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bookowlie
Posts: 177
Registered: ‎04-15-2008
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Re: Early Chapters

Although I was also expecting to get more clues in Kim's disappearance, the lack of clues seemed realistic, especially considering the gap in time until the family realized she was missing.  As a reader, I did find the lack of clues a little frustrating since I was trying to figure out what happened to Kim.  I found the early parts of story more focused on the way the family and friends reacted to her disappearance.
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DarcieB
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-28-2008
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Re: Early Chapters

What did you think of the early chapters of the book (Chapter 1 through Chapter 13)?
I feel the book really pulls you in.  You like Kim and Lindsey from the beginning.  She is working over night and just gets pulled over by a cop so there are a lot of things that are suspicious when she goes missing.
 
 
These opening chapters deal primarily with the response of Kim's family and friends to her disappearance. How would you describe their initial reactions?
I think her immediate family is shocked.  I am amazed at what happens in a family when someone goes missing - all the details that are involved - and how much the family needs to hold it together to try to find their loved one!  I felt for Lindsey, she was pushed aside and so she took off to her room to read - I can see myself doing the same thing at her age. Plus with her and Kim's love/hate relationship I am sure there is some guilt involved.
 
What scenes, moments, or exchanges struck you as meaningful?
I thought it was touching that Lindsay feels she can pay Kim back from being her defender and protecting her from pranks in High School.  Lindsay thought, this time she is the strong one - she would save Kim (73).  I have a younger sister and I think this is how she would react.
 
 
How would you characterize Kim's home life and her social life?
I get the impression from that Kim's home life is somewhat like an average teenager - it doesn't matter when they work they don't seem to see their family. An older sister would have more responsibilities in driving her little sister around.  I thought it was a lot of responsibility for her to teach her sister to drive.  I worried about her working so late at night and then her curfew being pushed back because she worked so long.
 
Does our impression of Kim from the first chapter change as we begin to see her through the eyes of friends and family?
My impression of Kim did change.  Her image is being tarnished by her friends and their insinuations that she wasn't as good as she seemed.  I think also they are hiding something - they certainly seem to know more than they are letting people know.  I think that is suspicious too.  Are they protecting Kim or themselves?  I lean towards themselves because I don't think they would protect Kim with a secret that might find her.
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peacenbeaches
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-11-2008
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Re: Early Chapters

It was a real page turner for me.  I liked that tell told about her family life and social life as well.  I know that when she went missing I thought there should have been more clues and what is with this secrect.  I thought that the DQ was a great thing. 
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Brach12
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎12-23-2007
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Re: Early Chapters

My feelings while reading the book is of fear. Should I go on reading and be devastated by never finding Kim and become depressed? Or will they find Kim and will I rejoice with the family?  And then will I think that was predictable?  But isn't that what makes it a good read, to gift you with these emotions and make yourself one other character in the book as you enter the Larsen house and become a member of the search party!
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wendyroba
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎02-21-2007
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Re: Early Chapters

You aren't the only person who seems to have had a hard time with the dad...although I have to admit, he was my favorite character. I was just so touched by his love for his daughter and his silent grief and his just getting up each day and going out to look for her. To me that showed me everything I needed to know about Ed.




HannibalCat wrote:


wendyroba wrote:
vivico1

I respectfully disagree - I thought it was clear the emotions the characters were experiencing through their behavior and dialogue. Does O'Nan tell you someone is devastated? No, he shows it. For me this book felt very much character driven.


I agree with you wendyroba. I felt throughout this novel. In other words, I was totally involved with the characters. The only one I had a problem with was Ed. I think that is because I am a mother rather than a father. However, I think O'Nan did a great job with the emotions by letting us see some of what was going on inside the character's heads, and watching their behavior. I, too, did not want to read weeping and wailing. What struck me, was how when people are interviewed on TV when there has been some horribe incident in their lives, their behavior is so close to the way O'Nan portrays this family. I have never been able to understand how someone would stand to be interviewed at such times. But they do. And usually they are quite calm with their emotions just lurking under their facade. Just as we are seeing the people in this book. O'Nan has impressed me with his writing skills.



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wendyroba
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎02-21-2007
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Re: Early Chapters

*nods* I obivously agree! I found it hard to put this book down and I was touched by it...



GMorrison wrote:

wendyroba wrote:
I respectfully disagree - I thought it was clear the emotions the characters were experiencing through their behavior and dialogue. Does O'Nan tell you someone is devastated? No, he shows it. For me this book felt very much character driven.





Yes! This is exactly what I've been trying to explain, although you've done it much more succinctly than I was able. O'Nan's talent for action-, not exposition-driven development is what makes the book live and breathe for me. He's not trying to explain, he's not worried that readers might not get it, he's showing them the story. Consequently, I am there alongside them. In fact, I'm hardly conscious of the fact that I'm reading words on a piece of paper. It's fabulous.


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no4daughter
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-15-2007
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Re: Early Chapters

I am jumping in here late so forgive me if my comment has already been made.  The one thing that struck me while reading the first chapters in this book was how ALL of the books we have read in the First Look Bookclub have characters that are keeping secrets.  Not that there is anything wrong with secrets......... 
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters


no4daughter wrote:
I am jumping in here late so forgive me if my comment has already been made. The one thing that struck me while reading the first chapters in this book was how ALL of the books we have read in the First Look Bookclub have characters that are keeping secrets. Not that there is anything wrong with secrets.........



lol, anything you want to share?? :smileysurprised: :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Crystal8i8
Posts: 46
Registered: ‎02-04-2008
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Re: Early Chapters

The early chapters gave us a beginning look into the lives of the family and friends of Kim.  As for their initial reactions, I feel that they reacted just like anyone else, doubtful that anything has truly happened to their peaceful corner of the world at first, and then realizing wihtout a doubt that their image of perfect has truly been shattered.
 
I did not catch any clues in the first chapter about where she has gone, I might catch one now, if I went back and looked for it though. 
 
Kim becomes almost completely innocent in the eyes of those who love her.  Even if she has done something that they know is wrong, they shake their head and ignore it.
The Butterfly Girl 8i8

"Children aren't coloring books. You don't get to fill them with your favorite colors." - The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
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vquez81
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎04-10-2008
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Re: Early Chapters

I completely agree with you, I thought that the morning that the sisters shared together was an important part of the book.  I think that it gave us some insight into the kind of relationship that the sisters shared, and ended up being the last moments that they spent together. 
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Early Chapters



Brach12 wrote:
My feelings while reading the book is of fear. Should I go on reading and be devastated by never finding Kim and become depressed? Or will they find Kim and will I rejoice with the family?  And then will I think that was predictable?  But isn't that what makes it a good read, to gift you with these emotions and make yourself one other character in the book as you enter the Larsen house and become a member of the search party!


It's great that you're enjoying the story so far, Brach12! What in particular do you think is pulling you in -- the suspense or a connection with the characters or something else?
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters

True. But also the chapter was a bit misleading. It seemed that this was not a typical Kim-Lindsay time together, but that it was very unusual. If so, isn't it a bit unusual that it would happen to happen on the day before her disappearance? It turns out to be total coincidence, but it looks initially as though it was sort of Kim's way of saying goodbye that she was planning to run off.

vquez81 wrote:
I completely agree with you, I thought that the morning that the sisters shared together was an important part of the book. I think that it gave us some insight into the kind of relationship that the sisters shared, and ended up being the last moments that they spent together.



_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters


Everyman wrote:
True. But also the chapter was a bit misleading. It seemed that this was not a typical Kim-Lindsay time together, but that it was very unusual. If so, isn't it a bit unusual that it would happen to happen on the day before her disappearance? It turns out to be total coincidence, but it looks initially as though it was sort of Kim's way of saying goodbye that she was planning to run off.

vquez81 wrote:
I completely agree with you, I thought that the morning that the sisters shared together was an important part of the book. I think that it gave us some insight into the kind of relationship that the sisters shared, and ended up being the last moments that they spent together.






Nah, I took it for what it was, saying goodbye finally, because she was off to school soon and knew she would miss her little sister. The coincidence is what Lindsay had to deal with when first looking for Kim, WAS it a goodbye because she was going to run. Remember, she started wondering. We do question every little coincidence after bad things happen. The reason it worked for me, as being what it was, was because in high school, I had the car, and so I took our little group everywhere. One day about mid senior year we were all laughing and having a good time in the car and I just suddenly said, I am sooo going to miss you guys! One of my friends said, you going somewhere? I said, well, after graduation. They call cracked up and said, man that is not till the end of the year, why are you missing us now! Thing is, I knew I was the only one going to college in the group and yes, I would move away and possibly never see them again. They had no plans, so they really didn't think about relationships changing.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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va-BBoomer
Posts: 84
Registered: ‎01-21-2008
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Re: Early Chapters

I don’t think I can add anything new, but I am following the story to see how it all ends/resolves.   Stories like this usually make me uncomfortable, but the author’s style and story development keeps dragging me in and forces me to keep reading.

In the early part, I found Kim to be a very normal, independence-seeking teen-ager looking forward to college and getting out of the small town.  She is now in her first legal age – 18 – where she can do as she wants with restrictions only from rules within whatever house/job she lives in/has.  There is a big difference between rules to a 15-year-old, and rules with an 18-year-old.    In lots of ways, the younger teen-ager can  get away with more, and let her parents blanket her with “immature” where an 18-year-old is treated much differently if  they mess up.  Lindsay is quiet and introspective, so not seeking trouble at this point in her life.  Kim has learned to live and hide her life outside the house, like all teen-agers eventually learn to do.

With reference to secrets, all teen-agers have secrets; we shall see, I imagine fairly soon, how heavy this secret is and its place in her disappearance.

With her friends around, and from what was written about her to begin with, I get the feeling that Kim’s disappearance was sudden and involuntary on her part; as no one had heard from her, and that is a major clue for anyone with a cell phone and friends when they are not heard from or over a particular length of time when expected in the normal course of  life at that time.

It does take a while for her parents to realize she’s missing because of the family’s conflicting and separate schedules and obligations.  That is definitely not unusual.  There is a clear, gradual development with the parents in their personalities; Fran seems to be changing the fastest when she works on the flyer, and then goes public with it.  I could see that she is finding her niche quickly.  Her father, once thought of in the very beginning as the strong one, seems at a loss as to what to do except search out ‘there’.  Lindsay, in her way of being the intellectual/brains of the girls, retreats and buries herself even deeper into her own thoughts.  But her parents don’t realize how she is thinking, and analyzing, slowly, her own feelings and thoughts as each day goes by.

I think the lack of emotions in these early chapters comes from shock and the slow realization that Kim is truly missing.  The second section should answer the emotions questions, as the shock wears off from the passage of time.  Any events of significance will only add to the ‘awakening’ that is bound to happen.

Contributor
Pepergirl
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-28-2008
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Re: Early Chapters

I haven't yet decided if I like the book--I agree with those of you who say it is a page turner--I really do want to see what happens next, but I also like plot driven novels and find this doesn't have a lot of "action".  Someone mentioned that they didn't get a good feel as to what is going on inside of people's heads and that it was more like journalism.  I agree.  It is like one of those crazy news stories that you keep listening to the news and searching the internet for more information.  I think one of the mistakes I make as a mom is to project my feelings/emotions onto my chidren--I have to be careful and remember that they are individuals and may be reacting differently.  For this reason, I would like to see inside their heads and understand what they are feeling, not what I think they must be feeling.
 
I really do want to see what happens/happened to Kim but am having trouble wading through her dad.  I think he would drive me crazy if he were my dad:  he seems very plodding and not very much part of the whole family.  For that matter, her Mom is the same--kind of in her own little world.  It makes me wonder if they are this way due to the disappearance or if this is their normal behavior.  It was mentioned that LIndsay is bottling up her feelings.  Hopefully, someone will turn their attention to her before it gets too far out of hand, or has it been building for years?
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dghobbs
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters

These first few chapters are so well written - they flow Wonderfully, and I love the characters, as well as the mystery.
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Chomp
Posts: 1,241
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters

The way the author depicts the varying reactions of friends and family to Kim's disappearance strikes me as realistic, for the most part. However, I think if it were me, I might be a bit more frantic or hysterical.
 
The one clue I picked up on in the first chapter was where we are told that the regularity of KIm's schedule was later referred to by the police as a "determining factor." This definitely hints Kim was taken by someone, not that she left of her own accord. Kim seemed satisfied with her life,was looking forward to school, and really had no reason to leave. But, the whole "secret" involving Kim, her friends, and Wooze may provide a reason for Kim leaving on her own. It seems more likely, though, that Kim was forcibly taken, perhaps by one of the "living dead" mentioned in chapter one.
 
I'm sure that it is true from a parent's point of view that it seems as though no one is doing enough. The situation depicted in the book surely is every parent's worst nightmare, regardless of the fact that Kim is 18. To a parent, a child is always your baby, no matter the age.
 
Kim's parents and friends all wonder if Kim was involved with things they knew nothing about, making them question how well they really knew her. I would imagine that this is a common reaction.
 
Sorry I am behind -- I will catch up. :smileyhappy:
 
Carol 
 
 
So many books, so little time...
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EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: Early Chapters



CathyB wrote:


vivico1 wrote:



I really am not talking about overly emotional, as it must seem I am saying. I am saying emotionally at all. This writing is like a news report of whats going on. And I live in a small town too, one traffic light lol. Anyway, I will shut up now, till we get further on in the book. :smileywink:


Well said vivico1.  This is the same feeling I got - like it was just another news story - been there,
done that.  The style of writing of the characters didn't allow me to 'invest' in the characters (story).
 
CathyB


I'll have to second this or is it third.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Early Chapters


EbonyAngel wrote:


CathyB wrote:


vivico1 wrote:



I really am not talking about overly emotional, as it must seem I am saying. I am saying emotionally at all. This writing is like a news report of whats going on. And I live in a small town too, one traffic light lol. Anyway, I will shut up now, till we get further on in the book. :smileywink:


Well said vivico1. This is the same feeling I got - like it was just another news story - been there,
done that. The style of writing of the characters didn't allow me to 'invest' in the characters (story).
CathyB


I'll have to second this or is it third.



Ebony, its about 8th or 9th now, that I could count anyway lol. I just wrote O'Nan a question about this now, that I hope is not offensive but I wanted to tell how I felt and why and ask him a few things, so I guess we will see.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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juliejon
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Early Chapters

I am coming in a little late on this discussion.  I waited for so long and then was out of town.
 
I read this book in about 3 days and was immediately drawn into the story.  Like many of you, the tragedy and the mystery was the initial pivotal element.  Early on I began to see tha characters in the story like I might see pictures that are slightly out of focus..they are there but I kept straining to see them more clearly.  As each was introduced into the story, they seemed almost superficial...not quite formed.  I came to understand that approach when I considered how the opening tragedy would not seem real, clear or fully formed.  As the time went by, the characters, like the disappearance became began to become more real, more substantial.
 
Each one became more of what they had been..the mother, the father...reacting, hoping and "coping" in their own way.
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