Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of National Velvet.
Did you enjoy reading this week? This is a different type of story than what we've had before. Definitely a lot less stressful than The Hunt for Red October last month!
I felt like I had a bit of a problem getting into the dialogue. I felt like the conversations were just hard for me to understand. Did you feel that way? Maybe there was a lot of slang or descriptive words that I wasn't familiar with that really hindered by ability to understand everything I was reading.
So far, we've met the Brown family and Mi. Were you surprised that Velvet was as old as she was since she was pretending to ride the cut out horses? I felt very sad for Velvet because of her teeth and the band she had to wear. It seemed terribly uncomfortable, and everyone was quite mean to her about it. I also thought the way that everyone talked about Mrs. Brown was very odd. They mentioned her weight a lot, didn't they? It was very different. I felt like her weight was her defining feature in this section, and I didn't like that.
What did you think was more surprising in this section? The fact that Velvet actually won the piebald horse in the raffle or the fact that she got all of Mr. Cellini's horses? I think the fact that she became a horse heiress was way more surprising. I thought that scene kind of came out of left field. Did you think it was a little out of place? I felt like it almost took away from the special-ness of having the piebald horse because she had a bunch of other horses, too. I had to read the Mr. Cellini scene more than once to understand what I was reading. It started off so sweet with him showing the horses off and giving the horses away to Velvet. That was so kind, and it made sense that he would want a sweet person who was obsessed with horses to have his prized animals. But, then, Mr. Cellini kills himself right after talking to Velvet and she hears him do it? I don't understand why that was the way the author decided to have Velvet get some more horses. It seemed unnecessary, and I think, it was more confusing than helpful to the plot. What did you think of that scene? Why do you think the author included this scene in the book?
This section ends with Velvet deciding that she would like to race the horses in the local race. What do you think it going to happen to her when she races? Do you think she will enjoy it? What do you think will happen in the next section?
Did this first section and all of the narrative choices make you really curious about the author, Enid Bagnold? Check out this article first to get some background information about her, and then check out this website to see some of her papers and books. I liked seeing her signature, and I thought the old copies of National Velvet were neat to look at. Finally, check out this article to see what her house looked like. Isn't the house so grand? Which room would you enjoy the most?
Finally, did you know there was also a television series based this story? Check out the intro below--does it look like it would have been a fun show? Have any of you ever see it before?
I hope you're able to read through chapter 12 for next week. I can't wait to hear your impressions of the first section in the comments.