Monday, August 5, 2013

Book Club: Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard

I am happy to be taking part in Susan Dennard's Book Club for Something Strange and Deadly & A Darkness Strange and Lovely. Each Monday of August, she's giving us a (non-spoilery) discussion question for each book. Since I haven't been able to get my hands on a copy of A Darkness Strange and Lovely yet, I'll answer the question for Something Strange and Deadly.

Eleanor’s mother expects a lot from poor El. She wants Eleanor to marry and save the family from financial ruin (despite the fact that Eleanor is only 16), she wants Eleanor to become friends with the rich “cool” kids (like Allison or the Virtue Sisters), and she wastes money the Fitt family doesn’t have on new gowns and fancy house decor. She demands Eleanor behave according to “proper etiquette” and squeeze into a corset that deforms her ribs.

Question: Do you think, given the time period, Mrs. Fitt is justified in her demands on Eleanor? Why or why not?

My Answer: I think that, given the time period, Mrs. Fitt's actions are not justified, but are within the social norm. Mothers expected their daughter(s) to grow up, marry a rich man, and have children. The time frame of the book is also at the point where, while change hasn't happened, the world is on the brink of it. With that in mind, I believe that Eleanor should be given more freedom. I would hope that Mrs. Fitt would let Eleanor make her own decisions and trust her to make the right ones as well as some mistakes. Eleanor is too young to have the entire fate of the family upon her shoulders. Mrs. Fitt should instead take control, stop spending money on useless things, and face the facts. The family is more or less broke. She expects Eleanor to do her job. Women had a very specific role until the time came when there were women who challenged that role. I believe that Eleanor is one of those women and that Mrs. Fitt is just going to have to get over it.

What do you think? Put your answer in the comments! Check out Susan's blog for the other discussion question!

Author Bio:
I’m a 28-year-old reader, writer, lover of animals, and eater of cookies. I used to be a marine biologist, but now I write novels. And not novels about fish either, but novels about kick-butt heroines and swoon-worthy rogues (I really like swoon-worthy rogues).

I live in the Midwestern US with my French husband and Irish setter, and you can learn more about my crazy thoughts and crippling cookie-addiction on twitterfacebook, or Goodreads.

My debut, Something Strange and Deadly,  is now available from HarperTeen, and you will never believe how happy this makes me!

Something Strange and Deadly:
There’s something strange and deadly loose in Philadelphia…

The year is 1876 and Eleanor Fitt has a lot to worry about. Her brother has gone missing, her family has fallen on hard times, and her mother is determined to marry her off to any rich young man who walks by. But this is nothing compared to what she’s just read in the newspaper—
The Dead are rising in Philadelphia.

And then, in a frightening attack, a zombie delivers a letter to Eleanor…from her brother.
Whoever is controlling the Dead army has taken her brother as well. If Eleanor is going to find him, she’ll have to venture into the lab of the notorious Spirit-Hunters, who protect the city from supernatural forces. But as Eleanor spends more time with the Spirit-Hunters, including their maddeningly stubborn yet handsome inventor, Daniel, the situation becomes dire. And now, not only is her reputation on the line, but her very life may hang in the balance.

A Darkness Strange and Lovely:

With her brother dead and her mother insane, Eleanor Fitt is alone. Even the Spirit-Hunters—Joseph, Jie, and the handsome Daniel—have fled to Paris. So when Eleanor hears the vicious barking of hounds and see haunting yellow eyes, she fears that the Dead, and the necromancer Marcus, are after her.

To escape, Eleanor boards a steamer bound for France. There she meets Oliver, a young man who claims to have known her brother. But Oliver harbors a dangerous secret involving necromancy and black magic that entices Eleanor beyond words. If she can resist him, she’ll be fine. But when she arrives in Paris, she finds that the Dead have taken over, and there’s a whole new evil lurking. And she is forced to make a deadly decision that will go against everything the Spirit-Hunters stand for.

In Paris, there’s a price for this darkness strange and lovely, and it may have Eleanor paying with her life.

Perfect for readers Libba Bray’s The Diviners and Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel series, this spellbinding sequel to Something Strange and Deadly delivers a mix of intrigue, supernatural forces, intense romance, and revenge, all set against the enchanting backdrop of nineteenth-century Paris.

1 comment:

  1. I think you've hit some things right on the head. It's not too much of a stretch to see where Eleanor's mother s coming from and she certainly things her actions and wishes are justified but Eleanor is not the girl to fulfill those wishes. I'm excited to see how she does striking out on her own (sort of) in A Darkness Strange and Lovely!