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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Close observations

For the past few months, many of the novel's I've moderated with on these boards have unfolded stories of how individuals deal with being thrown into the chaos of the larger tragedies we are facing in our contemporary world, but Ann Packer's novel works on a smaller canvas. Slowly, carefully, with great detail, she creates the lives of a few people who "ought" to be comfortable, but whose lives begin to unravel under our gaze. It can create a sense almost of voyeurism in a reader. How do you relate to Liz and Sarabeth? Do you recognize yourself in these characters? Do you feel your own life concerns reflected in them?
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Close observations



rkubie wrote:
For the past few months, many of the novel's I've moderated with on these boards have unfolded stories of how individuals deal with being thrown into the chaos of the larger tragedies we are facing in our contemporary world, but Ann Packer's novel works on a smaller canvas. Slowly, carefully, with great detail, she creates the lives of a few people who "ought" to be comfortable, but whose lives begin to unravel under our gaze. It can create a sense almost of voyeurism in a reader. How do you relate to Liz and Sarabeth? Do you recognize yourself in these characters? Do you feel your own life concerns reflected in them?




Isn't it so true, when things are going perfect, watch out! There has to be a power shortage or complete power outage. Nothing in life can run smooth forever. This wouldn't be life on earth. Its how we handle the obstacles that step in front of us or completely make us turn around to another path in life. For years, things went smooth for Sarabeth and Liz, sharing everything, telling each other everything and so forth. But the one thing that brought them down, Lauren's depression. I sometimes wonder, was Sarabeth just alittle to much Drama Queen, maybe alittle to much, "me,I, and so forthing on and on about Sarabeth. I really do not think so. She was also hiding her depression that she had been having years before this. This incidence just brought it all to the open. But didn't Liz fail alittle in her forever friendship with Sarabeth with not understanding what this was doing to Sarabeth? I feel she was, if she really felt what Sarabeth went through when her mother committed sucicide. But of course when your child needs help, its hard to think of what others are going through.
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Rachel-K
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Re: Close observations

Sarabeth's self-absorption certainly got my attention, too. But I also thought about how being a parent is a daily practice of putting other needs in front of your own, and Sarabeth doesn't have that practice. And it did point out some similarities between Lauren and Sarabeth somehow. Did anyone else think that?
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AnnPacker
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-10-2007
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Re: Close observations



rkubie wrote:
Sarabeth's self-absorption certainly got my attention, too. But I also thought about how being a parent is a daily practice of putting other needs in front of your own, and Sarabeth doesn't have that practice. And it did point out some similarities between Lauren and Sarabeth somehow. Did anyone else think that?





It's ironic, isn't it? Sarabeth doesn't have the "daily practice" (I like that phrase) of putting others' needs in front of her own, and so she isn't great at coming through for Liz. (Other things are in her way, too.) But, without that daily practice, she doesn't move herself forward into becoming someone who could create a family--have children--begin a "daily practice" of her own? I hadn't thought of it this way before, but I like the idea that for every month or year or decade that goes by in a life, the way-things-are gains traction, making the way-things-might-be ever more hard to attain.

I like Kiakar's post about how Sarabeth had to hide her depression for years. Do you think there's a difference between depression and the feeling that you don't pass muster, don't have your act together, aren't very giving, don't have positive thoughts...or are these symptoms of depression?


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