Lisa Tawn Bergren's new YA series, River of Time, is romantic, historical fiction in which the plucky heroine doesn't have to fear a vampire's bite but must still fight for her life.
In Waterfall, American teenager Gabi Betarrini accidently finds herself in Fourteenth-Century Italy . . . Knights. Swords. Horses. Armor. And Italian hotties. Most American teens want an Italian vacation, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives there with their archaeologist parents. Stuck on yet another hot, dusty dig, they are bored out of their minds... until they place their hands atop handprints in an ancient tomb and find themselves catapulted into the Fourteenth Century and in the middle of a fierce battle between knights bent on killing one another.
The discussion questions for Chapters 1-6 are:
1. Waterfall opens with the introduction of Gabi, shes depressed, a little angry and is dealing with feelings of loneliness. Are you connecting with her this soon in the novel? Do you see things you like or dislike?
Absolutely! Gabi has just lost her father 6 months prior and her mother and father had always had a special bond that somehow excluded Gabi and her sister Lia. They were loved but never really on the same wave-length as their parents. Now that Gabi's dad is gone, her mom has taken her and her sister to Italy where she's discovered ancient tombs.
I lost my father at a young age and although I wasn't drug off to Italy to a desolate area, my mom's depression made it difficult for her to be there for my brothers and I, at least at first. I understand her lonliness to a certain point but it's difficult to relate being drug off to an excavation site at 5:30 am every morning and not being around kids my own age.
2. Gabi gets to time travel back to 14th Century Italy- The Dark Ages in its prime. Is there anytime in history that fascinates you and would you travel back if you could?
I've always been fascinated with the Middle Ages; the spiritual and pagen practices-the lifestyle that people must have lived. I'm not sure I would want to travel back there but that era does fascinate me.
After reading Waterfall, I have found that The Dark Ages is more fascinating to me, although I'd want to be as lucky as Gabi :o]
3. Most of the men, including Marcello have a very set opinion about a woman's place. Gabi gets manhandled a bit in these first few chapters, and even gets asked if shes a witch. The men are shocked when Gabi rides a horse like a man and shimmies down the castle walls. What do you think of mens mentality back then? Gentlemanly, chauvinistic, simple-minded?
I think it's a sign of the times. There are many aspects that portrayed women as 'the weaker' sex-I think traditionally, men have always taken the Alpha role while women sit back and defer to the man to take care of them and the more physical/violent aspects of life. I don't believe at that time that it is chauvinistic at all, it's just the way it is. Gabi is a rarity because she was raised in a different time when women are taught to be self-reliant, are more athletic and are taught to think for themselves. In The Dark Ages it would be absolutely unheard of, if not shocking for a woman to portray self-reliant behavior.
4. When Gabi becomes a part of this era, the people are immediately intrigued but suspicious of her. Many judge her by her difference. Do you think this is fair? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt like an outsider or that others were misjudging you?
I think it would be normal to be intrigued by Gabi, I don't think it's fair but I think she stands out. That along with her kindness and compassion is what draws people to her.
I think just about everyone has been in a position where they felt like an outsider at some point. At this point in my life I feel like people are constantly judging me. I'm not the same person I was 3 1/2 years ago since I became ill. I'm treated differently, where once I was outgoing and the center of attention, I now find myself not as at ease with that where it once came naturally. I don't like it that people treat me differently, like I'm fragile or that they'll say the wrong thing. So, yes, I feel misjudged-I'm the same Kristi but I don't feel that same ease anymore.
5. What do think the coolest thing would be about living in the Dark Ages? What would be the worst?
The coolest thing is no Weapons of Mass Destruction! Along with that, no pollution! I love the naturalness of everything! The lack of television, internet, video games, etc... is awesome-reading, talking and outside activities are entertainment and I like that. I'd miss those things but I also think those things have led to a destruction of real life communication, family time and the gaining of wisdom through thought and story telling.
The worst thing is the lack of medical technology i.e. antibiotics, surgical intervention along with hygeine issues. I never heard it mentioned how people brushed their teeth :o] and what about shaving and deodorant?
CHAPTER 7-12 COURTESY OF Missie of the Unread Reader
1. Gabi's search for her sister is made increasingly difficult by the fight for territory between Castello Forelli and Castello Paratore. At this point, do you think the rivalry is warranted? Why or why not?
I do. What the Paratore's did to the family under the protection of the Forelli's was brutal and horrid. I don't have a full grasp yet on the political reasons but I understand the cruelty of the Paratore's and they need to be stopped.
2. Gabi aids Fortino by having his sickroom cleaned out and using steam to loosen the phlegm inside his lungs so he could breathe better. Have you ever found yourself in a situation that required you to rely on home remedies to aid yourself or another? What are some of your favorite home remedies?
All the time. I'm an RN and while I have a strong background in science I also have a healthy respect for holistics. I believe that what Gabi's doing is perfect for Fortino and will save his life.
My favorite home remedies are Neti Pots with warm saline solution, a teaspoon of honey and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon every day, a good hot toddy for chest/sinus congestion (along with a good steam) plus I use peppermint essential oil in hot tea or water for upset stomach or an instant pick me up (a few drops will do you).
Lavender hydrosol combined with cider vinegar, glycerin, aloe vera and a few drops of Lavender essential oil for a bad sunburn. Guarenteed relief without peeling (my own special recipe)
Catnip oil on a cottonball in a baggie in your pocket will keep the mosquitos away-50% more effective than DEET without the chemical dangers.
I have many many more!
3. Marcello and his men don't hide their surprise when they learn that Gabi is skilled with a sword. What did you think of this development? Has your initial impression of Gabi changed? Do you have any secret skills?
I can imagine they were surprised! The sword is heavy and to top it off, she knows how to use it. I doubt there was another woman on the earth that could do that or at least one that they would ever meet.
My initial impression of Gabi was never poor to begin with. She was a sad and lonely teen but she also possessed intelligence and her parents gave her a good education loaded with history.
Yes, I have secret skills---I can make a poison dart with the foil of a gum wrapper and schrooms (but don't tell anyone!)-Teehee
4. "Our lips were so close, I could feel the heat of his breath on my skin." Gabi and Marcello's feelings for one another are beginning to stir. What do you think of Marcello as a romantic interest thus far? What do you think of his intended?
Oh BABEH! Marcello is one hot hunk of burnin' love! I think Gabi and Marcello are meant for one another and the ALMOST kiss was ALMOST better than a real kiss!
As far as Lady Rossi, I think she is jealous but can you blame her? If your intended was making soulful eyes at another chick, what would you do?
5. Marcello and Luca take turns teaching Gabi the dances of Toscana. Would you have liked to attend a ball like the one Gabi was practicing for? Do you like to dance? Do you know any cool dance moves?
I would LOVE to go to a ball like that! I think it would be amazing! The dresses alone would be worth it :o]
I love to dance and have been known to bust a move on a bar or two....Big TEEHEE!
Yeah, the funky chicken.... ROFL! Let's just say the Faery has her own style!
Well, that was fun!
I have to urge all my friends out there to read this book! I've already finished it and it was a One-Sit-Read for me. I've started on the second in the series just this afternooon-even though I have other priorities-BAD FAERY!
But, the series is just that good!
GET OUT THERE AND READ IT!!!