varina by charles frazier discussion questions
Varina did indeed rescue a mixed race child Jimmy Limber. ISBN-13: 9780062405982 Summary Sooner or later, history asks, which side were you on? I wanted it to feel to her like a child had returned. I found out that she had lived in London for some time, alone.

For Laura’s character, I pictured someone with lots of problems whose rich parents sent away to get better. Create a login & Join us! Amidst a timely controversy about the relevance of Confederate monuments scattered across the South and a national discussion about race, Charles Frazier’s newest novel examines the role of Varina Davis, wife of the Confederacy’s only president, Jefferson Davis, and her influence on history. Yes, absolutely. Their continued presence indicates how much the issues of the Civil War are like the armature inside a sculpture — baked into the framework of our country and our culture. Q: Varina was a remarkably strong and independent woman, well-educated and ahead of her time in her thinking about political and social issues. How would you describe their marriage relationship, with its many moves, the tumultuous time in the country, and the deaths of their four sons at a young age? She performed a lot of the conventional duties of a first lady but was constantly criticized by people in Richmond, for being too opinionated, too sharp-witted. Q: Other characters in the book reveal much about Varina. The stranger turns out to be the young boy she took in off the streets of Richmond 40 years ago, who is searching for clues about his own identity. Members, please login. Mary’s husband had important positions in the Confederate government (as an aid to the president and a brigadier general in the Confederate Army). All rights reserved. Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner. She also reared him with her own children. As she grew older she stayed engaged with the world around her and her opinions continued to evolve. There was no downtown then. Different terrain, different ideology, different economics, different culture, different accent.

He described the Gray House as being in downtown Richmond, which is where it is now, in the middle of MCV medical campus.

Ultimately, the book is a portrait of a woman who comes to realize that complicity carries consequences. She viewed Ellen as her friend and was genuinely baffled and a bit hurt that Ellen didn't view her in the same way.

Historical fiction appeals to many people because they take for granted that it teaches them history but in a novel (as opposed to history book) form. Signing: 5 p.m. April 25, Off Square Books, Oxford; 5 p.m. April 26, Eudora Welty House, Jackson. Varina was very well educated but realized bitterly the limitations society imposed on her as a woman. But what if a book, billed as historica... (read more).

6 questions answered. I sincerely doubt that Varina ever saw the horrors of slavery. © 2003 - 2017 BookMovement, LLC. Her family struggled financially and lived in town. They're set in the South and in the same time period, but otherwise are completely different narratives. Varina had expected him to be named the president and didn’t feel like he had the temperament for the job. Is the character Jimmie Limber entirely a fictional device? The novel is crafted around the conversations of an aging Varina with a man she had apparently rescued as a child — a man she had not seen in 40 years. Frazier’s other novels include “Thirteen Moons” and “Nightwoods.” A native of North Carolina, he still makes his home there. They quarreled over his will that left her totally dependent on his brother.

Discussion Questions - PLG_CONTENT_PAGEBREAK_PAGE_NUM - LitLovers She married Jefferson Davis when she was 18 and he was 37. They were actually based out of Butcher Hill, which was a grouping of shanties in the Shockoe Valley just below the bluff on which the Gray House stands. It was used for practically anything, especially for women, from mild depression after childbirth, to husbands saying their wives were too high strung or high-spirited. The diaries she wrote during the Civil War were later published and they provided a great deal of firsthand information about that period. I think Varina lived in her intellectual ivory tower. She viewed Ellen as her friend and was genuinely baf. Recommended to book clubs by 3 of 3 members. Drury Frazier also did not do his homework on Richmond. Calling her a feminist is a stretch in my mind.....ahead of her time with learning but still uses her female talents.


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