The Visionist Discussion Pt. 5

Ok ladies, for this reading section, I have to stay is starts off with a bang, or rather, a kick. As Charity and Polly are awakened for the "Midnight Cry" we see Polly stays behind as Charity leaves. In this moment, she realizes she is pregnant with her father's child. Polly is always referencing feeling haunted by her father, and now, not only is she mentally haunted by her father, but also physically. Do you think she will ever be able to escape this feeling of hauntedness? What would have to happen for her to be able to break free from him? The events surrounding the Midnight Cry reveal to the reader that Polly is pregnant, but to her fellow Shakers, it's revealed that there is yet again another "visionist" in their community. Sister Cora Ann Reed's visions take the form of messages from "Mother" that she has penned down on hearts for each person to receive. Both Polly and Charity are nervous about what these messages will say. They are both so consumed with feeling that they are evil that they worry Mother has essentially outed their wickedness. I love the pure light in which the girls see one another despite their own perspectives of feeling like darkness is winning. How do you think the messages on their hearts are apparent of their individual struggles? Ladies, I don't know if I'm alone here, but Elder Sister Agnes really irritates me. At first her mental torture of Polly was frustrating, and the way she chided Charity, but with the proposal of using Ben to take land, we begin to see how manipulative she is capable of being. As Urquhart talks about the sweet way in which Ben is treated, I can't help but think, is it real? Does anyone see Elder Sister Agnes in a different light? Am I being too tough? I feel so much sympathy for both Polly and Charity, that it's hard for me to not be biased against her. When we pick up with Simon's story, we see an encounter with James Hurlburt who is now looking for May. Then we see at the auction, yet another man who is presumably searching for her, Varnum Tanner. Is it just that owning May will mean owning the land, or do you think there's more to this search for May? I love that she ends this chapter with Simon saying "I [need] May Kimball to save my soul." Now, the next three sections pick up as far as plot goes. We can really feel that we're hitting the climax of the book because of how much information is being revealed. There's still a lot to learn, and a lot of questions to come out of what is revealed, but things are coming to ahead. Charity finds out Polly is pregnant, and reacts about what we'd expect. Well, actually I did expect for her to give Polly the chance to explain, but she made clear no sympathy was to be had for her. It seems that in the last few sections involving Charity,  there's been a huge shift to focusing on her ability to work with herbs/what herbs are available to them. Does anyone think this is foreshadowing a future use of these potentially poisonous herbs? With the revelation of this secret, the love and light the girls shared is shattered. Will this leave more room for dark visions to take over Polly? If Charity was her angel, and now her angel is gone, what does that leave? At the end of the last section for this week we start to see this darkness, "'How could you let her doubt herself?' The believers go quiet at the sight of the Visionist. They are terrified by her wrath." In Simon's chapter, he confirms what the fellow purchased subordinates know about May and then speaks to her himself. He lets her know that more or less he is trying to protect her and her family, confirming that the fire was in fact just an accident. It's stressed how important it for Polly to find this out. In the middle of this conversation May is kidnapped by Hurlburt's men. This leads to her horse just losing his mind trying to break free to go after her. I have to say, I'm an animal softie, so the whole section with the horse struggling to break free was incredibly hard to read. Simon, has to shoot the horse after he has been injured. Yet again, we have another act of mercy in the form of violence performed on the innocent. I love that Sarah G. pointed out in our last discussion of animal violence how much helplessness is felt by all of the characters in this book. Are we to assume the animals are representatives of our characters, and swift acts of mercy are the only escape they may have? This section ends on a definite cliff hanger. In the horse's scuffle, he unearthed some important papers. These are presumably the same papers May took with her when they left the house. The thing is though, the outside says TRASK. I'm inclined to believe that Trask is in fact the one good soul after the land, maybe an old friend of May's or her family? We know that it's his signature at the bottom of the papers, so he must hold the key to the vital information all of the land vultures are desiring. Do you ladies trust him? Will he be the answer to helping Simon save his soul? We only have one section left after this! We can't wait to plan a final HL book club discussion. Be looking out for those dates ladies! Shaker-village melinda-sig

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