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KxBurns
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Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Fran

What did you think Fran, Kim's mother? How does Fran change as a result of the events of the novel? Can you pinpoint any particular moments of transformation?
 
Discuss Fran's strengths and weaknesses and how they are heightened or minimized by the loss of Kim.
 
-Karen
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sherdlan
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎02-02-2008
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Re: Fran

Fran seems to be a very "by the book" sort of person.  Well planned out & organized.  Not wanting to show weakness or emotion. 
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Jeanie0522
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎12-24-2007
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Re: Fran

I thought Fran seemed very "needy" before Kim went missing.  She drank a bottle of wine every evening and it was kind of Ed's job to look the other way and take care of things.  She certainly became more self sufficient and dependable after Kim disappeared, but she was still at times self centered.  Throughout the book, I always had the feeling that Fran thought more about how this whole thing was effecting her rather than her daughter that was missing and her daughter that was alive and hurting.  There was also a time near the beginning when Fran admitted to herself that she was jealous that Ed was spending so much time looking for their missing daughter rather than spending the time with her.  I don't think Fran was a bad person by any means, I just felt she didn't have very good coping skills and leaned too much on Ed.  Lindsey also sufferred because of Fran's focus on herself. 
 
The strange thing that I thought happened to Fran's character was that she became a stronger person after Kim's death while Ed (who would have been viewed as the stronger person before the tragedy) became more lost and somewhat helpless. 
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thekoolaidmom
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Registered: ‎04-11-2008
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Re: Fran



Jeanie0522 wrote:
I thought Fran seemed very "needy" before Kim went missing.  She drank a bottle of wine every evening and it was kind of Ed's job to look the other way and take care of things.  She certainly became more self sufficient and dependable after Kim disappeared, but she was still at times self centered.  Throughout the book, I always had the feeling that Fran thought more about how this whole thing was effecting her rather than her daughter that was missing and her daughter that was alive and hurting.  There was also a time near the beginning when Fran admitted to herself that she was jealous that Ed was spending so much time looking for their missing daughter rather than spending the time with her.  I don't think Fran was a bad person by any means, I just felt she didn't have very good coping skills and leaned too much on Ed.  Lindsey also sufferred because of Fran's focus on herself. 
 
The strange thing that I thought happened to Fran's character was that she became a stronger person after Kim's death while Ed (who would have been viewed as the stronger person before the tragedy) became more lost and somewhat helpless. 


I definately agree with you on this.  I also think she kind of found her niche in life as "The Mother of the Missing" and as a crusader for families of lost children everywhere.  I was concerned for their marriage, as she was too focused on it.  
 
I think a major growing moment for Fran was when she was Christmas shopping.  When she was looking at the necklaces, she realized she'd always shopped for herself through them.  Her chance to buy the new styles and wear them vicariously.  She realized it had always been about her.
 
I think Lindsay suffered a lot; punished for her sister's disappearance.  She couldn't ride her bike anymore, had to stay in sight in the back yard.  Fran treated her like she was four.  I'm surprised Lindsay didn't flip and go wild.  But, then again, Fran kept her in check through familial guilt.
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DSaff
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Re: Fran

Fran seemed to be a "settled" mom - husband, home, children, job, etc. She seemed content. Then her daughter came up missing and her world fell apart. Like her husband, I think Fran started running on adrenaline, doing anything she could think of to find Kim. The woman who didn't like to be in the lime-light was suddenly the family spokesperson ("Talent" chapter). I think the interviews and organizational tasks gave her a reason to get up and get going everyday. As I read her reactions, they seemed very plausible to me, very understandable.
 
I would put organizational skills as a strength for Fran. One of the weaknesses I see is that she seems to look past, or not see, the pain Lindsey is feeling. Consumed by her own grief, I think Fran is missing clues from her husband and daughter. Hopefully that will change as the book progresses. But, I also think that this is a normal reaction to news of a missing child.
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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crimefighter4444
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Re: Fran

fran is a complex character both from a love and hate point of view. the love for her missing daughter is evident throughout the story and her hate blossoms as you get further into the story. her glasses of wine keep increasing as the time passes and one can see the change that is slowly changing her persona. in my opinion, she is the main character of this novel.
rich bielecki
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran

I agree with all those who saw this process, tragic as it was, as the making of a more mature Fran, one whom circumstances dragged out of her easy life shell. She is the one who, when the going got tough, got going, while Ed was the one who retreated.

I agree with the comments that have noted the reversal of roles of husband and wife which this tragedy brought on.

DSaff wrote:
Fran seemed to be a "settled" mom - husband, home, children, job, etc. She seemed content. Then her daughter came up missing and her world fell apart. Like her husband, I think Fran started running on adrenaline, doing anything she could think of to find Kim. The woman who didn't like to be in the lime-light was suddenly the family spokesperson ("Talent" chapter). I think the interviews and organizational tasks gave her a reason to get up and get going everyday. As I read her reactions, they seemed very plausible to me, very understandable.
I would put organizational skills as a strength for Fran. One of the weaknesses I see is that she seems to look past, or not see, the pain Lindsey is feeling. Consumed by her own grief, I think Fran is missing clues from her husband and daughter. Hopefully that will change as the book progresses. But, I also think that this is a normal reaction to news of a missing child.



_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
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Re: Fran

While there isn't (yet?) a thread for her, Lindsay is the one I feel sorriest for. Not only is she the closest, certainly in age and I think also emotionally, to Kim, but her life to come is going to be much more circumscribed than Kim's ever was. As the only remaining child, she is going to be mother-henned by Fran to an almost cloying extent.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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pheath
Posts: 82
Registered: ‎02-01-2007
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Re: Fran



Everyman wrote:
I agree with all those who saw this process, tragic as it was, as the making of a more mature Fran, one whom circumstances dragged out of her easy life shell. She is the one who, when the going got tough, got going, while Ed was the one who retreated.

I agree with the comments that have noted the reversal of roles of husband and wife which this tragedy brought on.

DSaff wrote:
Fran seemed to be a "settled" mom - husband, home, children, job, etc. She seemed content. Then her daughter came up missing and her world fell apart. Like her husband, I think Fran started running on adrenaline, doing anything she could think of to find Kim. The woman who didn't like to be in the lime-light was suddenly the family spokesperson ("Talent" chapter). I think the interviews and organizational tasks gave her a reason to get up and get going everyday. As I read her reactions, they seemed very plausible to me, very understandable.
I would put organizational skills as a strength for Fran. One of the weaknesses I see is that she seems to look past, or not see, the pain Lindsey is feeling. Consumed by her own grief, I think Fran is missing clues from her husband and daughter. Hopefully that will change as the book progresses. But, I also think that this is a normal reaction to news of a missing child.








While you make some good points, let's not put Fran up too high on the pedestal. She did turn to medication in order to sleep, and she conked out pretty early in the evenings. Ed resisted this path for quite some time although he didn't handle things well either.

I also didn't like the way that she smothered Lindsay after Kim's disappearance.

Ultimately we see in great detail how two flawed people (in Fran and Ed) deal with a tragic situation. It's easy to point these out in a book, but I think that it would be difficult to keep from showing cracks of some sort in a similar situation.
-Philip
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran



Everyman wrote:
While there isn't (yet?) a thread for her, Lindsay is the one I feel sorriest for. Not only is she the closest, certainly in age and I think also emotionally, to Kim, but her life to come is going to be much more circumscribed than Kim's ever was. As the only remaining child, she is going to be mother-henned by Fran to an almost cloying extent.

I absolutely agree with you. Lindsay is the forgotten one here. As the younger sibling she naturally feels that she is in her sister's shadow. Now that she if missing, I'm sure she wondered if she would ever escape it. She had the final family moments with Kim. She was the last to have quality time with her. I think Lindsay wants to scream, cry, shout, and most of all, help search for her sister.
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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ELee
Posts: 418
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Fran



DSaff wrote:


Everyman wrote:
While there isn't (yet?) a thread for her, Lindsay is the one I feel sorriest for. Not only is she the closest, certainly in age and I think also emotionally, to Kim, but her life to come is going to be much more circumscribed than Kim's ever was. As the only remaining child, she is going to be mother-henned by Fran to an almost cloying extent.

I absolutely agree with you. Lindsay is the forgotten one here. As the younger sibling she naturally feels that she is in her sister's shadow. Now that she if missing, I'm sure she wondered if she would ever escape it. She had the final family moments with Kim. She was the last to have quality time with her. I think Lindsay wants to scream, cry, shout, and most of all, help search for her sister.


Ditto on these points.  I would not want to be Lindsay for the world!  She has no where to go and no one to talk to and her parents behavior only serves to isolate her further.  In particular, her mother seems very selfish and insensitive by expecting Lindsay's reaction to her sister's disappearance to mirror her own.   
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kmensing
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran

Though it's still early in the book, I'm really not liking Fran.  I really thought that she isn't showing enough hysteria for a parent of a missing child.  I think, how can a parent of a missing child not at some point, even in a locked bathroom, shower or closet, simply break down weeping.
 
And poor Lindsay.  I'm thinking that Kim's always been the chosen one, and Lindsay very well knows it.
 
kmensing
 
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MARISSAD115
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Registered: ‎04-21-2008
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Re: Fran

I think the first impression of Fran is that she and her husband don't have the best marriage, or they are drifiting apart almost, and I think Kim going missing gave them a connection and helped bring them closer together. I think before losing Kim she had thought she had given her too much freedom, and she cracked down more on poor Lindsay as a result. If you remember Lindsay had to stay at soemone's house after school while the parents worked or were out, wasn't really allowed to drive too far, and was hounded by Fran. I mean this is a result of them not wanting to lose her too, but there is one part in the book where Fran says this comment to Lindsay later on, and Lindsay's thoughts to herself were "too late".
 
I think her reaction to being kept busy looking for Kim and organizing things was a good role for her, b/c it suited her personality and her idea of always being in controlf of things.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran



KxBurns wrote:
What did you think Fran, Kim's mother? How does Fran change as a result of the events of the novel? Can you pinpoint any particular moments of transformation?
 
Discuss Fran's strengths and weaknesses and how they are heightened or minimized by the loss of Kim.
 
-Karen


I think that Fran was a typical human being mother. She wanted a perfect family. A perfect life for her perfect family. And she didn't mind working for that. She followed a pattern of what she considered that perfect life and family and she was determined to achieve this. Don't most families especially moms set these goals, maybe not intentional but deep within they plan this for their families. Some mothers are more intent on the goals she expects from her family and from herself. I believe Fran was upmost urgent in her need to have that great american wonderful family. And she did work at it. And sometimes we get so comfortable in what we are doing for our family we are not seeing the neglect, the daily contacts with them are dwingling terribly. Attention, close contact is always needed with children at any age especially under eighteen.  Sometimes we just eignore that and tell ourselves all is working good.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran



Jeanie0522 wrote:
I thought Fran seemed very "needy" before Kim went missing.  She drank a bottle of wine every evening and it was kind of Ed's job to look the other way and take care of things.  She certainly became more self sufficient and dependable after Kim disappeared, but she was still at times self centered.  Throughout the book, I always had the feeling that Fran thought more about how this whole thing was effecting her rather than her daughter that was missing and her daughter that was alive and hurting.  There was also a time near the beginning when Fran admitted to herself that she was jealous that Ed was spending so much time looking for their missing daughter rather than spending the time with her.  I don't think Fran was a bad person by any means, I just felt she didn't have very good coping skills and leaned too much on Ed.  Lindsey also sufferred because of Fran's focus on herself. 
 
The strange thing that I thought happened to Fran's character was that she became a stronger person after Kim's death while Ed (who would have been viewed as the stronger person before the tragedy) became more lost and somewhat helpless. 


 I missed that! I thought it was a glass with her meals until Kim disappeared. And then it became a problem that she did not call a problem.
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kiakar
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran



DSaff wrote:
Fran seemed to be a "settled" mom - husband, home, children, job, etc. She seemed content. Then her daughter came up missing and her world fell apart. Like her husband, I think Fran started running on adrenaline, doing anything she could think of to find Kim. The woman who didn't like to be in the lime-light was suddenly the family spokesperson ("Talent" chapter). I think the interviews and organizational tasks gave her a reason to get up and get going everyday. As I read her reactions, they seemed very plausible to me, very understandable.
 
I would put organizational skills as a strength for Fran. One of the weaknesses I see is that she seems to look past, or not see, the pain Lindsey is feeling. Consumed by her own grief, I think Fran is missing clues from her husband and daughter. Hopefully that will change as the book progresses. But, I also think that this is a normal reaction to news of a missing child.


 I agree with you, she was a settled mom until Kim was missing.  Yes, the running on adrenaline.  And its so true Lindsay did suffer alot more than her parents. Parents have a way of forgetting about their other children in times like these. They can't imagine anyone else suffering anywhere as deep as they are.
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jawilt26
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎10-30-2007
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Re: Fran

I did not much like Fran she was way self absorbed. She didn't see that her daughter Lindsey and Her husband were hurting and needed her. I think it was great that she made did start the ball rolling with organizing the search and getting the word out there but she couldn't get out of that frame of mind when she was home alone with the rest of the family. As the book progressed she started to shove the disappearance down people's thoats with her tv appearances and appearances at the footballs games and such I was just really annoyed with her as the story progressed. 
Jodie A Wilt
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cocospals
Posts: 115
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: Fran

There is something about Fran that raised the hairs on the back of my neck.  She seems to become "super-mom" when her child disappears. As a mom, I know if one of mine went missing, I would probably fall apart and let someone else step up and do the press appearances, etc. It was almost like she was enjoying the limelight and I think this effected her relationship with her husband and other daughter.
Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there - John Wooden
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chefdjsb
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Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: Fran

I agree that Fran didn't seem to show much hysteria and while I don't feel as if anyone else really did either, I would have expected it from a mom. In the very early chapters I got the impression that Fran was aloof; not around/aware much and busy with her career. Maybe she's stifling Lindsay because Kim's disappearance has reawakened her.
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krb2g
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Re: Fran



COCOSPALS wrote:
There is something about Fran that raised the hairs on the back of my neck. She seems to become "super-mom" when her child disappears.





I agree with this eerie feeling: Fran's involvement in the search for Kim, especially as time goes by, and they start holding all the events (like releasing the balloons on the baseball field, using the "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" song and pictures Kim would have hated, and holding two memorial services), strikes me as self-absorbed, and more about her own desire for closure than anything else. While I definitely have pity for her, her response to the tragedy seems selfish, and I find myself frustrated by her character.
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