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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Ed

What did you think of Ed, Kim's father? What makes him tick? How does he change over the course of the story? What are some of the transformative moments for Ed?
 
In what ways does Kim's abduction influence Ed's relationship with those around him -- particularly Fran?
 
-Karen
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed

My basic reaction to Ed is that he's a pretty pathetic excuse for a man.
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thekoolaidmom
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Re: Ed

I think Ed was typical of a man, in that he needed to do something, to be physically active at finding his daughter.  I think he's a retreater, though.  He stays longer than necessary in Sandusky.  Then always going out on the boat, or to his office.  I don't know what was up with him not going back to coaching... was he afraid of getting close to the kids? 
 
I think he had been much more sure of himself in the beginning.  He was the local realtor extraordinare, the beloved coach and father, cook at the church pancake breakfasts.  He knew who he was, his place in the community, and was happy with his life.  The abduction shattered all that.  He'd lost his oldest.  He was the dad who pestered and used his friendship with the sherriff to hound a man who'd given his daughter drugs and slept with her.  He seemed older and more fragile by the end.  AND his mother was dying in a home instead of living with them.
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crimefighter4444
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Re: Ed

ed is the strength of this family. when his daughter disappears and he soon finds out that there is nothing he can do to find her he goes into this form of hibernation as a form of forgiveness to himself for his ineptitude to correct this horrible situation. my heart went out to him as i pictured myself in the same situation. the author plays on this fact and keeps the reader turning pages.
rich bielecki
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Everyman
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Re: Ed

Interesting perspective. I didn't see him as the strength of the family, but as the titular head who, when things fell apart, abdicated the hard things to his wife while he did the easy job of just going out looking to avoid having to deal with his family's emotional needs.

crimefighter4444 wrote:
ed is the strength of this family. when his daughter disappears and he soon finds out that there is nothing he can do to find her he goes into this form of hibernation as a form of forgiveness to himself for his ineptitude to correct this horrible situation. my heart went out to him as i pictured myself in the same situation. the author plays on this fact and keeps the reader turning pages.


_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Jeanie0522
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Registered: ‎12-24-2007
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Re: Ed

I think Ed and his family had viewed him as the strong one before Kim went missing.  Ed did not have the support network and friends that Fran and even Lindsay had.  He felt guilty and responsible.  Fran had always left the hard stuff to Ed.  Ed looked the other way as Fran drank her nightly bottle of wine.  As Fran became stronger, drank less and needed him less, Ed felt depressed and worthless.  It was interesting to see the role reversal over time. 
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pheath
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎02-01-2007
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Re: Ed



Jeanie0522 wrote:
I think Ed and his family had viewed him as the strong one before Kim went missing. Ed did not have the support network and friends that Fran and even Lindsay had. He felt guilty and responsible. Fran had always left the hard stuff to Ed. Ed looked the other way as Fran drank her nightly bottle of wine. As Fran became stronger, drank less and needed him less, Ed felt depressed and worthless. It was interesting to see the role reversal over time.





I think this is a great observation. It would be an interesting question as to whether or not Ed searched for the support network and didn't find it or if he simply didn't look for it. While Fran has a number of people (including Ed) propping her up, Ed seems to have nowhere to turn. Was this by choice or circumstance?
-Philip
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thekoolaidmom
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Re: Ed



pheath wrote:

I think this is a great observation. It would be an interesting question as to whether or not Ed searched for the support network and didn't find it or if he simply didn't look for it. While Fran has a number of people (including Ed) propping her up, Ed seems to have nowhere to turn. Was this by choice or circumstance?


I think that's typical of our society, though.  Ed's the man, the rock, upon whose shoulder's all troubles are bourne.  Fran is the little woman, the grieving mother, who needs help and support.  If Ed were to ask for help, he'd be perceived as weak (if only in his own mind).  Women, since hunter-gatherer times, have been relaters and networkers, while men are competetors. 
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed

Interesting thought, Everyman. But, I don't think it would be easy to go out and look for a missing child. The fear that would grip me each time someone yelled out that they had found something; the not knowing if I would be the one to find her body or things; the feeling helpless to save her. He needed to do something physical. While he didn't deal with the emotional needs of his family, he wasn't alone in that. Each member of the family had to deal with their thoughts around missing Kim, and I'm not sure they could have talked much at first. All they could do was act.

Everyman wrote:
Interesting perspective. I didn't see him as the strength of the family, but as the titular head who, when things fell apart, abdicated the hard things to his wife while he did the easy job of just going out looking to avoid having to deal with his family's emotional needs.

crimefighter4444 wrote:
ed is the strength of this family. when his daughter disappears and he soon finds out that there is nothing he can do to find her he goes into this form of hibernation as a form of forgiveness to himself for his ineptitude to correct this horrible situation. my heart went out to him as i pictured myself in the same situation. the author plays on this fact and keeps the reader turning pages.





DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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kmensing
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed

Ed seems to not handle well under pressure, felt more at ease running around town, desperately searching for Kim.   
 
I find it odd that he's connected so with J.P.  Maybe it's just out of desperation, but I think I would have interrogated him a lot more, as well as Nina.
 
And why did Ed wait so long without telling his mother Kim was missing.  I would think he would have wanted her to hear it from him, or another family member, but certainly not from the police.
 
kmensing
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kiakar
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Re: Ed



Everyman wrote:
My basic reaction to Ed is that he's a pretty pathetic excuse for a man.


oh! wow! this I can't believe!  To me Ed's behavior is just typical male behavior. They can't show too many emotions and they aren't very good at supporting others in crisis. Not all men but this is just typical behavior.
 
Men have a hard time facing adverity of any kind but losing or missing a daughter is indeed a paralzing position they are put in. But no one reacts the same. He probably cares as much as the rest of the family but isnt allowing himself the privelege of showing. it.
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krb2g
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Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Support networks



pheath wrote:


Jeanie0522 wrote:
Ed did not have the support network and friends that Fran and even Lindsay had.





I think this is a great observation. It would be an interesting question as to whether or not Ed searched for the support network and didn't find it or if he simply didn't look for it. While Fran has a number of people (including Ed) propping her up, Ed seems to have nowhere to turn. Was this by choice or circumstance?




Neither Fran nor Ed seemed particularly connected to their community--Fran knows (some of) Kim's friends well enough to call them, but her third call is Connie (who's both a co-worker and a friend) and her fourth is the police. Although the community mobilizes and helps with the search for a while, I got the distinct impression that Fran's support network consists of mostly her friends from work, as opposed to people who are parents of her children's friends, neighbors, or people who share a hobby or are part of a common organization. Even their family (Ed's mother, the aunt and uncle) seem peripheral.

If Fran's circle of possible acquaintances is depleted, Ed's is even more so. As he finally returns to work, he feels like a "greenhorn": "It was easier for Fran. Connie and Jocelyn had been part of the search from the beginning, and knew exactly where Fran was at. While he got along with everyone at his office, he didn't consider them friends. He might shoot a round of golf with Phil, or take Jeri to lunch at the diner, and they'd bitch and gossip and have a laugh, but he never shared his problems with them" (185). Kim's disappearance drives a rift between Ed and his friend Perry at the Sheriff's department as he thinks Perry should be doing more to help the investigation.

Maybe it's not even so much that they lack the support network at the beginning as that the kinds of friends they have can't keep up with their emotional needs (except for Connie and Joyce, who almost thrive on the tragedy--like the woman who eventually finds Kim).
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jawilt26
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Registered: ‎10-30-2007
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Re: Ed

Ed did seem like the strong one in the family before Kim disappeared and I did like his character a lot he did try and comfort his family and Kim's friends the best he could. He was upset when he found out what Kim's friends were hiding and didn't tell the police he was upset but he did eventually forgive and tried to give them a second chance to them. He did become a stable for Lindsey and their relationship seemed to become stronger as the story progressed.
Jodie A Wilt
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cocospals
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: Ed

I found it interesting the way he "bonded" with J.P.  I don't think Ed made a point of trying to get  to know J.P. but  it was more the case of two men who cared for Kim and are hurting because of her disappearance having a common bond.  The fact JP was out there hunting for her showed Ed how much he really did care for Kim. At first I thought maybe he was involved but if he was, would he have spent his time searching for her?
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Ed



Everyman wrote:
Interesting perspective. I didn't see him as the strength of the family, but as the titular head who, when things fell apart, abdicated the hard things to his wife while he did the easy job of just going out looking to avoid having to deal with his family's emotional needs.

crimefighter4444 wrote:
ed is the strength of this family. when his daughter disappears and he soon finds out that there is nothing he can do to find her he goes into this form of hibernation as a form of forgiveness to himself for his ineptitude to correct this horrible situation. my heart went out to him as i pictured myself in the same situation. the author plays on this fact and keeps the reader turning pages.







I agree with you. He did take the easy way out. However, what else is there for him to do? But both parents seem to be very short on the emotional support end. At this point in the story, I see the emotions coming from fear, rather than grief. The fear of death, loss, not knowing, etc. is the driving force right now. When someone goes missing, the family left behind desperately need each other to allay their own fears. Here, they jumped right into emotional denial. And each member denied the right of the others to express their fear. They set the stage for a complete family collapse. I hope they find some way to connect to each other and give each other support. I fear for them. The father disappears in the search group. The mother disappears in her organization group, and poor Lindsey, just hides in her shell. I feel very sad for all of them.
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed

Ah, a not-so-closet sexist? :smileyhappy:

If you think that's typical male behavior, you're running with the wrong males. :smileyvery-happy:

kiakar wrote:


Everyman wrote:
My basic reaction to Ed is that he's a pretty pathetic excuse for a man.


oh! wow! this I can't believe! To me Ed's behavior is just typical male behavior. They can't show too many emotions and they aren't very good at supporting others in crisis. Not all men but this is just typical behavior.
Men have a hard time facing adverity of any kind but losing or missing a daughter is indeed a paralzing position they are put in. But no one reacts the same. He probably cares as much as the rest of the family but isnt allowing himself the privelege of showing. it.


_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Beachdre
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Registered: ‎02-06-2008
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Re: Ed

I think Ed was pretty strong in the beginning.  He kept searching & organizing all the searches, leading them.  But then when he kept coming up empty, & not finding anything, he just retreated into himself.  His boat, his fishing, watching TV all the time.  I actually kind of liked Ed and felt very sorry for him, because every avenue he tried, led to a dead end.  Ultimately turning him into a couch potato & very depressed.
 
Dre
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Ed

I agree with those who have commented that Ed's immersion in more active aspects of the search is representative of an emotional retreat from the situation, and I don't think it's a sign of weakness. Going to Sandusky or trolling the woods and being faced with the possibility of actually coming across his daughter's dead body -- or some other sign of a gruesome end -- took a great deal of fortitude. Like Fran, I believe Ed is doing the best he can with the emotional resources he has.
 
One of the first things we learn about Ed is that he is a public person who "valued, above all, privacy" (p. 17). How does this disposition play out over the course of the novel?  
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Nitestar
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Re: Ed

I think Ed is a man's man.  He was probably raised to believe that it was his job to protect his family and when the event occured, I am sure that he felt that he needed to so something - almost anything to make himself feel as though he was helping somehow.

Ed's reaction was interesting to me - almost as though he was living the event entirely differently in his own mind -
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djohns64
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Registered: ‎04-10-2008
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Re: Ed

Ed was the do it person when it came to searching for Kim, just like most parents he needed to do something, not just sit and wait. He and Fran went in separate directions when it came to the search and in their personal life as well. Ed was feeling depressed that they were getting no where in the search for Kim.
But he did not handle it the way in which Fran did with drugs and drink. I think he was trying to do everything he could to find his daughter the only way he knew how.
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