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Remembrance


A breakout debut with modern resonance, perfect for fans of The Underground ...
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Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

Created: 02/15/20

Replies: 17

Posted Feb. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2563

Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?


Posted Feb. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janhubbard

Join Date: 04/11/19

Posts: 12

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I have no explanation. To me, it was one of those things, "beyond explanation". The book had a few things that were inexplicable. Nevertheless, they were added seamlessly, and did not subtract from the story in any way.


Posted Feb. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 281

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I have no idea. At one time he is described as one of the dark figures that had been watching Abigail. I would guess that he is not human. Some sort of a spirit?


Posted Feb. 24, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beverlyj

Join Date: 12/22/11

Posts: 102

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I saw Josiah as the connection from the past to future to assist with the helping the special talents being manifested and for the best use of these talents for the survival of this connection.

Josiah becomes young again when the reign of a new talent began - he would age through the reign and then begin again.

It was the passing of the baton so the thread was not broken.


Posted Feb. 24, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 78

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

Josiah was extremely interesting to me. He feeds off the women to remain young - to survive and uses them up. Abigail tells him she knows what he is when he confronts her. He demanded Abigail's gratitude for saving her in the bayou and she turns on him and says " You didn't do that for me. You do that for you. My power is your power. You need me like you need Simona." ... "I know the creature you are. Feed off me. Feed off Simona. Until we used up and die." Josiah looks for another "host" woman - like a parasitic worm. The question is where does he fall in the spectrum - is this an example of commensalism, parasitism or a mutually beneficial relationship - a symbiotic one. Keeping in mind what Abigail tells him and that he needs the women to survive and that when they pass away, he moves on to another host body. I am left to wonder if he is in fact a type of parasite that while providing support and some benefits, he ultimately is actually drawing away the women's power, her life force, to maintain his own survival. Josiah will offer bit of tenderness a bit of comfort but ultimately the price he charges is deadly high. This reminded me of westward expansion and the pioneer wives. Those women who were constantly pregnant, caring for children and helping to plow the fields, cooking, preserving food, cleaning and feeding their husbands and when they died an early death, often in childbirth, the husband of course married as soon as possible because he needed a wife to care for him and all his children and keep his home. It is noteworthy in Remembrance, that while the women die, while providing rebirth to him, he survives and in fact is returned to a younger, more vibrant self. As a metaphor there are a multitude of other possibilities. He could be a stand in for all women and child birth/ child rearing - as we give up so much of ourselves and our vibrancy to propagate the future. Perhaps for all the times when women were forced to have so many children and like today still die in child birth. He could be representative of the slave holding society governed by men who used all slaves as a means to obtain and maintain status/money and power and to further their own agenda while working the slaves to death and profiting. The fact that he is depicted as a male is very telling to me - is he in fact the male controlled society? The society we see in the book to be bleeding all of these women dry as they try to survive, throughout all the historical settings. In Gaelle's case it is a male (Beck Garner) taking away her home. Men punishing women, while they work hard and yet, pulling at them constantly to take whatever they need to survive and leaving the women to bear the burden. In the end Josiah does to Gaelle what he has done to the other women - he convinces her the she "is so much more" but that she needs him to tap her unused power- that with his guidance she can self actualize. That is what he offers all of them - they cannot do without him- yet he lacks the power they possess. In truth it is Josiah who needs these women and just as society often works to convince women that they need a man's guidance, protection, support, superior knowledge, connections, ( fill in the blank) to be fully alive, to reach their greatest potential, it is often just as Abigail tells Josiah - "Feed off me...You need me....Feed off me ...until we used up and die..."


Posted Feb. 25, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ruthiea

Join Date: 02/03/14

Posts: 190

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I love Gerrieb"s though process - she goes way beyond what I felt - a being that guides, but mostly feeds off the women's powers. The ideas she raises all are very interesting, however I am not sure how much the author really contemplated!


Posted Feb. 28, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
shirleyl

Join Date: 06/01/11

Posts: 37

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I think Gerrieb gives an excellent and thoughtful analysis of Josiah's purpose in this novel. I don't disagree with her perspective but would like to add to it. Maybe a more benign take on Josiah's relationship to woman can be found on the page following Josiah's conversation with Abigail after he saved her in the bayou.
"Long ago, they'd discovered that though neither was strong enough to destroy the other, they could inflict great deal of pain on each other. They sat in uneasy silence for a long time and then she laid her hand on his thigh. Without comment, Josiah covered it with his own. A truce." (page 165)
I saw this passage as a metaphor for male/female relationships. Maybe they are more symbiotic and less
parasitic. Yes, women suffer greatly ( Gerrieb gives the example of pioneer women) but men often suffer as much in different ways. Yes Josiah renewed himself though his relationships with the women, but they also benefited from their relationship with him. Men and women have different strengths and weaknesses. A successful relationship focuses more on cooperation than competition.
Both perspectives on the nature of these relationships are true. It depends on the reader's own experience,
observations and perspective. I think the author was brilliant in providing evidence of each perspective in her text.


Posted Feb. 28, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 78

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

Shirleyl adds a great perspective and analysis and I agree with her points. I also agree that Rita Woods was brilliant to provide a diverse perspective. Josiah’s continuous survival and rebirth on the shoulders of a new woman still makes me lean a bit more toward a more parasitic version that must have a host to survive. Shirleyl’s points are spot on and the emphasis on cooperation for success accurate. I do sense that there is a sense of cooperation between Josiah and the woman he chooses as his consort. :)


Posted Feb. 29, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 459

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

At first I wasn't sure that I even liked having Josiah in the book; perhaps I resented his rebirth by sucking life out of the women. The adjective parasitic quickly comes to mind. As others have stated above, Josiah is a link, and I think the author meant for him to be symbolic. However, the exact symbol or metaphor is certainly open for discussion - a great one for book clubs. I think there is importance in the fact that it is women who are providing the renewal of his strength since this true in so many families today and has been throughout time. It is also true in the animal kingdom. In the Bible, Josiah is unique because he becomes King as a young child and is known in Christian/Hebrew stories for wanting to get rid of idols. I'm not sure that the religious significance apples to Woods's book.


Posted Mar. 02, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
RuthEh

Join Date: 07/31/17

Posts: 45

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

At first I thought he was some evil spirit sucking off the women's energy. Then, at the end, I changed my mind because he was always watching, keeping safe those who needed it. Hi feels more like a guardian to me.


Posted Mar. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
wendyf

Join Date: 05/11/11

Posts: 36

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

He felt like a guardian spirit. There but not there. Appearing out of no where.


Posted Mar. 03, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorothyh

Join Date: 01/23/15

Posts: 155

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I think he is a kindred spirt, that keeps with the women who guide them.


Posted Mar. 04, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
labbelee

Join Date: 04/29/11

Posts: 16

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I also have no explanation for Josiah except he seems to be a necessary part of each women.


Posted Mar. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 99

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I enjoyed all the thought processes here. I also don't have an explanation for Josiah except that he is a necessary link, sometimes training the woman who comes next.


Posted Mar. 11, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Muse48

Join Date: 12/27/18

Posts: 20

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

All interesting metaphors and thoughts. However, I see something different in Josiah. First, nobody seems to see him but the four women: Abigail, Winter, Margot and Gaelle. And then, there are those, cloudy / seemingly unseeing eyes that actually see right into the women's souls. Is he a spirit? A personal God or Devil, depending on what the women need to rely on in any given situation? Wouldn't that explain his agelessness? A truly remarkable scene for me is when Josiah and Margot are together and "his manhood seemed to rise between her legs." This seems to be some sort of unsolicited ecstacy. Isn't it time women admit that men do not take anything from us that we do not give them, albeit sometimes at the risk of death? We have created and fortified Josiah, hence he lives on in eternity.


Posted Mar. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
irishgirliereads

Join Date: 02/07/20

Posts: 5

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I had no idea, but really appreciate gerri ‘s thought process. So interesting. This book definitely had a lot to unpack


Posted Mar. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 460

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I think he was a guide and enjoyed the expanded information from all of the above.


Posted Mar. 22, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 243

RE: Josiah appears in all four of the novel’s timelines, but he’s never really explained. Do you have any theories as to who or what he is?

I believe that Josiah was the healing magical influence. He was always there when the healing or magic was happening. I think the magic flowed thru him to the women. They were the ones seen as the healers and magic makers, but I believe they were only the instruments thru which Josiah worked.


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