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Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Final Chapters

Good point, Karen. When I was teaching and working as a wilderness trip leader, I followed the concept of "safe danger" for the children under my control. You have to let children enter zones of danger, but it has to be safe, in that they are pretty certain not to be killed or paralyzed. But it has to be legitimate danger, or at least convincingly appear so. This is what the Outward Bound program was set up to do, for example.

It's much the same way with diseases. The children who grow up in pristine clean houses and schools, never allowed to roll in the mud or swim in a wilderness stream, washing their hands all the time, don't develop immunities and wind up often sicker than those who acclimate their bodies to a diet of dirt and germs from time to time.

KxBurns wrote:


bookhunter wrote:


Everyman wrote:
bentley wrote:... I never blame a victim for whatever happened to her; ... My original comment (which I stand by) was in relationship to the risky behaviors that placed Kim in dangerous situations where she could be potentially in danger, ...

That's an important distinction. Recognizing that someone has made choices that put them at risk is a very different thing from blaming them for what happens to them. Blame is pointless. Understanding the risks of certain behaviors is an essential aspect of learning and of teaching our children to live safer lives.

I think one reason this book resonated so strongly with me is because of the ages of Kim and Lindsey.  The kinds of choices you are talking about making are choices made by adults--new territory for Kim.  My friend tells me that there is a study or two out there that show that a person's reasoning and decision making is not fully matured until well into his or her 20s.  People that age think they are invincible and have not yet seen enough "bad stuff" in the world to put their choices into perspective. That is a scary thought to this mom of teenagers! 
 
Kim is living a very independent life, and perhaps makes what we would call some risky choices.  That is going to be the case for almost all teenagers and young adults, unfortunately.  And as Peppermill points out, even some of her non-risky choices may have led to her abduction.
 
I heard this analogy once:  If I walk around a crowded area waving a $100 bill in the air and someone takes it--it is still theft.  (But a wise person doesn't wave it around!)
 
As a parent of kids/young adults this age I walk a fine line between protecting and sheltering them while also trying to scare the you-know-what out of them!  As they get older I make sure they know more about the evil people can do.  It is hard to find the balance.
 
Ann, bookhunter


I think you hit upon an important point in mentioning balance, Ann, because it occurs to me (and I'm partially playing devil's advocate here, I admit) that a little bit of risky behavior might actually make a teen more aware of the possible danger in the world. More aware, at least, than a completely innocent and naive teen would be...
 
I don't mean to imply that Kim's activities were beneficial -- obviously dabbling in drugs is not an ideal way to acquire street smarts! But I was certainly glad to see Lindsay eventually allowed some breathing room and independence.




_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Inspired Correspondent
nfam
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎01-08-2007
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Re: Final Chapters

I enjoyed the book and felt the author did an excellent job of letting us see the changes in the family. I felt that Lindsey got short changed in her growing up because of the emphasis on Kim, but perhaps that would have happened anyway.

My one criticism of the book was that the ending had two rather fantastic occurrences. First we find that the killer was a random serial killer. O'Nan did set that up well in the early chapters with is emphasis on Kim forgetting to get gas. Still it had elements of the fantastic. I suppose random acts always do. The one that bothered me was Mimi finding the body. That was just over the top. Yes, the family wanted closure, but often that doesn't happen. I thought Mimi was a real stretch.

However, it was a thoughtful book and I enjoyed it.
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Final Chapters



nfam wrote:
I enjoyed the book and felt the author did an excellent job of letting us see the changes in the family. I felt that Lindsey got short changed in her growing up because of the emphasis on Kim, but perhaps that would have happened anyway.

My one criticism of the book was that the ending had two rather fantastic occurrences. First we find that the killer was a random serial killer. O'Nan did set that up well in the early chapters with is emphasis on Kim forgetting to get gas. Still it had elements of the fantastic. I suppose random acts always do. The one that bothered me was Mimi finding the body. That was just over the top. Yes, the family wanted closure, but often that doesn't happen. I thought Mimi was a real stretch.

However, it was a thoughtful book and I enjoyed it.

Great point about how Lindsay would likely have grown up in Kim's shadow either way! I hadn't thought of it like that.
 
I think O'Nan also prepared us for the appearance of both Mimi and Wade with Chapter 11 "Crime Stoppers." In fact, I think O'Nan mentions this in his comments over on this thread. That chapter very deliberately highlights numerous grotesque and random possibilities (some more outlandish than others), but also mentions the almost fanatic interest of members of the general public.
 
I wonder if those of you who dislike the Mimi aspect of the conclusion would feel differently if we'd spent more time dicussing that chapter?... 
Contributor
Redhead525
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎03-03-2008
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Re: Final Chapters

I agree with Everyman and MB312.
 
If this is the format for modern fiction (I don't believe that it is), then I would prefer the classics as well.  There was much to much left unresolved for my taste.  I'm not expecting some fairy tale ending where everyone goes happily off into the sunset, but I do expect some resolution of the issues that arise in the story.  We knew much too little about many of the characters and their relationships to one another.  We know so little about Wooze that he could have been left out entirely and the story would have been the same.  What I resent actually, is that Wooze was included and his presence brought up so many questions, none of which were resolved.
 
I thought the book ended much too abruptly.  Identifying a possible killer, having him kill himself before anything is resolved, and then this crazy lady who only lives to search for Kim is all just an easy out for the author.
 
I did enjoy reading the book, perhaps because I thought there would be resolution at the end.  I don't typically read this genre so it was eye opening for me as well.
Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Final Chapters


KxBurns wrote:
.
 
I wonder if those of you who dislike the Mimi aspect of the conclusion would feel differently if we'd spent more time dicussing that chapter?... 




Karen, in MHO, I think the answer is a polite No. I thought the Mimi aspect was over the top as did many other readers; I cannot see how talking more about something you disliked would help anyone feel differently; especially so late in the game.

For example, I dislike tuna fish salad sandwiches so eating more of them would not make me like them any better; it would just leave me with more of a bad taste in my mouth.

I think many would just remain polite or just not continue to post their feelings since they already stated what they felt "once". I have often found that the folks who would continue to post would be the ones who had similar views; so it would not really mean that there was a new consensus; just that folks listened and understood the opposing logic flow; but their opinion had not changed so why bother or stir the pot.

I think it is like politics; everybody for the most part has already made up their mind (lol).

My feelings were that this chapter and Mimi actually diminished the book's quality and its impact.

However, for me personally the plot and book initially and dramatically started to unravel with the chapter "The Killer Next Door".

Karen, you have done a commendable job navigating this book; thank you.

Bentley
Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Final Chapters



Redhead525 wrote:
I agree with Everyman and MB312.
 
If this is the format for modern fiction (I don't believe that it is), then I would prefer the classics as well.  There was much to much left unresolved for my taste.  I'm not expecting some fairy tale ending where everyone goes happily off into the sunset, but I do expect some resolution of the issues that arise in the story.  We knew much too little about many of the characters and their relationships to one another.  We know so little about Wooze that he could have been left out entirely and the story would have been the same.  What I resent actually, is that Wooze was included and his presence brought up so many questions, none of which were resolved.
 
I thought the book ended much too abruptly.  Identifying a possible killer, having him kill himself before anything is resolved, and then this crazy lady who only lives to search for Kim is all just an easy out for the author.
 
I did enjoy reading the book, perhaps because I thought there would be resolution at the end.  I don't typically read this genre so it was eye opening for me as well.





I tend to agree.
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