident to the police, figuring it would be rather difficult to explain.

5. Who impressed Ana the most during their night out (chapter 23)? Could this have had something to do with what happened once she and Matt got home? What new thing or things do we learn about Ana at the end of the evening?
Ooooh! I think we're going to see a little Ana Darcy soon! Or will it be Matt Jr.?

6. Do you see any signs of Ana changing, "growing up?"
She's starting to openly admit her feelings for Matt.

Everytime we find out something about Darcy's home, it makes me more curious what it is like. I feel kind of sorry for Hleo, because Darcy was his only companion, and now he is all alone. :( Matt referring to him as "Honored Sir" reminded me of the term John Adams used to address Dutch representatives: "Their High Mightinesses". I think Hleo would enjoy being a "High Mightiness" too.

N :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I see you waving, Neekeebee! Party of one, down front! Great comments--

I loved your #5. Clearly you don't miss much.

You can decide how you feel about spoilers, but there's a fair amount about Darcy's home on the spoiler thread. She actually did an interview in which she responded to reader questions. However you feel, it'll be there when you're ready for it.
 

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1. Ana begins to get acculturated into her new environment. Was this realistic enough or did it drag?
I felt it was just right.

2. We get to the first sex scene. My wife insisted that no novel was complete without a sex scene. Was it satisfying? What was Ana's problem at the end, do you think?
I think that we have lived in a "sex sells" mentaility for too long. Your novel would have been complete w/o it. That said, it was tastefully done more so than "bodice rippers".
I think Ana's problem at the end is her past. She still feels as though she lets people down, and relationships are why she came here in the first place. I wonder what her father would think of her finally finding someone.

3. Based on Ana's departure (chapter 6), does it appear as though she'll be able to handle traveling by herself?
I think Ana has shown us that she can handle anything. :)

4. Were Matt's activities at home, reading Ana's blog, entertaining or a waste of time?
It allowed us to learn more about Ana w/o having to "attend" the press conference ourselves. Although, I guess it hasn't happned yet, so maybe we'll learn more through it...

5. What do we learn about Ana from the following scenes?

a. her meeting the young girl in the waiting room

b. her meetings with the lawyers

c. her meeting with Agent Aldridge, and

d. the dinner party.
a - we learned that Ana, for all of her "shyness" is not afraid of speaking to total strangers. She is also willing to share her knowledge with those in need. For some that is a fault, but Ana doesn't not seem to offend anyone when she is nosy about their life.

b - They have made a lot of money off her. I think they still value her as a "human being" but I am worried that somewhere down the line, human greed may take over and ruin things for her and Braithwaight. He seems the most down to earth of the firm.

c - Maybe I've watched too many TV shows and movies, but why did he have to follow up? I think slimey, digging for something... He's someone to keep an eye on.

d - I admire Ana for helping Michelle, but she needs to be careful. What she did is probably technically assault. A guy like Justin won't listen any other way, but violence isn't always the right path.
V.T. was doing his best to woo her. He seems to be the kind of person who thinks money is the attraction.

"Bird ship"? I live in VA (granted not near Norfolk) and I work at the JAG School. I've never heard the Navy folks call it that. <shrug>
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The term for aircraft carrier is "bird farm." I'm pretty sure it's still a current Navy term. JAG types might not know that. Are you there, Dreamer? Would you care to rule on this?

If we want to get all legal, Ana Darcy didn't assault Justin--he assaulted her. Still, I can't disagree that violence isn't always the solution. You're right about V.T., but you'll not see him in full flower until Distant Cousin: Repatriation.

The sex scene might not have been essential, but I could defend it, as showing a complete, loving relationship in development. I'm glad you thought it was tastefully done, especially since I know several high school teachers who are considering using it, or offering it, to their students. From what I hear, they get way more graphic stuff in their music videos, video games, and movies. Surely, it wouldn't hurt them to read about mature people getting to really know and care for each other.
 

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Discussion questions for part 2, chapters 11-23

1. What was basically learned about Ana from her medical exams at Duke?

She seems to be an advanced human. Good to know in case she needs a blood transfusion.

2. In chapter 19, Matt puts together some things Hleo told him and asks Ana Darcy a question that really embarrasses and upsets her. Why?
I think Ana was able to put her past behind her and just start to be happy, and Matt's question re-opened those wounds.

3. Partly as a result, Matt schedules some diversions--kite flying and a social visit (chapter 23). Does Ana's nervousness before the latter seem reasonable?
I think so. We all get caught up in things happening in our own lives and worry what others may think.

4. While Christmas shopping (chapter 21) Matt finally gets to see Ana in action. We readers have seen her in tight spots several times before, but what is Matt's reaction?
Shock and awe. Who knew he was in love with such an independant woman? Well, we did. :) I think Matt may start to question his "role" in her life. he seems to be the type of male who thinks that he must be the defender, but Ana can obviously take care of herself.

5. Who impressed Ana the most during their night out (chapter 23)? Could this have had something to do with what happened once she and Matt got home? What new thing or things do we learn about Ana at the end of the evening?
I agree with Neekeebee. :) Ana's biological clock has started ticking.

6. Do you see any signs of Ana changing, "growing up?"
She is willing to open up to Matt and express her feelings. She may start to let other walls down as well.
 

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BrassMan said:
You're right about V.T., but you'll not see him in full flower until Distant Cousin: Repatriation.
I am looking forward to seeing more of V.T. Don't know why exactly. Maybe I just want to see Darcy put him in his place. ;D

Ana's biological clock has started ticking.
How long has it been ticking now? Wonder if those Duke scientists can figure out that enhancement! ;)

N :)
 

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I can't claim the beach as an excuse (I wish!) but merely the demands of work and family that have, sadly, kept me away from my kindle.  I promise I'll get back to it soon and will post responses to the questions one day soon!

In the mean time, I can answer the question about "bird farms." This is, indeed, current slang for an aircraft carrier.  Other popular terms used to refer to those floating cities include "flat top" and "big deck," both are used to refer to both the traditional aircraft carrier that we often see in film and television, which carries and launches fixed wing aircraft (fixed being a subjective term in the Navy... they fold the wings... on purpose!), and to the less famous helicopter carriers. 

That probably was way more than any of you wanted to know about the Navy, sorry!  Back to reading madly, trying to catch up in the book!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
OK, now, let's not anyone feel rushed to keep up, OK? Don't read madly, Dreamer! The number one thing to keep in mind is to enjoy the story, and at your own pace.

For example, Wilsondm2 told me his life suddenly got busy and he just had to set his reading aside, and the Klub too. I told him I loved it when I had a story I looked forward to stealing a moment for, and I hated it when I didn't have a story like that. I know a guy who took two months to read Reincarnation--he had health problems and all kinds of things--but he always looked forward to getting back to it. I ask you: what's better than that?

So everyone relax and have fun and contribute when you can. No problemo, OK?

Now, Neekeebee, you like V.T.'s character. I do too, and as I said he'll be back in the next book. There's another character in the third part of this volume that I predict you're going to like also. He's one of my favorites, poor guy. You'll know him when you meet him.

I guess everyone knows I'm of the masculine persuasion, but even so, I know a little about biological clocks. I have two daughters of marriagable age, one married and one not, and a number of female friends of that approximate age. I have a fair idea how they feel about time passing, and attributing some of that sentiment to Ana Darcy strikes me as a very likely possibility.

(Once again, I call your attention to the spoiler thread, where Ana talks a little about her past life. Actually, it may not be that much of a spoiler, if you've read this far in volume one. Maybe one of our Klub members who's read all the volumes would have an opinion. Anju? Anyone else? I think I could safely say you could check it now without finding anything too ruinous to the present story. But I'm not a lawyer, so don't sue me.)

Back to the Klub: there are only three chapters left in this middle part, and I'm hanged if I can think of any worthwhile discussion questions for you busy people. In them, the Mendez family starts several new phases: a private phase as a married couple (with something to look forward to), and a public phase, at least for Darcy. She takes yet another trip, makes a speech, and manages to sneak home beneath the radar, playing yet another trick on Matt.

If anyone has any observations about that, then please post them for us!

For my part, tomorrow I think I'll start the third thread for the third, shortest, and last, part of the book. I say again, mes amies, chew your food thoroughly and read for enjoyment. The posts will be there whenever you're ready.
 

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BrassMan said:
Now, Neekeebee, you like V.T.'s character. I do too, and as I said he'll be back in the next book. There's another character in the third part of this volume that I predict you're going to like also. He's one of my favorites, poor guy. You'll know him when you meet him.
Just met him!

Had to tear myself away from the middle of Book 3 to put in my two cents on the final portion of Book 2. This book is again taking a very different direction from what I was thinking. (This is a good thing.) I am looking forward to meeting Darcy's people! And Darcy's twins! (I assume they will be twins, anyway.) The references to Uncle Rotham's plans for reunion and other Earthlings transplanted throughout the universe...make me really wonder about where this series is going to be taking us.

N :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Neekeebee said:
Just met him!

Had to tear myself away from the middle of Book 3 to put in my two cents on the final portion of Book 2. This book is again taking a very different direction from what I was thinking. (This is a good thing.) I am looking forward to meeting Darcy's people! And Darcy's twins! (I assume they will be twins, anyway.) The references to Uncle Rotham's plans for reunion and other Earthlings transplanted throughout the universe...make me really wonder about where this series is going to be taking us.

N :)
Excellent. If there's one thing I hate, it's the absolute predictability of a book. I mentioned Carla Kelly's Signet Regency Romance, Marrying the Captain, in another thread. I knew from the first chapter where it was going and, pretty much, how it would get there. There were minor variations in the formula, but I ended up racing through to the end just to get on to something else.

I admit, you probably have some basic idea of how Distant Cousin will end. You know the main characters will not be obliterated in a giant ball of fire, for example. But as for what direction it takes, you can never be too sure. The wondering you did, Neekeebee, was right on target. You're going to like Repatriation for that reason, and even more, Reincarnation. Or your money back!
 
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