Tuesday, February 3, 2015

North and South Read Along Final Discussion Answers

I posted questions the other day for the final section of our North and South read along.. .and promptly forgot that I was meant to actually answer the questions too! Yeah. It's been that kind of week!

So, here are my quick thoughts on those questions.

1.  There's much talk about all the deaths in this book. What are your feelings on that? Do you think they were necessary? Or too much?

They didn't bother me that much I suppose. I mean, it did seem hard and fast and crazy, but there was more time between them than it felt like to us the readers I think. I do think that some of the deaths were easy plot devices. But it worked for me for the most part.

2. Was there anything that happened during this last part that you found surprising or unexpected? Or was everything very predictable?

I can't remember what I felt like the first time I read this. Probably Mr. Bell's death. And Henry trying the wooing thing again. This time through I was just surprised at the differences between book and movie that I'd forgotten.

3. What are your feelings on the about face Margaret and Mr. Thornton have with regard to their financial status?

I thought it must have been hard for Mr. Thornton to have this happen. And very surprising for Margaret, especially after thinking just a short time before that it was all to be looked down on. I find the whole switcheroo fascinating.

4. Do you think Margaret is justified in being so anguished over the lie that she told? Does it mostly have to do with her feelings for Mr. Thornton? Or something else?

I think this may have been the first time she found herself in such a position and it felt so off and wrong to her. But I think she would have gotten over it fairly quickly if not for Mr. Thornton knowing all about it. That killed her and drove her crazy! If only she felt like she could go to him and explain things. If only.

5. At what moment exactly do you think her feelings for Mr. Thornton completely changed?

I think she totally realized where she stood when she was back in London and her relations were now saying the things that she had said the year (or two) before. And she wanted to defend him! And it hits her then how much she misses him and wants to be back where he's at. I think it was a slow growing thing, but it really hit her then.

6. Discuss the character of Nicholas Higgins. What do you think about the relationship he has with Mr. Thornton? Did he change Mr. Thornton? Did Mr. Thornton change him?

I love him so much! And to see the friendship develop between him and Mr. Thornton warms my heart. I love watching them come to an understanding with each other, and respect. I love that especially... the respect. 

7. How does Mr. Thornton's views on the master/worker relationship change? Or. . .did it change? Did your view on this issue change as you experienced this book?

I think he comes to understand that they are people too and important and needed. Not that he didn't really think that before, but it became so much more real and obvious after all that striking business and then getting to know Mr. Higgins and seeing the plight of the Boucher family. 

8. Do you have a favorite quote from this book? If so, share and let us know why it's your favorite.

“He is my first olive: let me make a face while I swallow it.” 

I just thought this was a perfect way to describe the feeling of getting used to the idea of something. It's not a profound quote, and I enjoyed many profound quotes found in this book, but it was fun one that made me smile. 

9. The ending! Are you happy with how things turned out? (Try not to compare with the movie here... that's for a later question!)

I was shocked, shocked I tell you, to read the ending and realize that was it! I did not remember this, even though I've read it before. I expected it to be more like the movie. The two things have totally meshed in my brain. That being said, I do find the situation still very romantic, with her shuffling through the papers and talking and talking and talking and him just saying... "Margaret.... Margaret... Margaret" until she stops, puts her face in her hands and leans on his shoulder and saying, "I'm unworthy!"  I still love that! 

10. What aspect of this book would you like to address that we haven't yet talked about? Is there something we've skipped over in our discussions that makes you want to say... "Yeah, but what about....?"  And if you've got nothing there, answer this: Did you like the book? Why or why not?

I love the book and will continue to love it, despite the fact that the movie has overshadowed it in beloved-ness. 


If you've already seen the movie, go ahead... now is your chance to compare the two! If you have yet to see the movie, skip everyone's comments on this part. After we watch the movie on Friday, you can write a post just about this. Because my guess is, you'll probably have some thoughts!

I love the movie for the swoony looks Richard Armitage masters, for the emotion contained on his face. I love the book for the fact that we can get in his head and know what he's thinking during those brooding looks. I love the movie for the changes and additions that make everything so much more romantic. I love the book for the thoughtful statement it makes on the life and times of the people during this period. I love the movie for the ending. I love the book for the story itself!

Sigh. What fun we've had. I think we must do it again! 


  1. Yes, we should do it again! I love your reaction/thoughts on the ending! It was very sweet in its own way, even though it was different from the movie - which was totally romantic but geared towards more modern audiences. I enjoyed all your comments and the fun of reading with the group!

    1. Sally: Thanks so much for joining in the fun! We'll let you know if we do it again. Pretty serious about giving Dune a try.

  2. I can't remember every detail of the book but I think I liked it better than the movie. I mean, yes Richard is super dreamy but there's just something about the book that I love .

  3. Great answers. That quote is fun and really shows Margaret learning about Milton and its inhabitants. I’m excited to see the differences between the book and the miniseries.

    1. Amy: It is a fun quote, huh? So you do plan to watch with us on Friday?

  4. I like your answers and I'm glad I can see your point-of-view since ours are so drastically different. But, I think maybe it's because I went into it thinking it was nothing but a romance, I don't know.

    1. Jenni: I'm sad you didn't end up liking it much, but I think you'll enjoy the movie a lot. :)

  5. My answers can be found here http://wp.me/pfzdw-2qb

    1. Rachel: Be sure to link up on the post where I posted the questions. Then everyone can find you!

  6. I like your quote too! Wouldn't have thought of that one.

    1. Rachel: I liked a lot of quotes, but this one made me laugh. :)

  7. I totally agree about how her going back to London really showed the change in her feelings. I really liked seeing her grow throughout the story. And I'm excited to see the book brought to life in the movie and see how the two compare. :)

  8. Yes! To everything you said. Especially about the book/movie comparison. And that's a great quote, by the way. It made me grin when I read it! :)

    Ah, Higgens and Thornton. I just love those two. Watching their respect for each other grow and how they truly become friends....it's such a wonderful friendship! I love Margaret a lot, but these two men I think are my favorites characters in the story. I love them to pieces!

    Also, I think you may be right. Margaret truly realizes her feelings once she's in London and missing him. That's when there's no more denying possible. :)

  9. Ah, I hadn't thought about Margaret's feelings changing after she was back around her family in London, but that is so true! It's like the saying "you never know what you have til it's gone".



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