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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


Welcome, everyone, to the Distant Cousin: Reincarnation Book Klub, which will get started July 1! We have a novel adventure ahead of us, without a doubt.

I'll be taking the plastic off the chairs and the couch, and making sure we have plenty of coffee, tea, ice, and cookies. I assume chocolate will please most?

Feel free to check in beforehand. There's no reason we can't start now, as long as our sequential discussion of the text begins July first. Preliminary comments, background info or questions, general matters, all are invited at any time. If this is your first Distant Cousin book klub, you might want to look at the pictures, maps, and whatnot from the earlier klubs. See the last link, below.

This is the first book klub thread for Distant Cousin (volume 1): http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,4590.0.html.

This is the second thread of volume 1: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,5434.0.html.

This is the third thread of volume 1: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,6031.0.html.

This is the spoiler thread for all volumes. It contains background information and an interview with Ana Darcy. http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,4593.0.html.

This is the thread for Distant Cousin: Repatriation (volume 2): http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,6991.0.html

And this is the Distant Cousin photo album, map atlas, and general junk room: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,7480.0.html.

Again, welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Monica of NY said:
This will be my first online book klub and I need to know how to prepare for the first meeting next week.
The preparations are minimal, since we won't really start until then. I'll have some general discussion-starter-type questions, but the fun happens when we get off track and start responding to each other.

It's not a trail drive. It's more a general ramble. Some people have already read the book (but they'll be careful to avoid spoilers) and some haven't. You can safely read four or five chapters if you like. It isn't really necessary to have read the earlier books in the series. We'll take our time and see what develops. It'll be fun!
 

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Thank you.  I have actually read the first two books and loved them, which naturally led me to the third (just bought it and have not started yet).  Looking forward to it.
 

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I'll be there of course..... ;D
jp
 

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Part way through the book and am am happy you took the plastic off of the furniture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yikes! I'm putting some beginning questions together--yesterday our company left (both daughters, both their men, and both grandkids--wild and wacky it was), and I'll post them tomorrow. I'm thinking of starting with, oh, five chapters? Seven? We'll see. I better get back to it.

This is going to be fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
And they're off!

Discussion possibilities for Chapters 1-5

Let's not bite off too big a chunk at first, shall we? As with the previous DC Klubs, these questions will NOT be graded. You don't even have to answer all of them, or any at all, really. If something else strikes your fancy, please contribute. I used to love the unpredictability of the classroom, and I hope we can have some of that here, too.

When I began Distant Cousin: Reincarnation, I had to assume that a reader might not have read Distant Cousin and/or Distant Cousin: Repatriation, or read them long ago, so I tried to build in enough background information to get the characters introduced and the story headed in the right direction. I won't ask what you learned about Ana, Matt, and the twins in chapter 1, but I hope you found that smooth, informative, and entertaining.

In chapter 2, we do learn a little about what might be in Ana Darcy Mendez' future, and even more in chapters 3 and 4. (Are there any comments on Ana's meat loaf recipe? I always wanted to try that.) What do you expect about where the story might be headed?

If anyone happens to visit El Paso, Las Cruces, or even Albuquerque, you'd enjoy a side trip to Mesilla. It's a great tourist place, one of those areas of the country that's like no other, as are Chinatown in San Francisco or the French Quarter in New Orleans--except it's quite small, and not crowded. The food at La Posta really is fantastic. I put some pictures in the photo album at http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,7480.0.html.

But wait! I'm supposed to be starting a discussion, right? OK, then. What are your first impressions of Ana and Matt?

Of the twins, Julio and Clio?

Of Abuelita?

Of Ianthe?

Of Herecyn?
 

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My impression of Ana and Matt is that they are a loving couple who wants to lead as quiet and peaceful an existence with their family as possible given the uniqueness of their situation.

The twins--more than the handful that the usual set of twins with no genetic engineering would pose.

Abuelita--I love her characterization.  She is warm, loving, strong and wise.

Ianthe--she reminds me of a 50's housewife.  Wish she were a stronger person.

Herecyn--I would put nothing past this one.  He is out for himself and I believe that will definitely figure into Ana's developing story.
 

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Impressions of

Ana- Impulsive, caring, almost to a fault - often gets her in trouble.
Matt - calm, steady.... carried along by Ana's current, but gladly carried along and aware of where he is going.

Julio and Clio  are reflections of their parents  - in confrontations on school yards and everyday life: e.g. pea incident, bike riding.  How Julio communicates vs. how Clio communicates  also seem to reflect their parents differences and almost enhance my understanding of Ana and Matt.

Abuelita- a perfect Matriarch of the kind of family that is created here....strong and  independent.

Ianthe - sad, the shell of what Ana would have been had she taken a less rebellious path?

Herecyn - I think his tastebuds describe his character.  Bland and predictable:)
 

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My impressions of

Ana - Intelligent, caring, driven. Loves life and family, oh, and food...

Matt - Family oriented, down to earth, great capacity for love.

Julio and Clio - Definitely have their parents DNA. Smart, lovable.  Can communicate like identical twins.

Abuelita - Family matriarch, family is the most important thing. Great capacity for love.

Ianthe - She is a sad shell of what she should have been. Dedicated, political but still very loving.

Herecyn - Wealth is everything.  Wealth before family, I think that sums it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great comments, guys. Judging from this, we would seem to be in basic agreement about the characters. Love it! You even identified what seems to be the weak link in the cast. We'll see how that plays out. At this point, however, Ana Darcy has something else more immediately on her mind which she'll get to in the chapters just ahead.

I don't want us to move so fast that the busier among us fall behind, but I also don't want us to move so slowly that the eager readers will forge ahead, or become frustrated. PLEASE let me know if either situation starts to happen, OK? For now, I'll gather some ideas for the next chapters through chapter 9 and post them very soon.

One more thing: full disclosure. The print edition of Distant Cousin: Reincarnation began with a lovely poem by Dr. Diane Ackerman, who generously allowed me to use it, provided Random House, which actually owned the rights, could be satisfied. Would you believe, it took nearly $300 to make that happen? I've always wondered if Dr. Ackerman got any of that or if Random House kept most. Anyway, the agreement I signed specified the poem could not be used in any other form or any other edition, even a reprinting, without negotiating another agreement. I ain't no fool: that would mean even more money, so I left the poem out of the Kindle edition. I hated to do it, and I apologize to all Kindle owners, including myself. However, the poem is available on the web, with rights intact.

If you're interested, it's beautiful and short. You can find it at http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2006/10/07.
 

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That poem is very nice, and an apt description of Ana Darcy - I can see why you wanted to use it :)

Ana doesn't seem to have changed much since the last book, except for the gray hair-freakout :p  She's still devoted to her family and loyal to her friends.

Matt is also very much the same.  Still loves his wife and family.  I'm glad to see him taking an active role in the Second Planet Foundation, albeit a secretive one.

The twins are growing up pretty much like I thought they would.  Smart, with some interesting physical abilities, but generally pretty normal kids.

Abuelita is also pretty much unchanged.  We know from the last book that she knows about Darcy, but it still doesn't seem to matter to her.  I like the way KindTrish and jpmorgan49 put it - she's the quintessential matriarch.

Ianthe (thanks for the pronunciation help, BTW) is rather bland.  It was nice to see her genuine devotion and affection for Darcy, and I'm guessing and hoping that her character will be fleshed out in this book and she'll be more of a driving force than she has been in the past.

Herecyn just seems to be getting worse.  He's always seemed a bit shady, but now he appears to be a playboy, too.  I'm curious to see if he has any redeeming qualities ;D
 

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It's really neat to see the family again a few years after the end of the last book, and to catch up on pertinent stuff that happened in the last books.  Kind of like catching up with some old friends.  I guess that's why people like series so much. :)  Like Marianner, I appreciated the bit about how to pronounce Ianthe's name....it reminded me of when Rowling explained Hermione pronunciation around Harry Potter book 2 or 3...I had totally been saying it wrong!  :-X

It will be interesting to see the twins at this age.  Maybe they'll play a role in helping Ana foil whatever Herecyn has up his sleeve?  Maybe Ianthe will become more Ana-like?  It's going to be fun!

N :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Glad you liked the poem, Marianner. I found it and loved it long before I realized it applied to Ana Darcy. The phrase about "the mansion of the stars" was what finally got through my thick bean.

Once you know that "Ianthe" is a form of "John," as are Ivan, Yvonne, Yvette, Juan, Johann, and so forth, you'll find it everywhere. The Czech composer Leos Janacek's last name translates as "Johnson." There's a Welsh actor named Ioen (or maybe Ioan)Griffud, who appeared in those Hornblower movies, whose name I'm sure is "John." I used to do a unit with my freshman on last names. Most of the last names in the U.S. fall into one of four categories: place names Berg (hill), Cude (bend in a road or river), etc., family names (like Johnson), personal characteristics (like Ballard, bald person, or Short), and occupational names (Tailor, Bleeker (bleacher), Tanner, etc.. I'd try to get my students to figure out which category their names fit into. Most times, they could. There are a lot of Hispanic names here in south Texas, and they fit too--lots of place names (mostly from Spain), and family names, like Martinez, son of Martin. The study of names is called onomastics. I've never met an onomastician, but I'd love to have a couple snorts with one sometimes.

Does anyone remember the meaning of Ana's last name, Darshiell? I invented it, actually. It's a cognate with the French "d'arc ciel," or "from the rainbow," rainbows being her family's totem. That, plus the name Hleo (from Anglo-Saxon for home, shelter), told Dr. Sledd that her language dated from the time before the Romance languages split off from the Germanic languages, in the Indo-European language family. That would have been 2500-3000 years ago. I didn't make a big deal of it in the book (I hate authors who lecture on things), but that is the behind-the-scenes skinny on her name.

Neekeebee, I'm glad you enjoyed getting back to the Mendez family and seeing what was new with them. I can tell you that it was fun having Clio and Julio as seven year olds, since six month old babies, however cute they are, don't have much personality to contribute to a story. I'm working on getting the next volume out, I guess you know, where the twins are twelve. Issues! Issues! In fact, they ended up demanding their own sub-stories. A whole book about Clio and/or Julio intrigues me, though I don't know I'll live long enough for that.

Poor Ianthe!

Tomorrow I'll see if I can get some topics for the next set of chapters up. Chapters 7-12 all right? Too fast? Too slow? Anyone?
 

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Chapters 7-12 work for me.  Right now I am a little ahead, but that won't last  ;D

I loved the poem, I think I actually remember it being read a few years ago by G.K on the show as I listen to NPR on  my drive into town.

Who would have thought........
 
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