Book Club Page
Lucia believes a small city could be powered with the energy in book clubs.
She always enjoys visiting with them.
Note: Each Book Cover Links To Its Corresponding Book Page For More Info And Purchase Link
Some questions about Shadow Patriots : A Novel of the Revolution
- Why is the book called Shadow Patriots?
- Why are the Culpers relatively unknown?
- Who do you think 3-5-5 might have been?
- Why do you think Lucia chose to portray her as a Quaker?
- How do George Washington’s false reports of troop strength and movements square with his “I cannot tell a lie” image?
- Besides Hercules Mulligan, discuss some other historical figures in this story we haven’t heard much about, such as James Rivington, Caleb Brewster, Abraham Woodhull, Peggy Shippen, Benjamin Tallmadge, Elizabeth Loring.
- How does Robson’s description of Mary Ludwig Hayes (aka Molly Pitcher) compare with what we learned in school about her?
- What is a macaroni and what does it have to do with clothing?
- What relevance does this story have for us today?
- What information in this book surprised you?
“Her heroine, Lozen is a powerful character whom readers won’t soon forget.” – Larry McMurtry
Discussion questions for Ghost warrior
(With Lucia’s opinions added)
The Apaches: as Hollywood never showed them
Q: What are some traits of the Apaches that were unlike anything we’ve seen in the movies?
Q: What was it about the Apaches that most surprised you?
A: Their wacky sense of humor. They played a lot of practical jokes. Their favorite was to get just out of rifle range, turn their backs to the soldiers, and lift their breechclouts, presenting an impressive array of posteriors. On at least one occasion a war chief didn’t keep up with weapons’ technology, and caught a bullet that kept him from sitting down for quite a while. The battle stopped while the Apaches and the soldiers both got a good laugh out of it.
They also told droll stories about Trickster Coyote that we would consider off-color today. I’ll probably be criticized for including so many scatological tales, but frankly, the majority of them seem to be.
Their names were not like the heroic monikers of other tribes. No Howling Wolf, or Sitting Bull, or Black Hawk. They called each other things like Old Fatty, Crooked Neck, Eyelash, Parakeet, He Who Steals Love, Fun, Mischievous, Disgruntled, Flies In His Soup, and my personal favorite, Flattened Penis. Geronimo’s real name, for instance, was He Who Yawns.
Q: What else made the Apaches different? A: When Apaches are depicted we almost always see the men, the warriors; but they went to great lengths to honor their women at the Ceremony of Changing Woman. When a girl reached puberty her family pooled all their resources to provide days of elaborate rituals, feasting, dancing, and lavish gift-giving. During that time the girl acquired the status of a goddess and people came from miles around to receive her blessing. Apache women were also very chaste, and Apache teen-agers quite bashful around each other. One doesn’t think of Apaches as being bashful, but they were. Boys in particular would go to elaborate lengths to avoid being embarrassed in front of girls. Courtship was demur, circumspect, and heavily chaperoned. They were also very emotional in expressing joy and grief. Q: What else surprised you? A: I didn’t realize that the Apaches were on friendly terms with white people at the beginning, and often maintained those friendships throughout the long years of conflict: i.e. Charles Gatewood’s friendship with Cochise. Only after they had been betrayed time and again, did they become irretrievably hostile, and even then they were willing to make exceptions. They seemed to be fine judges of character, and would put their trust in the few white men who deserved it. I discovered that Geronimo was not generally well regarded among the Apaches. He had a reputation for deceitfulness, and liars were looked down on among his people. He also was considered reckless with the lives of his men, and Apaches, though ferocious in battle, did not risk their lives foolishly. Q: What impressed you the most about them? A: Three things:
- Their spirituality: They believed that the spirit world infused everything, and even the most mundane activities were a form of prayer.
- Their intimate and unusual connection with the land, which explains why they defended it so ferociously for so many years.
- Their endurance. Hollywood has depicted them as stoic, cruel, and ferocious, but it has not begun to show what they could do when they had to. They taught their children from an early age to be incredibly tough, resilient, self-reliant, and patient. They were so skilled at blending in with the landscape that the more superstitious of their enemies thought they had powers of invisibility.
Q: Why is the book called Ghost Warrior? A: During the wars with the U.S. Army, the Apaches called themselves Indeh, which means, “The Dead.” They believed the white men had killed them already, but they continued to walk around, to eat and drink, and fight. Combine that with the fact that many believed they could make themselves invisible, and Ghost Warrior seemed a fitting name.
Ride The Wind Book Club Questions
- How do Comanches fit the stereotypes Hollywood has portrayed, and how do they differ?
- Why were some captives treated well, and some badly? (ie: they often adopted the younger ones who could be assimilated easily into the group, but used the older ones as slaves).
- How can we reconcile the Comanches’ cruelty toward outsiders with their warmth and hospitality toward those they’ve befriended.
- In this day of credit checks, and cell phones, traffic jams and air pollution, is there an appeal to their nomadic way of life?
- What surprised you about them? I, for instance, was surprised to learn that they have a sly sense of fun.
- How did their child-rearing methods differ from ours? For instance, they had a ceremony of honoring their young people that must have made the kids feel very much a part of the whole.
- If the Americans had treated them differently, more honorably, do you think history would have been different where they were concerned?
Talking Points For Fearless, Novel Of Sarah Bowman
Q: What is the story of Fearless?
A: In 1845 Zachary Taylor’s little army, fresh from the perils of the Seminole War in Florida, bivouacked near Corpus Christi. Six-foot tall Sarah was a laundress whom the soldiers had nicknamed The Great Western after the biggest steamship afloat. For the next three years Sarah accompanied the soldiers as they invaded Mexico to secure the country north of the Rio Grande for the US. She was famous at the time, but not much is known about her today.
Q: Why isn’t she well-known now?
A: For one thing, she was a woman and a lower class woman at that. Army laundresses did not generally have a good reputation, but Sarah went on to cook for the officers, then ran a successful hotel in Mexico where many officers lodged during the war. Many of them took advantage of other services offered there.
Q: What made her special?
A: Her size, strength and courage. During battle she tended the wounded in the thickest of the fighting carrying them off the field single-handed. She was fiercely
loyal and had a streak of audacity. When told she couldn’t accompany the army unless she was married to a soldier, she mounted her horse and proposed to the entire army as they stood in formation.
Q: What were the conditions of life in those days?
A: The horrors of battle were only part of what made life difficult. The winter that Taylor’s army camped on the beach at Corpus Christi was one of the coldest and wettest on record. Mexico’s climate and the unsanitary conditions of camp life caused a variety of illnesses. Then too, the terrain of northern Mexico is some of the roughest in the world. It alternates between trackless deserts and rugged mountains and deep gorges.
The chaparral was so impenetrable that soldiers claimed cannon balls bounced off it. Added to that were the tarantulas, scorpions, Gila monsters and rattlesnakes that liked to share the warmth of the soldiers’ blankets with them.
Q: What interested you most about Sarah’s story?
A: I was deeply impressed with Sarah’s courage and good nature in the face of experiences that would have confounded even a reasonably tough individual. I also liked being able to use her story to show the effects of war on a civilian population, and the ways in which people adapt to circumstances that seem unendurable. She’s a fine example of the unconquerable human spirit.
Mary’s Land Talking Points
In Three Sections
In writing Mary’s Land, I wanted to show at least six aspects of Maryland’s colonial history.
- How terribly difficult life was on the early frontier.
- The courage, intellect, and unconventionality of Margaret Brent in overcoming those difficulties.
- The rowdy, rambunctious, smelly crew now so venerated as our noble British ancestors.
- The effect of even well-intentioned contact on the indigenous peoples of the Chesapeake region.
- The intense religious prejudices and antipathies that people held, and their consequences.
- The attitudes toward tobacco, many of which sound rather contemporary.
Some aspects of Margaret Brent’s life that are still relevant:
- The effects of religious intolerance, and the parallels with fundamentalism of all types now.
- The almost immediate rebellious attitude on the part of the settlers, and how that has resonated through our history. Also, the litigousness of British society.
- The tough individuality of an unmarried older woman facing physical and and social obstacles.
- The situation of native peoples then, and the possible consequences today.
- The effect of transported felons on the development of our society… and conversely,
- The Puritan influence on our current mores.
Some possible questions for the author:
- Who were Lord Baltimore and Anne Arrundell?
- Why didn’t Margaret and Mary Brent marry?
- Why did you decide to write about the Brents?
- Why did you add Anicah, the fictional pickpocket?
- Were you surprised at some of the facts your research uncovered?