Monday, November 30, 2009

Mrs. Mike Discussion Questions

Hey everyone!!! I hope everyone had an awesome Thanksgiving weekend and you were able to enjoy all the turkey and pumpkin pie you wanted. I know I did. A little too much.

Anyway, it's time for the discussion of Mrs. Mike by Benedict & Nancy Freeman. I looked online to see if there were any reading guides for this book, and struck out. Nothing. So, I grabbed some generic questions and I'm hoping you can just adapt the questions to the book as best as you are able. (I'm lousy thinking up questions myself.) Anyway, I'm going to post the questions now, and come back with my own answers later on tonight. Two of my four kids have been sick today, so I'll come back after they are in bed to answer.

  • What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
  • What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across to the reader?
  • Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?
  • How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes?
  • Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before? 
  • What was your favorite part of the story? Least favorite?
Okay, there you go everyone. Sorry I am so late in posting this, and I will be back with my answers later tonight. I am excited to see what you all thought of this book!


Melissa said...

I really enjoyed reading Mrs. Mike. There are a few scenes that will always stick with me:

1. Mrs. Mike surviving the wild fire in the middle of a river and then afterward seeing her husband's friend's family pulled out of a well dead.

2. Mrs. Mike loosing both of her children to diphtheria and then having to go care for others who were sick. I can't imagine anything as creepy as seeing dead bodies tied to trees with hungry dogs all over the place.

Anyway, this book made me appreciate my creature comforts. I guess I take a lot for granted - including fire men and fire extinguishers. And my family's health. Also, it taught me about finding joy in life, even when situations are tough.

I love that MRs. Mike is a real person. From reading on wikipedia (I know - not the best source) it says her husband died in the 30s, but it didn't say how. Does anyone know? I'm so curious.

Lisa Brown said...

1. I have read a lot about pioneers, etc, but never anything that took place in the wilderness in Canada before. I thought that the most unique thing about the setting was how they lived among the Indians.

2. I felt that the reader was showing us that, no matter how far out of our comfort zone we are, we can adapt and find a way to love our life. And I loved the characters.

3. I think Mrs. Mike is the only one who really changes throughout the story, especially as she lets her stereotypes and preconceived ideas fall away.

4. The parts that made me uncomfortable were the same as Melissa. The dead bodies coming up out of the well and the dead bodies hung all over the place during the outbreak.

5. I loved how this book made me remember how amazingly blessed I am.

My favorite part of the story was Mrs. Mike's realization that her home was with her husband, no matter how difficult it may be. And then, when she came home to him.

Michelle Claire said...

Okay, here are my answers...

1. I agree with Lisa, I have never read anything really that had to do with Canada... the thing that I loved was that I could totally imagine this place, wild, isolated and yet beautiful. Since I haven't read this book in years, I tried to keep an open mind and not expect to love it again, but I did. I was thinking about what it was that I actually loved about it, it's not a feel-good story in the way that everyone is alive and well at the end. It was just real, dealing with real issues at the time that have happened before and thriving in spite of it.

2.What theme do I think was emphasized?? Probably like I said before, thriving even when it seems impossible to. Taking what you've been given and adapting and making it work. I loved the part when Mrs. Mike ended up giving a tea party with the Indians. I loved how she just started working to make sure everyone had enough to eat and drink.

3.I agree with Lisa again that Mrs. Mike changed and adapted through the story. She started out going to her Uncle's house because of her health, hoping that it would strengthen her, and she ended up living in the Canadian wild with her Mounty, and growing incredibly. I can't imagine having to go through what she did. Losing both her children, and then having to go on. The strength that she had was amazing.

4. The parts that made me uncomfortable were the death parts as well... it's something that most of us don't have to face on such an incredible scale. I can't imagine having so many dead or dying... losing my children all at once, or a whole family perish from a fire... and not just one, but many families. Same with Melissa, it makes me realize how many things we have to help us survive. Doctors, fire fighters, medicine, etc...

5.Favorite? Probably in the beginning when she tried to feed Mike & Uncle John currant pie, and didn't cook 'em. I ended up with a clear picture of her personality when she tried to pretend to eat them herself.

Overall, I loved this book. A lot of fun parts, as well as parts that made you think more about not taking things for granted and being thankful everyday for what we have.

Shayleen Lunt said...

Thanks for posting these questions. I picked Mrs. Mike for my book club pick this month and your questions are the only ones that I've found for this book.
I hope that everyone likes the book as much as I did and that there will be enough to discuss at our "meeting."