How did you feel about Sarah in the beginning?

Discuss the October 2017 Book of the Month, Strong Heart by Charlie Sheldon.

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Christina Rose
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How did you feel about Sarah in the beginning?

Post by Christina Rose » 02 Oct 2017, 03:37

I found myself with mixed feelings when it came to Sarah in the beginning of the book. Parts of me felt bad for her and her situation. Other parts were annoyed with the way she reacted to Tom, William, and Myra. She was critical of everything from what they were eating to the lack of a television set.
How did you feel toward Sarah in the beginning? Did your feelings change throughout your reading?

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Post by jenjayfromSA » 02 Oct 2017, 03:46

Poor kid, obviously knocked around and abused to the point where she didn't trust anyone. She would be critical of everything, it's her way of making her presence felt - she's obviously been overlooked many times before. A strong little character. She fights back, instead of giving in and letting people push her around.

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Post by jwalker73 » 02 Oct 2017, 06:41

At first I thought Sarah was just a typical obnoxious teenager entering adolescence. Realistically, I think any teenager who is suddenly dumped on the doorstep of a relative they had never met, especially when that relative lives in the middle of nowhere, is bound to be bitter and hostile. Also, considering her background, her behaviour was probably a protective mechanism to keep people at arm's length and stop herself getting hurt emotionally.

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Post by Mjgarrison » 02 Oct 2017, 07:26

I felt bad for her because of the situation she was in, but then I kept thinking they are taking care of her and she being such a brat.

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Post by Christina Rose » 02 Oct 2017, 09:22

jenjayfromSA wrote:Poor kid, obviously knocked around and abused to the point where she didn't trust anyone. She would be critical of everything, it's her way of making her presence felt - she's obviously been overlooked many times before. A strong little character. She fights back, instead of giving in and letting people push her around.
I see what you're saying. I was just having a hard time with her attitude towards the three in the very beginning. Her attitude as a defense mechanism makes sense.

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Post by gali » 02 Oct 2017, 09:24

I also didn't like her at first, but grew to like her as the story unfolded.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by Christina Rose » 02 Oct 2017, 09:25

jwalker73 wrote:At first I thought Sarah was just a typical obnoxious teenager entering adolescence. Realistically, I think any teenager who is suddenly dumped on the doorstep of a relative they had never met, especially when that relative lives in the middle of nowhere, is bound to be bitter and hostile. Also, considering her background, her behaviour was probably a protective mechanism to keep people at arm's length and stop herself getting hurt emotionally.
That makes sense. The mind is a powerful tool, and can definitely elicit certain behaviors in order to protect us.

-- 02 Oct 2017, 09:28 --
Mjgarrison wrote:I felt bad for her because of the situation she was in, but then I kept thinking they are taking care of her and she being such a brat.
That was pretty much my thought process, too. But, I can see what others are saying about her immediate reaction to people being one of distrust.

-- 02 Oct 2017, 09:30 --
gali wrote:I also didn't like her at first, but grew to like her as the story unfolded.
My opinion of her character improved the more I read, as well.

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Post by Mallory Whitaker » 02 Oct 2017, 10:27

I didn't like her in the beginning for the exact same reasons you listed. However, she did end up growing on me, although maybe not as much as she was supposed to.

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Post by Amagine » 02 Oct 2017, 10:30

She was annoying at the beginning. Even though she had a rough life, you still can't go around being rude to anyone who crosses your path.
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Post by Mjgarrison » 02 Oct 2017, 10:33

@Mallory Whitaker I totally agree, I did end up liking her more as I read and I understood part of why she was being the way she was but it just seemed like she didn't even try in the beginning. I get she got ditched with Grandpa, she felt like no one liked her, her parents are gone, those are all valid problems but being rude to the only ones that did seem to care didn't help.

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Post by Mallory Whitaker » 02 Oct 2017, 10:37

Mjgarrison wrote:@Mallory Whitaker I totally agree, I did end up liking her more as I read and I understood part of why she was being the way she was but it just seemed like she didn't even try in the beginning. I get she got ditched with Grandpa, she felt like no one liked her, her parents are gone, those are all valid problems but being rude to the only ones that did seem to care didn't help.
Yeah, I really do get it. She's also thirteen. Few people are in their best form at thirteen, especially after going through everything she's been through. She pretty much stayed rude the whole time, even though she did end up caring about them in the end. I liked her in the chapters she narrated but she felt like a completely different character in those sections.

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Post by Christina Rose » 02 Oct 2017, 11:44

Mallory Whitaker wrote:I didn't like her in the beginning for the exact same reasons you listed. However, she did end up growing on me, although maybe not as much as she was supposed to.
I'm pretty much in the same boat. I kinda feel bad because I don't like her more than I do. :|

-- 02 Oct 2017, 11:56 --
Amagine wrote:She was annoying at the beginning. Even though she had a rough life, you still can't go around being rude to anyone who crosses your path.
These are pretty much my exact thoughts. It made it a little difficult in the beginning chapters to appreciate her as a character.

-- 02 Oct 2017, 11:59 --
Mjgarrison wrote:@Mallory Whitaker I totally agree, I did end up liking her more as I read and I understood part of why she was being the way she was but it just seemed like she didn't even try in the beginning. I get she got ditched with Grandpa, she felt like no one liked her, her parents are gone, those are all valid problems but being rude to the only ones that did seem to care didn't help.
You hit the nail on the head. She wasn't even trying, and that really got to me. Don't get me wrong, she was going through a lot, but you've got to let people in occasionally if you don't want to go it alone.

-- 02 Oct 2017, 12:01 --
Mallory Whitaker wrote:
Mjgarrison wrote:@Mallory Whitaker I totally agree, I did end up liking her more as I read and I understood part of why she was being the way she was but it just seemed like she didn't even try in the beginning. I get she got ditched with Grandpa, she felt like no one liked her, her parents are gone, those are all valid problems but being rude to the only ones that did seem to care didn't help.
Yeah, I really do get it. She's also thirteen. Few people are in their best form at thirteen, especially after going through everything she's been through. She pretty much stayed rude the whole time, even though she did end up caring about them in the end. I liked her in the chapters she narrated but she felt like a completely different character in those sections.
She really did feel like a completely different character in those sections!

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Post by Amagine » 02 Oct 2017, 16:41

I will admit that my feelings towards her changed at the end. I still wouldn't call her my favorite character though.
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Post by Ashley Simon » 02 Oct 2017, 17:56

I was a little annoyed with Sarah at first, but I thought she had the most interesting character arc out of anyone in the novel.

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Post by Christina Rose » 02 Oct 2017, 22:36

Amagine wrote:I will admit that my feelings towards her changed at the end. I still wouldn't call her my favorite character though.
No, she was definitely not one of my favorites. But absolutely more tolerable towards the end.

-- 02 Oct 2017, 22:37 --
Ashley Simon wrote:I was a little annoyed with Sarah at first, but I thought she had the most interesting character arc out of anyone in the novel.
You make a very good point.

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