Monday 17 April 2017

Timeless Tour: Discussion Questions

Happy Monday!

I've got another post for you today for Simon & Schuster Canada's TIMELESS TOUR

As I introduced a couple of weeks ago, I'm part of a group of bloggers sharing posts relating to three of S&S Canada's big historical romance books this season: PROMISES TO KEEP, THE ENEMIES OF VERSAILLES, and THE SCRIBE OF SIENA!

I hope you've all been enjoying the tour so far!

Today, my post is a little different! Instead of being centred around one of the books, I have some discussion questions instead!

  1. What was your favourite historical time period among the Timeless Tour reads? Did you know anything about this period before you began reading the book?
    I enjoyed all of the time periods in the books, but I really liked learning about the Acadians in Canada in Promises to Keep the most. While I did learn about Canadian history in school, I don't ever actually remember learning about the Acadians, so it was all really new to me. I've always been a fan of historical fiction, but I didn't realize just how little there is on Canadian history until Genevieve Graham's previous book, Tides of Honour, released. When I first heard she was going to be writing about the Expulsion of the Acadians, I was immediately on board. While I didn't know much about the Acadian Expulsion prior to Promises to Keep, I felt like Genevieve did a great job at bringing the reader up to speed with the events surrounding the characters, and I really appreciated getting to see a side of Canada's history that I wasn't familiar with.

  2. How did the historical events in each book influence the character’s choices and personalities?
    I think that all characters are influenced by their surroundings in books, so I have to admit that I don't really think that these characters were any different that way. In Promises to Keep, Amélie is forced to make decisions that she thinks will aid in her family's survival, and I think her personality was actually shaped more by her family in the story rather than the historical events. She was raised to speak her mind, and so she had a very strong personality and she was determined to perverse. I think Beatrice from The Scribe of Siena was the same. She was raised by her brother, Ben, and he taught her to be an academic. She ended up being a neurosurgeon, so it's not very surprising that she was a rather rational and clinical thinker. I think the historical events surrounding these characters definitely influenced their choices because they have to react to what's happening around them, but I think ultimately, that their personalities are separate from the historical events.

  3. If you could invite one of the Timeless Tour leading ladies (Beatrice, Jeanne, or Amelie) to dinner, who would you choose and why?
    I'd want to have Amélie for dinner. I absolutely loved Promises to Keep, and I thought that she was such a strong character that I really would love to get to know. I'd love to hear her talk about what it was like living in Grand Pré, and I think it'd be fascinating to hear about her every day life...especially since she was living in Canada before it had actually become Canada yet.

  4. The Scribe of Siena starts in the present before Beatrice is transported back in time to 1347, whereas Promises to Keep and Enemies of Versailles are firmly rooted in one timeline. How did this change your reading experience?
    I thought that the time travel in The Scribe of Siena added a pretty different feel to the story. While Promises to Keep and The Enemies of Versailles are strongly grounded in their historical time periods, The Scribe of Siena isn't limited to just the historical. Beatrice is shaped by the present time, so I think that adds a very different feel to the character and there's that sense of unease and confusion whenever unexpected time travel happens...even if you go into the book knowing that it's going to happen eventually. It kind of reminded me of Outlander in a way because the time travel really isn't the biggest part of the story, it's really just the plot point to get Beatrice to where...and when...she needs to be.

  5. In the past, powerful women have been written out of textbooks. How do the protagonists of the Timeless Tour reads challenge the misconception that women in history were passive, submissive and dependent?
    Hmm, I don't think it's correct to say that women in history were passive, submissive and dependent. While women aren't as prevalent in history as men are, there were still a few very notable powerful figures, like Queen Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots, and Cleopatra. It is disappointing that you don't hear about many ordinary women in history that way, every day women were largely passive, submissive, and dependent. I think a big part of that is the fact that women actually wouldn't have been able to have been in a position to be active, dominant and independent...unless they were nobility. I think the leading ladies in these three books challenge misconceptions about women in history because in a way, they're not confined in the same way that many common women in history would've been. They're all educated, and have certain freedoms to be independent that wouldn't necessarily be available to many women historically. In short...they're allowed to be protagonists in their own lives during times when women wouldn't necessarily be given that freedom.

Follow the rest of the TIMELESS TOUR:

Do you have any answers for the Timeless Tour Discussion Questions?

Or if you haven't read any of the tour books, what's your favourite historical fiction?And what makes it your favourite?

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