So I'm actually writing this a week and a half after I finished the assigned reading... I got a little carried away last week and just kept reading, so I'd completed the chapters before I'd even written the previous update post.
Ah well, let's see what I can pull together...
1) The first 150 pages were a runaway read-along success. Has anybody's opinions changed at all or are we all still in love?
I'm still in love, I think, although I've had ten days away from the book so my love is more theoretical at this moment in time. I'm still looking forward to going back to it but I'm not as desperate to read it as I was this time last week.
I'm pretty sure I'll fall head over heels again when I do pick it up though, which is likely to be tomorrow. I just want to finish reading Winter first, as it's taking waaaaay longer than a teen fantasy novel really should.
2) William seems transformed from moany idler to committed businessman. Has the change improved anybody's opinion of him? How long do you think it will last?
I actually do think it will - he has to keep paying for Sugar, after all.
It hasn't changed my opinion of him in the slightest. If anything, it's lowered my opinion as it just proves he was capable of getting his arse in gear all along. I'd feel a little sorry for him if he was mentally incapable of running a business, but apparently he was just lazy.
Especially as he wasn't willing to do it for the sake of his wife, but he is willing to do it for Sugar. Arse.
3) We've spent more time with Henry Rackham and Emmeline Fox this week. What do you think of their respective efforts to save the poor?
Aww, I really like them. Well no, but I like reading about them. Mrs Fox is one of those superior do-gooders but she amuses me. Also, what do we think she has? Tuberculosis? Sorry Charlotte, your questions.
At least she's willing to get her hands dirty and understands that a prostitute isn't necessary an awful person just because she may have fallen on hard times.
Henry Rackham... well, he doesn't understand that. He's very naive and high and mighty. Does he really think you can just go hand out money in the street!?
4) There is a quote from The Guardian on the back of my edition that describes the book as "The novel that Dickens might have written had he been allowed to speak freely". Thoughts?
I mean, yes, thoughts. But no, Dickens.
He was allowed to speak freely and he still wrote the dullest books known to man.
5) The final chapter of this week's reading saw Sugar moved to a new home and declare herself 'free'. What do you think about her newfound freedom - real or illusory?
Hmm. Combination of the two?
I reckon Rackham will expect complete control. He won't want Sugar to leave the house in case she's not there when he wants her, and he won't let her make expensive purchases in case his wife sees... she hasn't even been granted a kitchen, for God's sake.
However, it will probably be real enough that Sugar won't want to go back to her old life. Considering we have another two thirds of a book to go, it's pretty much certain that something will happen to threaten her newfound freedom.