Book Choice Submission

1. What is the novel title? Who is the author? What is the date of publication and what is the number of pages in the book?

          The novel that I chose to do for my ISU is The Wars by Timothy Findley. The Wars is a 218 page novel about WWI published in 1977 by Clark Irwin & Company Limited.

2. Why did you choose this book?

          I chose to do The Wars for my ISU because as I researched the book on the internet it interested me. All of the reviews that I read, from both the internet and friends were positive towards the book. Since I have always had such a keen interest in world history, I knew this book about World War I would be the perfect match for me.

3. How do you like the book so far?

          With me on page 15 of the “The Wars”, there has not been much to say about the book. There has been many different characters introduced and the author has spent most of the time explaining the setting, and the plot of the story in small condensed chapters. Though I find what I have read to be very interesting, it has been tough to follow at some points, with the author changing points of view often, leaving me wondering what has happened, and usually re-reading to try to understand what I had just read.

4. How much have you read so far?

          So far I have read up to page 15 in my book, which is the start of chapter 5. Although I am not very far into my novel, many characters have been introduced and the setting of the book has been very thoroughly discussed.

5. What’s happened so far? Please refer to plot, setting, characters, mood, and things that you have noticed.

          Throughout the first 5 chapters of the book, we are vaguely introduced to a character, Robert Ross, that it appears we will get to know better as the story progresses. Brief descriptions of his family life and younger years are brought to us through flashbacks of him in both warfare and family life. From the very beginning of the story, there has been no real setting. Though it has gone from several flashbacks in different towns, countries, and situations it doesn’t give us a true setting through the 15 pages I have read. From the very beginning of the story, the mood has seemed very patriotic. Throughout every flashback that the author has gone through he has seemed very respectful of Robert Ross, talking about how adored he is. Whether it be stating how the public looked up to him, or the other soldiers rambling on about what a good guy he was, it is clear that Robert Ross was a very respected man.

6. What themes seem to be forming? What do you think the author is trying to say about these themes?

          As the story has begun there are two different themes that stand out to me. The author relates much of the opening paragraphs to both survival and suspense by comparing many of the flashback to the war. While the story progresses I think that these themes will begin to play an immense role throughout the story, with a great deal of the plot being focused on Robert Ross. I believe that the suspense and survival will often relate to the situations that the characters are in and have much to do with the setting of those situations.

7. What secondary sources have you found so far? What is interesting or confusing about them?

          Though I have found a few secondary sources, they have all been written by regular everyday people, none by any pristine university professors, but I will continue to look with hopes of posting it on my next blog.

8. Choose 1 line from the novel so far and write a paragraph describing why it speaks to you. You can completely ignore the context of the quotation and just focus on your personal response to it.

“The ‘family’ consists of Mister and Mrs Ross and three of their children: Robert, Peggy and Stuart. Rowena, the eldest is not shown.”

          Throughout the book, this line plays a very effective role on the plot. It allows the reader to understand that people are looking to photograph the Ross family, due to their popularity and fame. This sentence speaks to me because just like today, popular celebrities are often trying to keep their children from the press and public, in order to make their lives as normal as possible. As I read this sentence, instantly it stood out to me because it helped me realize how people in the past acted the same as people do today.


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