Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
bmbrennan
Posts: 153
Registered: ‎02-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

Did Ed attempt to bond with JP because he wanted to get closer to him or because of JP's relationship to Kim.  He really doesn't know that much about JP except that he was Kim's boyfriend.  I felt sorry for Ed initially because within the family no matter whose side he took, he was wrong.  Backing Fran in an argument regarding Kim and her behavior, got him Kim's ire and if he took Kim's part, that didn't sit well with Fran.  Lose-Lose situation anyway you look at it.
Ed to me seemed to be whatever he needed to be at that moment.  Outwardly, he was the man of the house providing for the family, how he provided by using funds to maintain the lifestyle that the Larsen's had become used to.  By all appearances, an outsider would not see the cracks in the facade.  They would see the middle class family living a successful life in a small town.  It's when you get past the front door that you see the reality. 
bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
Frequent Contributor
the_mad_chatter
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

Hi BM,
I've always thought that one of the hard things to parenting is doing what is right in a consistent matter.  The waffling Ed does is annoying because it doesn't feel like he's necessarily trying to do the right thing-just the easy thing.
As for his relationship with JP, it is weird.   I don't understand his motive except that he wanted that extra connection to Kim.
Contributor
pjmanley41
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎04-11-2008
0 Kudos

Re: 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?

Ed seemed typical. He was very much a normal man at the beginning -- never having faced any thing to challenge him. Kim's abduction highlighted his weaknesses but also just his inability to have an impact on the situation -- something most men cannot deal well with -- their was nothing he could do, no action, that would change the situation.

In what ways does Kim's abduction influence Ed's relationship with those around him -- particularly Fran?

Ed lost sight of himself for awhile. He retreated inside to deal with the problem his was. As Fran retreated into useless busy work, he retreated to his work and hobbies.
Inspired Correspondent
nfam
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎01-08-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

I think Ed's view of himself changed during the course of these chapters. He started out as the typical father involved with his kids, but wanting them to show well at what he was interested in, for example forcing Lindsey to play ball. When Kim disappeared his image of himself as a protective father figure changed. He realized that he hadn't been able to protect his family and it hurt him. He wasn't an organizer like Fram, he wanted to do something, or look, get the searchers moving. It was as though he thought if he just worked hard enough he could change what had happened.
Correspondent
m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

Morning,
 
ED - Chapt 1-13
 
I think Ed is acting like a guy.  His first reaction is to run out of the house nad into his car - thinking - like a man - that he can fix the situation - he can find her....But maybe he can't.
 
I understand  his frustration with the police and their slow start on the search.  Instead of over reacting and screaming - like many people would do - he turns his frustration to a more productive activitiy - leading the search teams around the area.

He really doesn't get much page space in his POV - lots of the search scenes are in JP's POV or summarized - but the frustration was very visible.
 
He loves his daughter and is doing what he can to find her or at least a clue of what happened.
 
He sees Lindsey's pain perhaps more than Fran - but it's also understandable that they are so focused on finding Kim that Lindsey just isn't a primary concern in the first few days.
 
His trip to Sandusky will be interesting and I'm eager to see what is found in/around the car.
 
I like the references to TV Crime Solving shows - where the crime is solved and the offenders prosecuted - all in an hour or so...  They do provide an unrealistic view of what happens in real life - but would be on anyone's mind in this type of situation.
 
susan
Contributor
Lady_Graeye
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

To me, Ed is the typical guy. He knows everything that goes on at work, but put him at home and he can't tell you a darn thing that happened with his family 2 minutes after breakfast. He loves his daughters but knows nothing about either one of them. But as someone else said, I see him changing as the storyline moves on. He will become the rock that will hold them together. Right now he just lost and would rather be out mowing or escape to his garage like any man I know who doesn't know how to handle a family crisis.
"You Can Never Own Too Many Books; It's Just Not Possible!!!"
Frequent Contributor
the_mad_chatter
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

I don't get that either Ed or Fran are "the rock" that holds the family together.  That family is adrift.  There is nothing in the book that indicates that the family becomes functional.  Even Fran going out on the boat wasn't enough of an indication.
Frequent Contributor
wendyroba
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎02-21-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

My heart broke for Ed - I didn't find him a "pathetic example of a man" as Everyman said - I found him completely broken at the loss of his daughter...and racked with guilt that he could not protect her. The most touching part of the book for me involves Ed (I can't say more because of spoilers). I thought his reaction was how most men (and fathers) might react. He had to DO something; to try to fix things. His relentless searching was his way of trying to make things right again.
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

And what "should" they have done?

(One of the questions I walk away from this book with is: What did I learn and is this what O'Nan wanted his readers to learn?)

the_mad_chatter wrote:
I think Ed and Fran are perfect for each other because of their imperfections. Ed is a horrible decision maker as is Fran. Ed chooses the needle in the hay stack approach when Kim is first missing and Fran goes on line for a "how to" manual to find Kim. I don't see either one as the strong one or the organized one or the "drunk". I see Ed as avoiding Fran and home because he doesn't agree with her approach. She's frantic and who really blames him for not wanting to be around that. She's got Ambien and he's got his hotel room.

In so many books where something tragic happens in a family, we almost always take sides with one parent over the other (think Lovely Bones!) I'm trying not to do that with this story.


"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed


the_mad_chatter wrote:
I don't get that either Ed or Fran are "the rock" that holds the family together. That family is adrift. There is nothing in the book that indicates that the family becomes functional. Even Fran going out on the boat wasn't enough of an indication.





For an interesting essay on how "functional" can be viewed in today's world, take a look at this essay in Salon: Crazy for dysfunction. I particularly noted the comments of Robert J. Thompson about the "functional family" on the second page, but all is worth skimming, including the ending skepticism about the appropriate uses of the words "dysfunctional family."
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Frequent Contributor
ROCKETRAY55
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎09-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed



m3girl wrote:
Morning,
 
ED - Chapt 1-13
 
I think Ed is acting like a guy.  His first reaction is to run out of the house nad into his car - thinking - like a man - that he can fix the situation - he can find her....But maybe he can't.
 
I understand  his frustration with the police and their slow start on the search.  Instead of over reacting and screaming - like many people would do - he turns his frustration to a more productive activitiy - leading the search teams around the area.

He really doesn't get much page space in his POV - lots of the search scenes are in JP's POV or summarized - but the frustration was very visible.
 
He loves his daughter and is doing what he can to find her or at least a clue of what happened.
 
He sees Lindsey's pain perhaps more than Fran - but it's also understandable that they are so focused on finding Kim that Lindsey just isn't a primary concern in the first few days.
 
His trip to Sandusky will be interesting and I'm eager to see what is found in/around the car.
 
I like the references to TV Crime Solving shows - where the crime is solved and the offenders prosecuted - all in an hour or so...  They do provide an unrealistic view of what happens in real life - but would be on anyone's mind in this type of situation.
 
susan



I think you hit the nail on the head Susan, I get the same feeling out of the Ed character. I also liked the references to the TV crimes shows.
 
-Ray
Contributor
jlcardwell
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎02-25-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

Honestly, Ed is the one character whose head I really can't get inside. I don't know what is going on in there and why, other than the need to DO something.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Ed



Peppermill wrote:

the_mad_chatter wrote:
I don't get that either Ed or Fran are "the rock" that holds the family together. That family is adrift. There is nothing in the book that indicates that the family becomes functional. Even Fran going out on the boat wasn't enough of an indication.





For an interesting essay on how "functional" can be viewed in today's world, take a look at this essay in Salon: Crazy for dysfunction. I particularly noted the comments of Robert J. Thompson about the "functional family" on the second page, but all is worth skimming, including the ending skepticism about the appropriate uses of the words "dysfunctional family."


Thank you so much for that.Peppermill.  It has enlightned by thinking by realizing that  the old shows like The Donna Reed shows, and the other perfect shows that we grew up with  were not real. They didn't even seem real to me at the time of watching them. I use to feel, did people really react this way in a normal family. Then I wasn't from a normal family and nobody I knew was either. Back then, mothers had already began the journey to working moms and if anything happened for the better, some of the pressure has been taken off the women to do everything.  She has obtained alot more respect for herself and teaching her daughters respect for theirselves also. I remember trick or treating in my neighborhood when I was probably ten or eleven and approached the minister's home. I remember thinking to myself, now this is the home that is most like the shows on TV. But it wasn't. There were yelling, disobedience and other disturbances that didn't predict to me that this was the perfect family.  But now I realize this was the normal ordinary family. It can not be perfect with human beings involved no matter how good they are. And with times changing in the way the have in the last ten to twenty years, I do not feel that this family in O'Nan's novel is dysfunctional in anyway.  Its the feeling I have with private schools, iespecially religous ones, a child does not see the other side of life, not that its all bad, but usually after school is over, they then want to experience all the other side has had and they haven't. Dancing, wild makeup , earrings, boys, and if we arent lucky still there is booge, cigarettes, and drugs and sex.  I have personally met some of these kids from private schools.
 
The biggest requirement I see to being a parent, is teach a child how to live in the world they are living in. You can not expect them to live in the world you want them to live in. If you teach them honestlty, love and respect, are the main goals and they should be thought of or taught daily. And you should be very present in your child's life, more so than they might like but never think you can lead that adult to be something they really do not want to be. I am not an authority but I have raised up three wonderful responsible educated daughters. And they have wonderful behaved responsible children.
 
I certainly had to work outside the home also, most of the years of raising them. We paid mostly all expenses for the three to go to college and graduate. And alot of times, I was too tired to go that extra mile to be present, there at the moment, but I did my level best to be. I think Fran did too. I think she did her level best. That was her best, not my best. No one knows their best until they do the job.  And to me this was a average family of the Early 21st century. And the early shows on TV were never an oz. of reality. This is my belief. So by saying this I do not believe that the latter part of 20th century was ever portrayed as the real thing. Maybe we are more real today to the way it really is.  
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

Linda -- thx for your kind words. However, I will add my two cents worth (a postage stamp's worth at one point in my life!?):

I participate in a community of people, including professional therapists, who use the expression that every family is dysfunctional in some ways or another. I view that use of the term "dysfunctional" as not so much pejorative, but as asking each of us to look at ourselves and ask what is working (functional), what is not; what are we willing to change, what are we not?

The Biblical parallel may be "Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone... they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders...Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him...." John 8:1-11 NRSV



kiakar wrote:
...And with times changing in the way the have in the last ten to twenty years, I do not feel that this family in O'Nan's novel is dysfunctional in any way.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Contributor
jdmiller212
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎04-25-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

I thing Ed had the type of personality that if he wasn't physically doing something to find his daughter, he felt he was letting her down and seemed to not care.  By looking for her and being the one to go to where her car was found and look for leads, he felt he was doing something.  He had to put fliers up everywhere or he felt he was missing someplace that could help.  I think being at home was very hard for him and by staying away as much as possible helped him to handle the emotions that he was feeling.  You could feel how helpless he felt.  Being Kim's father, he felt he should have been able to protect her from the evil out there.  Since he could not do that, he had to take care of things his way now.  Sometimes, he sounded like he was being inconsiderate of his wife by staying away, but maybe that was the only thing he could do to keep from going over the edge.  Until one has exprienced something like a child missing, its hard to sit in judgement on someone else.  It seems like he is never going to be able to accept the out come of this nightmare that he is living. 
Frequent Contributor
Eckwell
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

I agree with you.  Ed needed to do anything he could to find her and that dedication to cause is what kept him going.  To stop looking would mean that he had given up hope and he was not willing to do that.  I agree that until one is in that situation it is very difficult to assess someone else's behavoir.
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

JD -- your post reminded me that when Ed was in Sandusky, I half expected a relationship to develop between him and Sgt. McKnight. I think it spoke to his decency and her professionalism that it did not, in such a highly emotionally charged environment. I was grateful O'Nan developed their characters as he did.



jdmiller212 wrote{ed.}:
... Sometimes, he sounded like he was being inconsiderate of his wife by staying away, but maybe that was the only thing he could do to keep from going over the edge. Until one has experienced something like a child missing, its hard to sit in judgment on someone else. It seems like he is never going to be able to accept the outcome of this nightmare that he is living.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
Frequent Contributor
ROCKETRAY55
Posts: 91
Registered: ‎09-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

Peppermill- I fully agree, I was waiting for something romantic to happen between Ed and Sgt. McKnight. I am glad it did not but I was waiting for it.
 
-Ray


Peppermill wrote:
JD -- your post reminded me that when Ed was in Sandusky, I half expected a relationship to develop between him and Sgt. McKnight. I think it spoke to his decency and her professionalism that it did not, in such a highly emotionally charged environment. I was grateful O'Nan developed their characters as he did.



jdmiller212 wrote{ed.}:
... Sometimes, he sounded like he was being inconsiderate of his wife by staying away, but maybe that was the only thing he could do to keep from going over the edge. Until one has experienced something like a child missing, its hard to sit in judgment on someone else. It seems like he is never going to be able to accept the outcome of this nightmare that he is living.




Frequent Contributor
FrankieD
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎12-16-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed

Sure Ed's reactions can be looked at as a "guy thing"...but I think it was more of "his thing". He felt that the best approach was to get out and look for Kim...whil Fran was more concerned with the publicity angle. I don't know about you but that seems to happen a lot in our society...it's the mother that starts a cause and tries to get public support...sometimes to extremes. At least Fran never pushed for a "Kim's Law"...at least not yet???
By the way...I think looking for Kim was harder...because there was always the chance of finding her.
                                                                                         FrankieD :smileyindifferent:
" The longer I live...the more beautiful life becomes."
- Frank Lloyd Wright
Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Ed



the_mad_chatter wrote:
I'll also have to admit that I Ed and Fran bother me because how can they possibly be selling off mutual funds and yet have their boat.  That really bothered me.


I think Ed is selling off the mutual funds and Fran has no idea that they are not doing well financially.  Also, for Ed appearance was everything and selling the boat would signifiy that he is not supporting his family in the way he was once able. 
Top Kudoed Authors
User Kudos Count
1
Users Online
Currently online: 82 members 821 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: