Monday, December 28, 2015

Online Book Club - Conversion - Final Discussion!!

Good morning readers!

We hope that your holidays went well...whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or anything else. As long as you got to spend some quiet time enjoying friends, family, and the extremely unseasonable weather we were having, that's all that counts, right??

You should also have had time to finish our Online Book Club read. We truly hope that you all enjoyed Conversion.

It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.

First it’s the school’s queen bee, Clara Rutherford, who suddenly falls into uncontrollable tics in the middle of class. Her mystery illness quickly spreads to her closest clique of friends, then more students and symptoms follow: seizures, hair loss, violent coughing fits. St. Joan’s buzzes with rumor; rumor blossoms into full-blown panic.

Soon the media descends on Danvers, Massachusetts, as everyone scrambles to find something, or someone, to blame. Pollution? Stress? Or are the girls faking? Only Colleen—who’s been reading The Crucible for extra credit—comes to realize what nobody else has: Danvers was once Salem Village, where another group of girls suffered from a similarly bizarre epidemic three centuries ago...

In the final chapters, Colleen tries to alert the Massachusetts Board of Health that she believes that Emma is responsible for creating the Mystery Illness in her grief and anger over the dissolution of her relationship with Tad (Mr. Mitchell). When no one believes her, it is diagnosed as Conversion Disorder and life seems to move on... Colleen knows better, though, and Emma's mother seems to trust her to keep their family's dark secret. Colleen also learns from Ms. Slater that like Ann Putnam and the girls from the seventeen hundreds, she assumed that the girls at St. Joan's were faking and that she'd been pushing Colleen to reveal that to the school officials.  The book closes with Ann Putnam's confession to the village of Salem about her part in the false accusations of witchcraft that led to so many deaths.

What were your final thoughts on the book?
Did you enjoy it overall?
Were there any points where you felt the characters or plot fell down from what you'd hoped? Did anything truly surprise you?

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