Did reading this novel make you think about your own family history? What memories did it bring
up? Did it make you want to learn more about your family's past?
Join Date: 10/11/10
Join Date: 08/16/11
I thought of my maternal grandmother while reading the book. She always called herself an orphan because her mother died whe she was very young, and she had an evil stepmother who made her life miserable and sent her away to school. And yet, like Violet, she persevered, married a good man, and was happy. And she always considered herself lucky, despite her unhappy childhood. If I could discuss this book with any member of my family, it would be my grandmother. I would love to know more about her childhood and how orphans were treated (my grandmother was born in the late 1800s, making her a contemporary of many children who rode the orphan trains). Alas, she died when I was in my early 20s, before I realized how many things I wanted to ask her.
Join Date: 05/19/11
Terrio that is the sad part when we lose someone before we can ask the questions and I am sure your grandmother would have been very forthcoming...I feel that Violet would have been more willing to share with Sam than with her own daughter..sometimes age and time make us more willing to share.
Join Date: 08/16/11
DJN, I think you are right that Violet would have been more likely to talk to Sam. And wouldn't it be fascinating to hear what Violet would think about Sam's inability to leave Ella's side? Sam is really the antithesis of Violet's mother, Lilibeth, isn't she?
Join Date: 06/16/11
This book really did make me think back in time a lot. I am so fortunate to have been made aware of so much of my family's history from the generations before me. The much more difficult lifestyles they had also makes me grateful for all they and their generations accomplished that has made my life and that of my children and grandchildren so much easier.
Join Date: 04/12/12
I have always been interested in my families history. I know little tidbits but I really wish I knew more. My own parents didn't care about family stories. In fact, I knew who people were in old photos and my dad didn't. I would listen to my grandparents tell me about their families. The problem is I never wrote anything down and they only told me bits. I can recognize people and know enough to really get me wondering. My grandfather is a mystery. His mother left her husband, came back to the home town, changed his name and later my dad once said his grandmother was being blackmailed, that they had found letters after she died. Boy I wish someone was still around to answer some questions about that!
Join Date: 09/05/11
It certainly did. My mother and her sister lost their 25 year old mother when they were 5 and 3 respectively. Their father could not cope and put them in the foster care system. I thought about my Mom often as I read Mercy Train. Like Violet, she was reticent to share her memories of those days and I never had an inkling of Mom's story until I was 17. From that point on, I tried to unravel the story of those two little girls separated for life by their Mom's death. It is a story that I need to share with my children and grandchildren because the woman who had no family gave us all the greatest gift of all. Her strength gave us the closeness she always longed for.
Join Date: 07/28/11
Yes, it certainly did. My grandmother was an EXCELLENT mother (and grandmother) in spite of the fact that she suffered tremendous abuse from her brothers and her mother, who was very mean to her. She completely adored all four of her children, and I'm amazed at how how completely she was able to break the 'cycle.'
My mother was incredible, too, and I am forever blessed because of the influence of these loving women in my life!
Join Date: 06/21/12
Yes. It made me think about my mothers childhood and who she was before she became my mother. It also made me thankful for her making the right or best choices for her children. It made me wonder what possible unknowns lie in both sides of my family history.
Join Date: 01/12/12
It made me think a little more about it, about the ancestors I don't know and the secrets they held. Everyone has skeletons. For one thing, I know only that my first Irish ancestor who came to this country had to flee Ireland. The legend is he killed a man and had to leave. Now I wonder if that's true and if it was part of the early IRA movement. Or if it's even true at all!
Join Date: 08/16/11
Like lisag, I thought about past generations of both sides of my family. I don't know anything about any of my ancestors beyond my grandparents (and I know very little about them). I know there must be many great stories that I'll never know. I've always fantasized about doing genealogical research and finding a distant relative who has a cache of family documents and stories. Maybe that will happen when I retire!
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