06-03-2008 01:27 PM
06-03-2008 01:36 PM
06-03-2008 01:59 PM - edited 06-03-2008 02:09 PM
I may be alone in this, but I was pleased that there are no scenes of utter melodrama. Of tears and sobs and shrieks and drool (you get the picture).
In general, some people steel themselves against breakdown by focusing on the task at hand.
In the story, the most important thing was to find Kim. To break down would be admitting that there is no hope and to lose control of the situation.
Besides, who's to say that they did not shed more tears than we saw? If they did, I am grateful that is was kept private. Far too many public displays of grief nowadays!
In the Fran thread, I asked whether anyone cried for Kim in this first section. I rescanned the chapters after posting and found a few tears. Fran dabs at her eyes when she first talks to Nina. That night the family shares a group hug and a few tears. And yet, I feel the emotion is missing. I can see someone asking "How are Fran and Ed holding up?" and someone else replying--"They are amazing. Look at all they are doing!"No one breaks down. And yet if you don't break down when your daughter/sister/best friend has disappeared and you fear, as Fran says her first impression is, that 'someone has taken her', when do you break down?A crises breaks some families apart and pulls other families together. It will be interesting to see whether this crises makes this family more emotionally honest and connected or if it leaves them shattered.
Got to disagree with ya Maria on that one point. To break down doesn't mean you give up hope, or lose control of the situation. Actually they haven't much control of this situation anyway, she is gone and it will play out how it plays out. But the shock and fear brought on by such a thing and thoughts of what might be happening to her is enough to break down the strongest parent to tears and all kinds of extreme emotions, even as they try to do things. There are a lot of characters here that are very close to Kim and none of them have the emotions about this that just really pulls you in by the gut. I don't think its about the different ways different people handle things either. I think its the writing, the author hasn't put it there. It really is a third person telling of the story, but because it is,he knows the feelings of everyone of his characters and could give us great insight and emotion and I just don't feel it. I just feel a story being told, and some of there feelings being discussed but like an actual third person telling you. The story draws me in, the idea, the secrets but its like its an emotional story being told in a rather unemotional way.Something is really missing for me. And its not how the characters are acting, its just that there is no connection to them on an emotional level. I wish this was told with one first person perspective, like that of Lindsey, or PJ or even Ed and then with the rest of this told in third person. I think through the eyes of one of them, you would really feel it. Ok, I am either repeating myself or I wrote my initial feelings of frustration about the style to a friend and not here lol!
I just read your remarks on this same post after I sent this, and I agree with you completely. I can connect with them on an intellectual level but not an emotional one, its not there.
you said you didn't like the characters because they were one dimensional. I think this goes right back to it too. I think I could like several of them, but not written this way. Mostly, I am a third person who so far isnt caring much about them and thats sad given the subject of the story!
Message Edited by vivico1 on 06-03-2008 01:09 PM
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
06-03-2008 02:01 PM - edited 06-03-2008 02:21 PM
Message Edited by niknak13 on 06-03-2008 01:21 PM
06-03-2008 02:20 PM
jacurls wrote:Summertime at that age is a time of promiscuity, friendship, and testing the boundaries of your parents while still living under their roof. Smart decisions are not always priority...(hate to break it to the parents of teenagers). I don't know what the 'secret' is yet, but I am very interested. I wonder if what happened is self-induced in a way? She doesn't seem too innocent.I think her parents reactions were very natural- everyone deals with disaster in different ways. It was very chilling to learn about volunteers who may be volunteering for the wrong reasons- sex offenders, etc. decieving you when you're most vulnerable. It really made me think what I would do in that case? Would I allow the help of strangers or try to be a super hero and do it all?I like the book a lot. There are quite a few characters that I still get a little confused on who's who- but the plot keeps me turning pages, investigating even more with every turn.
06-03-2008 02:26 PM
I guess i will be the first one to say this. I didn't like the characters in this book. ...Hey, reina10!I guess I will be the second one to say it. ....Guess I am the third person. I didn't care for the characters. The characters seemed one dimensional.I felt that the DQ scene was 'out of place'. It seems forced and doesn't 'fit' with therelationship between the sisters. I feel it was added to further the speculation ofwhether or not Kim is a run away.CathyB
06-03-2008 03:08 PM
06-03-2008 03:20 PM
06-03-2008 03:21 PM
06-03-2008 03:46 PM - last edited on 06-03-2008 07:32 PM by KxBurns
Message Edited by KxBurns on 06-03-2008 07:32 PM
06-03-2008 04:23 PM
detailmuse wrote:Still, I kept asking myself, "Where's the grief?"Melodrama wouldn't have fit; O'Nan has written in a more distanced point of view. But I wanted a hint of their drama -- Fran's emotion when she was being taped came close, but it surprised me and, in truth, I questioned its genuine-ness, since I hadn't seen anything from her earlier. Without emotion, I've only connected intellectually with the characters. Even then, I was so amazed by how quickly they'd mobilized that I assumed I'd missed a transition that had moved the story ahead several days. Nope, it was still the evening of the first day!
- many of the relationships are described in terms of contracts or deals, such as the agreement between Kim and her parents about curfew (4), Ed and Fran's "deal" (page 16), Ed and J.P about the women in their lives drinking (37-38), Fran eliciting Ed's help with Lindsay (58) and the lovemaking between J.P. and Kim (61);
- Does anyone remember Bubble Boy? At first I thought that mention of the movie was a little detail meant to bracket the DQ trip (pp. 5 and 11) but when it got mentioned again on page 70 I had to wonder. . .. I know the story involved an over-protective mother who lies to her son to keep him chained to home (literally in a bubble) and involves a road trip with a cast of characters and a riff on The Graduate in the end-- any thoughts?
06-03-2008 05:29 PM
I think at first the parents didn't realize how difficult the situation is. It seems to me that they were expecting something like this could happen. Her sister wondered if the lunch they had together was a goodbye.
Also I can't understand her friends reactions, they seem distant.
In the first chapter I could noticed that Kim was an average teenager, trying to stay away from her home as much as possible (like any teenager, by the way). I don't found any clues in the first chapter about her following disappearance.
Obviously the view of Kim changes along the chapters, because we have little to know about her on the first one. It's very interesting to see the view of the different characters about Kim, but still these views don't explain why she is missing...lets keep reading!!!
06-03-2008 06:44 PM
Absolutely. We'll have to remember to discuss this in greater detail next week when we focus on JP, but there's some great insight into his motivation in chapter 9 (Baby Steps)...
I totally agree. J.P. fascinates me. I feel like he wants to take the relationship deeper, but Kim was holding him at arm's length and now he has a chance to get to know her in a different way and perhaps prove he is worthy of more than a summer fling?
I thought all the family/friends reactions were believable, but I was most interested in J.P.'s reaction and actions. I thought the tension between him and the father worked really well, and his dedication to finding Kim was clearly shown.
06-03-2008 06:52 PM
Well put! Were I in the position of this family, my hope would be that everyone involved would treat the case as if it were their daughter, too, but it's simply not possible.
The interesting thing here is that the police did take Kim's disappearance very seriously. They deposed the family and then friends to make certain no one was hiding information on her whereabouts. They were instrumental in organizing the search parties and liaisoning with those involved in the search. Where O'Nan strikes gold is in his portrayal of two anguished parents for whom the police's efforts will never be enough until their daughter is returned to them. The police's actions (search dogs are pointless unless you know where to pick up Kim's scent) are eminently reasonable, but of course they would not seem that way to a grieving, terrified, and frustrated parent.
06-03-2008 07:00 PM
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
06-03-2008 07:01 PM
06-03-2008 07:09 PM
...I think O'Nan's writing does a wonderful job of setting up very realistic characters that we can identify with. I love that not only is a picture of the narrative created, it's as if there is a soundtrack as well. Maybe that's what the title means? ....nah probably not.
06-03-2008 07:12 PM
06-03-2008 07:14 PM
I agree -- the more we learn about Kim, the more she takes on the dimensions of a real, flawed person, even as her family and friends perhaps begin to feel that they know and understand her less than they thought.
Amber_R wrote:Does our impression of Kim from the first chapter change as we begin to see her through the eyes of friends and family? How does their view of Kim change over the course of these early chapters? I think we start to see that she's not as perfect as her sister perceives her to be and she's not as much of the good girl or loving girlfriend we may have thought her to be. But, I like that O'Nan shows with the investigation that under the microscope, who would be? I think my view of Kim changed in the sense that she became more of a person and not so much just a stereotypical character. She has more depth with every new thing we learn about her, which makes me wonder what happened to her even more.
06-03-2008 07:16 PM