Friday, December 18, 2015

Online Book Club - Conversion - Week Five Discussion

Hello Readers!

Can you believe we're almost done with Conversion? 
We hope you've all been having fun reading along with us. 

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 pages 262 - 321, we learn that in the seventeen hundreds, Tittibe is now being forced to name other witches in order to protect the local Reverend and his flock. Ann and her friends have become swept up in the drama, and though she feels horribly guilty, Ann cannot make herself speak the truth. Meanwhile, in 2012, Colleen has discovered Ann's true identity and the fact that Arthur Miller basically wrote her out of The Crucible. The Massachusetts Board of Health and a gaggle of scientists come to Danvers to try to determine the cause of the Mystery Illness, but Colleen makes a terrible discovery about Mr. Mitchell and her friend Emma and how it all might be connected.

Here are some questions where we'd love to hear your thoughts:
1. What did you think of Katherine Howe's description of Bethany Witherspoon? Did you draw a connection to anyone in the real world?
2. What did you think when Ann realizes "We're beginning to understand that our game has been wrestled awway from us. That in a way we cannot fully understand, it's nothing to do with us at all"?
3. What do you think about how Emma seems to be connected to the Mystery Illness?

Please, give us any thoughts that you have about the pages we've read so far, BUT...NO SPOILERS please!! If you read ahead, make sure not to give away any clues to things that may come ahead.

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