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The Women in the Castle


A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the...
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Discuss The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck:
Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

Created: 02/10/18

Replies: 21

Posted Feb. 10, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war? While the war brought these women into each other's lives, do you think it's ultimately what bound them together, or were there other factors?


Posted Feb. 11, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 16

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

No, I think they came from such different backgrounds that they would not have been friends.


Posted Feb. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Janet Smith

Join Date: 07/28/14

Posts: 14

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I do not feel the women would have been friends if not for the war. War creates strange bedfellows in order to survive.


Posted Feb. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Gloria

Join Date: 03/11/15

Posts: 56

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I agree with the other readers. I don't think they would have been friends.


Posted Feb. 12, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurief

Join Date: 09/08/12

Posts: 35

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I think the answer to this question is unanimous. I don't think the purpose and sense of duty would be there for Marianne to care for the widows and children.


Posted Feb. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianac

Join Date: 04/02/13

Posts: 38

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I do not. They had three distinct personalities, backgrounds and ideals. I do not think under normal circumstances that their paths would have led them to each other nor do I think they would have forged any meaningful friendships with one another.


Posted Feb. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
johnw

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 50

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

No - I do not think if it had not been for the war and Marianne that they would have every gotten to know each other or become friends.


Posted Feb. 14, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

Agreed; they'd never have rubbed elbows prior to the war, even if they all lived in the same town. Class divisions were too great, and women's lives were very circumscribed to begin with.


Posted Feb. 15, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyn

Join Date: 05/12/16

Posts: 8

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

Their lives became entwined because of Marianne's search for them as a result of her promise to her husband and Connie to be "commander of wives and children." But I am not sure that they were really friends, but more like a family bound together to survive the aftermath of the war. Marianne often treated Benita as if she were a child while she nursed her back to health. Benita even called her cruel. Ania and Marianne did rely on each other as family members tend to do but I felt their relationship lacked the fondness of friendship.


Posted Feb. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 23

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I agree with nancyn. There was little fondness.


Posted Feb. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 183

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

No, I think they were too different to have formed friendships.


Posted Feb. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 215

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I'm not sure they were friends even though thrown together by the war. Although they did provide company and help for one another, I don't think they liked each other very much. If not for the war, there's no way they would have formed even the limited friendship they experienced. Marianne and Benita might have had contact because of Marianne's relationship with Connie, but I think the relationship would have been one of tolerance rather than friendship.


Posted Feb. 17, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Carol Rainer

Join Date: 09/03/15

Posts: 64

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

No - I don't think they would've or could've been friends if they hadn't been brought together under these circumstances. Their personalities were so different.


Posted Feb. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Joni

Join Date: 11/04/17

Posts: 12

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

As everyone else has said if not for the war I don’t think the three women would have been friends . Class would have kept these women apart but I think during times of unrest the most unlikely people will come together.


Posted Feb. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Debbie

Join Date: 10/30/17

Posts: 5

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I think it's possible that Benita and Ania may have become friends - not before the war but during and after as they both had children that were displaced and experienced physical and financial hardships that Marianne didn't have. I think they were both more forgiving about situations that occurred during the war than Marianne that would have created a bond between them. Both had relationships with men who got caught up in the Nazi party and both did things during the war that haunted them over the years. Marianne was steadfast from the beginning and had a hard time relating to situations that forced Benita and Ania to act in ways they later regretted.


Posted Feb. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
djn

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 88

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

Not likely..It takes a common major issue for most to overlook our” uncommonness “


Posted Feb. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
wincheryl

Join Date: 01/01/18

Posts: 2

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I don't even think their paths would of crossed if not for the war.


Posted Feb. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
leopolds

Join Date: 11/13/17

Posts: 11

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

i don’t think they would have been friends


Posted Feb. 18, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 83

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I do agree with Debbie, that possibly Ania and Benita could have had a friendship. However, each woman came from such different backgrounds that it seems unlikely. Part IV of the novel gave more insight into the possibility of friendship between the women, based on them being in the Castle.


Posted Mar. 04, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
A.T.

Join Date: 03/04/18

Posts: 4

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

I agree with all of the above! I do have one comment about the three. When I read the publisher's description of the book on the back,it made it seem as though there would be more than three women in the story. I pictured a large home filled with women, like a college dormitory! So, I was a little disappointed that it was reduced to three. In the scene at the party in the beginning when the men are sequestered in a room talking, I got the impression that there were several men, and so I guess I assumed Marianne would have her hands full with all the women! I understand that that would have made for a HUGE book, but still! I would have written the jacket copy differently -- "to find and protect as many of their wives as she could find." or something like that. I felt a little led on!


Posted Mar. 05, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

Posts: 72

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RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

A.T., I had the same expectation that there would be more women than just the three of them. I don't think any of them would have even crossed paths with each other if it hadn't been for the war. Actually, the only reason they met and even came together at all was because of the promise Marianne made, to find and protect the wives and children of the resisters. Then it turns out, Ania wasn't even who they thought she was, not a wife of a resister, but a Nazi. It seems the relationship between these women wasn't really friendship, but more of a reluctant connection forced by necessity to survive, and, for Marianne, a promise.


Posted Mar. 16, 2018 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarae

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 9

RE: Do you think the three women would have been friends if not for the war?

No. They were from different social classes and would have had little opportunity to interact in ways that would forge friendships. Marianne looked down on Benita from the beginning and could never understand why Connie married her. That kind of condescension does make for a friendship. Marianne was too rigid and judgmental to form close friendships, I feel. It’s ironic that she’s says of her daughter, Elizabeth, that she was so judgmental. The apple didn’t fall from the tree there.


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