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Jennd1
Posts: 75
Registered: ‎01-28-2008
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Re: Ed

Ed seems initially to be the bread winner typical dad. He is a business man and is very concerned about his image. He knows how to say and do the right things or he thinks he does. As the book progresses Ed seems to care less and less about his image and he seems unable to find a way to deal with the emotions that are raised by the whole experience with Kim. Fran is able to channel some of the emotion into action. One of the most telling scenes for Ed is the one in which he brings Kim's car back.
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Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed

I saw Ed as a good father who loved his daughter a lot, and didn't really know her as well as her mother did. He seemed the most devestated by Kim going missing. He tried to handle it with action, by fixing things at first, and once he realized he couldn't fix it no matter how smart he was or how much time he put in, he went into a deep depression. To me, his behavior was more motherly than Fran's.
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JulieC82
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-09-2008
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Re: Ed

I liked Ed and felt bad for him as he started to realize that all of his searching wasn't going to find Kim. That it really would take a miracle to find her either dead of alive.  I think he did retreat into himself especially when he went and stayed in Sandusky,OH for a week when they got a lead based on Kim's car. He didn't need to stay there as long as he did, but he didn't want to face going home where Fran didn't really need him or seem to need him.
 
I don't think either parent really knew Kim well. I think he tried to bond with JP because he thought that JP was probably the one person who knew her well and might confide in him. Unlike Elise and Nina because they would hold Kim's secrets.
 
 
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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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.





So far, I dont think the author is dealing with the emotional needs or feelings of any of the characters! I feel I am being told a story that happened and what people did, and what they thought, but as I said on the thread about Fran, I feel something is missing about the feelings of everyone we have met so far, and whether anyone likes one character or another or dislikes them, its hard to connect with the fear and grief and uncertainty this situation would produce, from any of the characters. I dont think its the way they all "handle things differently". For me so far, I am drawn in by the subject, the initial getting to know the characters, "the secret", but not any emotions of anyone. And if this is a book about how a family copes with a missing child, rather than a suspense book about an abduction, then there is really something missing. I really hope the author gets into their skins more as we go on. If not, then I sure hope the secret or something brings me as a reader more in to it.

As for Ed himself, he seems like a decent guy and I think what we are seeing about how he is handling this is an extension of how he and his wife probably handle things anything. I think she has to have things orderly, no problems and no discussions and is probably the head of the house in many ways. I think Ed's role is different so he knows just not to argue with her about what she says or does. He seems closer to the girls tho because of his willingness to be a doer with them and about them. He plays and works with them more than Fran who delegates and organizes and doesn't have time for "things". They are a couple who have defined their roles with each other, but I don't think its working well. I could see that Ed would probably be a good realtor. Thats a sales job,thats putting yourself out there but having control and an opinion that counts. He doesn't really have this with Fran, but as I say, they chose their roles, we all do.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed


COCOSPALS wrote:
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?



I dont know about in this case yet but in many a famous case, killers or abductors have hung out right there with the family or the cops. They have wanted right in the thick of it, its part of the thrill. I have read or seen on tv where when they find out who did it, someone is so horribly enraged because he was out there with the volunteers the whole time. I don't know who did what yet, but I can't rule out anyone yet by how much they want to help or be around it all. I hope its not JP, I like him for some reason.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed



Everyman wrote:
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 this is quoted by hundreds of drs. these are characterics of the male. Like I said, all male are not the same. But that is why the reference to Mars for Men and Venus for Women.  And I have run into alot of different kinds of men in my life. And I donot have to be a closet sexist to know there are major differences in the characterics and personalties of the sexes.  This is reality, not what we want to believe by our own invention. Thank you.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed



kiakar wrote:


Everyman wrote:
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 this is quoted by hundreds of drs. these are characterics of the male. Like I said, all male are not the same. But that is why the reference to Mars for Men and Venus for Women.  And I have run into alot of different kinds of men in my life. And I donot have to be a closet sexist to know there are major differences in the characterics and personalties of the sexes.  This is reality, not what we want to believe by our own invention. Thank you.



But saying what I did, I do not think that Ed was a bad father. We do the best with what we have. Most of us anyway. None of us would not know how we would react. And I am sure Fran and Ed are acting or being all they can be, under the circumstances. But its been studied time and again, men and women are different showing their emotions and expressing their selves. I hope we remember to ask the author if he wrote this where people differ in how they show their emotions and repress grief.
 
I did not know that the media generally told parents to not act emotionally when interviewed. This mother in  North Carolina that had drove or shoved her car in a lake with her three children was discovered when she showed little emotion on Tv asking the kidnapper to bring her kids back. She had done this for shehad a fantasy of running away with this man who didnt like kids. This was probably about five to seven yrs ago.
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ELee
Posts: 418
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Ed



COCOSPALS wrote:
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. 

Each member of the family internalized their emotions, which effectively isolated them from one another.  Since both Ed and J.P. had thrown themselves into the search effort, I think it was easier for Ed to reach out and connect with someone "new" (outside of his family), who didn't have the same history or baggage.
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noannie
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎02-04-2008
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Re: Ed

I think Ed was a loner and lacked self confidence. He sat back and wanted to take the easy way in any situation. I wanted to tell him to "man up".
 
noannie
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GnANorman
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎11-21-2007
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Re: Ed



KxBurns wrote:
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?  



 
I think Ed might have been afraid at first to admit his "perfect" life and "perfect" daugher were no longer perfect.  Asking for help eliminated the privacy in his life that he longed for.  I agree with many of the comments about Ed's need to physically search, however it was Fran who coordinated the efforts for Kim's search with flyers, news spots, and researching how to search for Kim.  Ed spent too much time in Sandusky, but I think that was his way of coping with the potential loss of his oldest daughter.  Sadly, I think Lindsay was not given the support and counsel she needed throughout.  It was almost like she resented Kim for disappearing.
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fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed



noannie wrote:
I think Ed was a loner and lacked self confidence. He sat back and wanted to take the easy way in any situation. I wanted to tell him to "man up".
 
noannie


I wouldn't call Ed a loner.  He was an outgoing person - a real estate agent has to meet with people all the time.  He was known in the community.  He coached soft ball, probably sponsored by his agency.  However, I don't think he had any close friends as Fran did.  This makes him realize that he is more alone than his life style may project.  The situation has been a "come to reality" wake up call and he is lost.
MG
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dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed

I like Ed. He is a private person in a public position living in small town America. Whew talk about living in glass houses. And to top it all off we're not meeting him in a book about what his family did on summer vacation we're meeting him after the worst possible thing that can happen to a father happens. (I'm not finished with the book yet, but I don't think I'll stop liking him) I think Ed and Fran took the roles that they were most comfortable in. He couldn't sit still so he searched. She was an organizer to begin with and she went from there and also someone had to stay home, to care for Lindsay or in case there were advances in the investigation like a ransom note or whatever.
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bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Ed


KxBurns wrote:


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





At the beginning, O'Nan quoted: "Her father was calmer, framing his arguments in terms of insurance payments. She needed to remember (as if she could forget), she was still living under their roof." Ed seems to be summed up initially with the above; but then we learn he really is the Mr. Mom in the home and had been the one to wait up on occasion or check to see everyone was in. Dad also took the kids out for driving practice and Kim remembers the drills and his patience and tries to emulate him when she takes out Lindsay. So far I have not gotten to know Ed in depth but realize that when he goes out looking for Kim he is showing his love in his own way.
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mom2alexmegcoop
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-12-2008
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Re: Ed

Ed struck me as very career driven, his passion in the beginning was definitely his work, but I was heartened that he tried to connect with his daughters by becoming their softball coach. I also thought it was neat that Lindsey participated even though she did not enjoy it like Kim did just because I think she knew that was her dad's way of trying to connect with her.

When Ed went on the first futile search it was heartbreaking and I found myself saying please let him find her although I knew he wouldn't. When he led the search efforts around the creek.

To me their seemed something about Fran's reaction to the whole situation that irritated Ed, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was.
The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you the knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.~Elizabeth Hardwick
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed

vivicol1 wrote: So far, I dont think the author is dealing with the emotional needs or feelings of any of the characters! I feel I am being told a story that happened and what people did, and what they thought, but as I said on the thread about Fran, I feel something is missing about the feelings of everyone we have met so far, and whether anyone likes one character or another or dislikes them, its hard to connect with the fear and grief and uncertainty this situation would produce, from any of the characters.

I think that comes from the "show, don't tell" school of writing. It's considered weak writing to tell us how the characters feel. But I agree, O'Nan's writing isn't as strong in showing the emotional side of his characters as it is in relating events and concentrating on the story line. I saw the same thing in Last Night at the Lobster. Good story idea and plotting, weaker on character development.

Perhaps a book like this, where the emotional needs, responses, feelings, interactions of the characters are, or should be, more central than the story line, isn't the best sort of book for his style of writing.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Ed



ELee wrote:
Each member of the family internalized their emotions, which effectively isolated them from one another.  Since both Ed and J.P. had thrown themselves into the search effort, I think it was easier for Ed to reach out and connect with someone "new" (outside of his family), who didn't have the same history or baggage.



JulieC82 wrote:
I don't think either parent really knew Kim well. I think he tried to bond with JP because he thought that JP was probably the one person who knew her well and might confide in him. Unlike Elise and Nina because they would hold Kim's secrets.

 
I think both of these comments are right on target with regard to Ed's relationship with JP. I also think it has shades of regret to it. Ed has no son; his only possibility for a father/son-like relationship would be his daughters' significant others. In the wake of the tragedy, he begins to see JP in a new light (briefly), not just because JP shares his pain to a degree and steps up to help in the search, but because I think Ed is sort of exploring what could have been. But I may be reading too much into it...
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Ed


GnANorman wrote:
 
I think Ed might have been afraid at first to admit his "perfect" life and "perfect" daugher were no longer perfect.  Asking for help eliminated the privacy in his life that he longed for. 
Absolutely! And perhaps his distancing himself emotionally from his family is, in part, an effort to reclaim some of that privacy that he relinquishes to the publicity of the search?...
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Ed



fordmg wrote:


noannie wrote:
I think Ed was a loner and lacked self confidence. He sat back and wanted to take the easy way in any situation. I wanted to tell him to "man up".
 
noannie


I wouldn't call Ed a loner.  He was an outgoing person - a real estate agent has to meet with people all the time.  He was known in the community.  He coached soft ball, probably sponsored by his agency.  However, I don't think he had any close friends as Fran did.  This makes him realize that he is more alone than his life style may project.  The situation has been a "come to reality" wake up call and he is lost.
MG


This is so true -- all of Ed's connections as a man of some standing in the community really meant nothing in the end; it didn't help them find Kim or get any preferential treatment from law enforcement. I think Ed certainly feels disillusionment more keenly than Fran, who is able to channel her frustration back into the search efforts.
 
This reminds me, what did you all think of Ed's financial difficulties, which he hides from his family?
 
-Karen
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mwinasu
Posts: 149
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Ed

Ed acts more like a drunk than his wife does.  When things get too hard to handle they take off.  And they drink, but you don't see that because they are gone.  They can make up all kinds of reasons why they have to go;however, if you need their support you are out of luck.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Ed


Everyman wrote:
vivicol1 wrote: So far, I dont think the author is dealing with the emotional needs or feelings of any of the characters! I feel I am being told a story that happened and what people did, and what they thought, but as I said on the thread about Fran, I feel something is missing about the feelings of everyone we have met so far, and whether anyone likes one character or another or dislikes them, its hard to connect with the fear and grief and uncertainty this situation would produce, from any of the characters.

I think that comes from the "show, don't tell" school of writing. It's considered weak writing to tell us how the characters feel. But I agree, O'Nan's writing isn't as strong in showing the emotional side of his characters as it is in relating events and concentrating on the story line. I saw the same thing in Last Night at the Lobster. Good story idea and plotting, weaker on character development.

Perhaps a book like this, where the emotional needs, responses, feelings, interactions of the characters are, or should be, more central than the story line, isn't the best sort of book for his style of writing.


Agreed Eman, and if thats true of his other book, I wont be reading it. I am not being mean here or anything, but when I read, I don't want to just be told a story, I want to feel a story and its not happening here so far. I think thats the difference between a good book and a great book, do you feel it, does it draw you in so much that you are almost one of the characters too, doing and feeling with everyone, or at least one of them. I don't know if you have read all of this book yet or not, dont tell me if you have lol, but I am looking for it to either become a real suspense book about Kim, or a real character story about those looking for her and with such an emotional topic, how do you leave those strong emotional feelings out? Its not going to work for me in the end, if it continues this way.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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