Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Arrow Chest Read-a-Long--Week Three


It's the third week into our lovely read of The Arrow Chest and I have to say that I'm enjoying it more and more as I keep reading. With the terrific insight of my reading companion, Eliza, aspects of the story have been brought to light and have opened up my understanding of the parallels to the historic figures of Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII and other surrounding players of that era.

In this section, we are really beginning to get a more Gothic feel, as I can't help but envision the castle ruins at which Daphne and Beth bide their time waiting for Amos and his carriage rescue. Beth's story is so heart wrenching. We get the connection of her to Elizabeth I...the early mistreatment she faced when her mother was so maliciously disposed of and the subsequent danger she experienced on her path to the throne. Even Beth's relationship with her sister hearkens to the strained relationship of sisters Elizabeth and Mary Tudor. I'm loving the friendship that has developed between Beth and Daphne because I'm reminded of mother and daughter and perhaps the sort of relationship Anne Boleyn and Elizabeth would have had if Anne had lived. I find myself hoping that Beth has a triumphant future ahead of her, even though I'm dreading that Daphne's will be quite tragic.

We really are getting the gist in this book that the plight of women really has not changed much since the sixteenth century. Women are still expected to marry according to position, often without love. They are still expected to produce an heir. And if any impropriety is expected, there is no end to what can be done to them, from being set aside with a divorce, declared mentally unfit and institutionalized, or worse, perhaps disposed of in the worse way...murder. All this, while the man can philander wherever and with whomever he chooses without even an eyelash batted. It's all very outrageous to a woman of the twenty-first century!

What are your thoughts on this week's section and the book in general? Are you as outraged as I am by what is developing? Share your thoughts in the comments or post a link to your blog post.

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  1. I, too, loved the fact that Daphne and Beth came closer together... Their interaction in the book is precious! The drama is coming closer and closer to its climax and I become more and more terrified about Daphne's fate. It's apalling and frightening that a husband could declare his wife insane so easily, in order to get rid of her. Poor Daphne! She shouldn't have married this evil man. Oliver had an accident just as Henry VIII did in January 1536, he almost died and woke up a total monster. I am so grateful that nowadays there is no chance of being instututionalized just because your father/brother/husband wants it that way!! I have read stories of heiresses that suffered that horrible fate so that others could enjoy their fortunes. Or young women who fell in love with the "wrong" man and their families commited them in asylums... Disgusting and terrifying!
    I am looking forward to the last part of the book! It will sure be fascinating!!

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