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Bonnie824
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Re: Fran

I think Fran fit with her family. Aside from Kim, the rest of them seem quite self-contained. People who don't get really emotional and don't like a lot of drama in their lives. I also didn't see her as the kind of mother who loves her children as individual people, more like she has a picture of mothers and daughters and plays that role. When she can't blend and play the role of the typical mother in a typical family, she has to come way out of her comfort zone to do what's right for her family.
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JulieC82
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Re: Fran

As a mother, I was expecting to "bond" or identify with Fran and that didn't happen for me. I didn't love her or hate her, I was indifferent towards her, which, in my opinion is worse because I just didn't care about her. That being said, I can't say how I would react in the same situation and hope to God I don't ever have to find out.
 
Fran was the organizer and Ed was the doer. Not that organizing isn't doing it's just different than being out there looking for her.  I think that Fran got involved with the organizing part of it so she didn't really have to face that her daughter was gone. It was her way of being in denial and then coping.
 
I think that she did what she knew how to do best and in the end I think she might have been the stronger of them.
 
 
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bentley
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Re: Fran (Chapter One - Description of the Person, When Last Seen)

[ Edited ]
Fran was a worry wart; but I do not see her as being realistic and being very rational. I could be wrong. On page four, O'Nan tells us: "Her mother worked in an emergency room and thought everyone was going to die in a car crash." That sort of summed it up for me in terms of first impressions.

Fran always wanted to know where everybody would be like this in of itself would keep everybody safe and that she had covered all bases in her own personal "good mothering booklet". What she wanted most was for the daughters to stay out of the police log in the newspaper so that she would not be embarrassed and her husband would not lose business. She half-heartedly told her daughters to let her know if they went anyplace else and they had their phones.

The truth was that Fran really did not want to be bothered or woken up because she had to go to work early and had to be in bed by ten. Let somebody else do the worrying while Kim was out; it wasn't going to be her. She would off load it to someone else, anybody else like her husband. Fran also conveniently could not take her other daughter out for driving practice and off loaded that job on Kim.

I think Fran worked everybody's hot buttons to get them to do whatever she wanted them to do out of guilt or because she made them feel badly about themselves. She had already called Kim selfish because Kim obviously working very hard wanted time for herself. It never occurred to Fran that she was being selfish by offloading all of her unwanted tasks and shouldering everybody else with some of her responsibilities.

Fran was quietly disappointed in Kim's choice for college and just like she was the queen of clipboards in the emergency room, it seemed like she did her job as mother as if she were simply checking off the tasks and saying to herself, "an item/task transferred is an item/task completed". Get the monkey off of your back and transfer it to somebody else, anybody else.

So far I am not that in love with Mom.

Message Edited by bentley on 06-02-2008 10:12 PM
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bookhunter
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Re: Fran (Chapter One - Description of the Person, When Last Seen)

[ Edited ]


bentley wrote:
Fran was a worry wart; but I do not see her as being realistic and being very rational. I could be wrong. On page four, O'Nan tells us: "Her mother worked in an emergency room and thought everyone was going to die in a car crash." That sort of summed it up for me in terms of first impressions.

Fran always wanted to know where everybody would be like this in of itself would keep everybody safe and that she had covered all bases in her own personal "good mothering booklet". What she wanted most was for the daughters to stay out of the police log in the newspaper so that she would not be embarrassed and her husband would not lose business. She half-heartedly told her daughters to let her know if they went anyplace else and they had their phones.

The truth was that Fran really did not want to be bothered or woken up because she had to go to work early and had to be in bed by ten. Let somebody else do the worrying while Kim was out; it wasn't going to be her. She would off load it to someone else, anybody else like her husband. Fran also conveniently could not take her other daughter out for driving practice and off loaded that job on Kim.

I think Fran worked everybody's hot buttons to get them to do whatever she wanted them to do out of guilt or because she made them feel badly about themselves. She had already called Kim selfish because Kim obviously working very hard wanted time for herself. It never occurred to Fran that she was being selfish by offloading all of her unwanted tasks and shouldering everybody else with some of her responsibilities.

Fran was quietly disappointed in Kim's choice for college and just like she was the queen of clipboards in the emergency room, it seemed like she did her job as mother as if she were simply checking off the tasks and saying to herself, "an item/task transferred is an item/task completed". Get the monkey off of your back and transfer it to somebody else, anybody else.

So far I am not that in love with Mom.

Message Edited by bentley on 06-02-2008 10:12 PM

Ouch, ouch, bentley!  You and many others are making me feel like I need to come to Fran's defense.  I found a lot in common with her.  It is very hard for me to transition from being the MOM all the time to being the mom of these young women that have suddenly appeared in my house.  (My girls are exactly where Kim and Lindsey are in the book--even down to the driving practice.  We don't have a DQ in our small town--it is a Sonic.)  I don't THINK there are any drug secrets lurking in their lives, but I am sure there ARE things I don't know about. 
 
I have to allow them some freedom to make their own decisions and can't hover over every move they make.  The girls in the novel are sort of laughing at mom saying "just stay out of the police logs" but that is about where I am with my girls.  I often say exactly what Fran said...call if you go anywhere else.
 
And I watch the news (and read novels!) that make me fear there is a dangerous stranger lurking around every corner just waiting for them.  Do I lock them in the tower until they are grown (as I often threaten to do...) or do I hold my breath, say a prayer and let them have some freedom?
 
I also think these first impressions of Fran are seen through the eyes of Kim and Lindsey.  What teen doesn't make a little fun of their folks?  Mine just called me a "nerd" for sitting here at the beach on the computer participating in an online bookclub discussion! 
Ann, bookhunter
 
PS I am editing this to add that I don't mean to get into an arguement about what the best parenting methods are!  It was remarkable to me that Fran and her situation was so like me in many ways, but I really won't take it personally that you all don't like her!  The book isn't about me! :smileyhappy:


Message Edited by bookhunter on 06-02-2008 11:15 PM
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bentley
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Re: Fran (Chapter One - Description of the Person, When Last Seen)


bookhunter wrote:


bentley wrote:
Fran was a worry wart; but I do not see her as being realistic and being very rational. I could be wrong. On page four, O'Nan tells us: "Her mother worked in an emergency room and thought everyone was going to die in a car crash." That sort of summed it up for me in terms of first impressions.

Fran always wanted to know where everybody would be like this in of itself would keep everybody safe and that she had covered all bases in her own personal "good mothering booklet". What she wanted most was for the daughters to stay out of the police log in the newspaper so that she would not be embarrassed and her husband would not lose business. She half-heartedly told her daughters to let her know if they went anyplace else and they had their phones.

The truth was that Fran really did not want to be bothered or woken up because she had to go to work early and had to be in bed by ten. Let somebody else do the worrying while Kim was out; it wasn't going to be her. She would off load it to someone else, anybody else like her husband. Fran also conveniently could not take her other daughter out for driving practice and off loaded that job on Kim.

I think Fran worked everybody's hot buttons to get them to do whatever she wanted them to do out of guilt or because she made them feel badly about themselves. She had already called Kim selfish because Kim obviously working very hard wanted time for herself. It never occurred to Fran that she was being selfish by offloading all of her unwanted tasks and shouldering everybody else with some of her responsibilities.

Fran was quietly disappointed in Kim's choice for college and just like she was the queen of clipboards in the emergency room, it seemed like she did her job as mother as if she were simply checking off the tasks and saying to herself, "an item/task transferred is an item/task completed". Get the monkey off of your back and transfer it to somebody else, anybody else.

So far I am not that in love with Mom.

Message Edited by bentley on 06-02-2008 10:12 PM

Ouch, ouch, bentley!  You and many others are making me feel like I need to come to Fran's defense.  I found a lot in common with her.  It is very hard for me to transition from being the MOM all the time to being the mom of these young women that have suddenly appeared in my house.  (My girls are exactly where Kim and Lindsey are in the book--even down to the driving practice.  We don't have a DQ in our small town--it is a Sonic.)  I don't THINK there are any drug secrets lurking in their lives, but I am sure there ARE things I don't know about. 
 
I have to allow them some freedom to make their own decisions and can't hover over every move they make.  The girls in the novel are sort of laughing at mom saying "just stay out of the police logs" but that is about where I am with my girls.  I often say exactly what Fran said...call if you go anywhere else.
 
And I watch the news (and read novels!) that make me fear there is a dangerous stranger lurking around every corner just waiting for them.  Do I lock them in the tower until they are grown (as I often threaten to do...) or do I hold my breath, say a prayer and let them have some freedom?
 
I also think these first impressions of Fran are seen through the eyes of Kim and Lindsey.  What teen doesn't make a little fun of their folks?  Mine just called me a "nerd" for sitting here at the beach on the computer participating in an online bookclub discussion! 
Ann, bookhunter





Hey Bookhunter...I am just starting out and I am only interpreting Fran based upon O'Nan's statements regarding her. Who knows I may change my mind as I go along. I did see your comment because my post was quoted; but I have been trying to just get through the first third of the book to get caught up and then I will reread these sections which in this First Look might even go beyond Chapter Thirteen. There is a lot of room to run into spoilers otherwise which may ruin the reading experience. I did not see some of O'Nan's statements as being through Kim's thoughts solely or even Lindsay. In fact, I sometimes thought that he was switching back and forth from being an omniscient narrator to what was going on in a character's head. In this day and age, as a parent I do not think that you can be too careful. And even then, you cannot be sure or make your children invincible or immortal. We live in different times than when we grew up; that just is the way it is. Don't get too carried away in identifying with Fran. Fran I think was disconnected from the reality of living in the present with her family. She missed most of the week with them and then on the weekend was never on the same wavelength. I think she was either thinking about what might have been or worrying about the future thinking the present could take care of itself. Don't worry; I am sure you have more of a handle on what is going on than this character did. Take care...and I will catch you later.

Bentley
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streamsong
Posts: 118
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran

Bonnie 824 I think your statement is very true. To me there seems to be an emotional disconnect with everyone in this book. I can believe that Fran is the sort to keep herself busy and that her busy-ness is what is keeping her afloat. But did anyone shed tears over Kim being missing in the first 13 chapters?
 
 
"I think Fran fit with her family. Aside from Kim, the rest of them seem quite self-contained. People who don't get really emotional and don't like a lot of drama in their lives.'
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kiakar
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Re: Fran



vivico1 wrote:

Carmenere_lady wrote:
I agree with some of you that Over the rainbow was a bit over the top. It doesn't help her to find Kim it only makes her become more of a victim and a little pathetic.


Hey guys, instead of Somewhere over the Rainbow, how about the song, Somewhere Out There, from that disney cartoon movie. I love that song lol, and at least it says, somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight, someone's thinking of me, and loving me tonight. Goes on to say and then we'll be together. Remember, the song about the little lost mouse that turned into a big hit? Just a thought lol. What is it with that song anyway? Was it her favorite? I dont remember. I know it makes her sister cry when she doesn't want to about the song, but I think I would too if it was that Hawaiian guys version who died. If its not her favorite, it is a kind of strange song for this. Somewhere Out There is a "Song for the Missing". :smileywink:

Message Edited by vivico1 on 06-02-2008 08:52 PM

Yes, Vivian. I love that song "Somewhere out there"  Yes, the perfect one, there is hope.
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CAG
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Re: Fran



kiakar wrote:


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 a lot 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.


Indeed, as a parent I think it easy to forget what your other children are feeling and need when one child is in a crisis. I think Fran may medicate herself with her wine and yet I think she has deep down strengths and that is what comes through when she starts doing everything she can to find her child. I can't imagine what this family is going through. I like Fran and I see her a human. I think her way of coping with this terrible event is by doing what she is doing, organizing, finding information, giving interviews. I am not sure I would have that ability to carry on if I was in her place.  
CAG
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tt4now87
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Registered: ‎02-06-2008
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Re: Fran

I think Fran seemed a little nutty from the get go, but I liked her. She was self-absorbed, annoying at times, but also a champion for the cause. Eventually she showed strength and confidence that she probably hadn't had before Kim's disappearance. Her personality, character, marriage and even personal appearance evolved. At one point, I believe it was Nina, internally, noticed the dramatic changes in Fran. While Ed was pulling away, Fran was trying to pull him back in. In the beginning of this story I don't think she would have tried so hard to get close to Ed again. Like, the fishing trip.
Melissa_W
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Re: Fran (Chapter One - Description of the Person, When Last Seen)

That is almost exactly what I had been thinking about Fran; something just rubbed me the wrong way and I was having trouble putting together a coherent thought.  Fran seemed so "blah" about Kim staying out so late.  My own mom, didn't matter what time she had to work in the morning, never actually went to sleep until we were all safely back home.  And this was pre-cell phone, so we couldn't just call and say the car had a flat or anything.
 
Since I'm also reading Persuasion right now, I really noticed the emphasis Fran placed on staying out of trouble for the sake of the family name.  Kim probably translated that as "what mom and the police don't know won't kill them."
 
I also balked at the whole Kim-taking-Lindsay-driving sequence.  While it provides a really nice reference point for Lindsay later, it really should have been the parents' job to take Lindsay driving.  I was four years ahead of my older-younger brother in school and six years ahead of the youngest but there was no way Dad would have let me out in the car by myself so they could practice.  I was not "adult" enough at 19 or 21 (aside from the fact that we were all so stubborn we'd have gotten into an accident in the driveway).
 
Maybe that's the crux of the problem - Kim asserts her "adultness" by graduating, turning 18, etc. and so Fran puts some of her "adult" responsibilities off on Kim.

bentley wrote:
Fran was a worry wart; but I do not see her as being realistic and being very rational. I could be wrong. On page four, O'Nan tells us: "Her mother worked in an emergency room and thought everyone was going to die in a car crash." That sort of summed it up for me in terms of first impressions.

Fran always wanted to know where everybody would be like this in of itself would keep everybody safe and that she had covered all bases in her own personal "good mothering booklet". What she wanted most was for the daughters to stay out of the police log in the newspaper so that she would not be embarrassed and her husband would not lose business. She half-heartedly told her daughters to let her know if they went anyplace else and they had their phones.

The truth was that Fran really did not want to be bothered or woken up because she had to go to work early and had to be in bed by ten. Let somebody else do the worrying while Kim was out; it wasn't going to be her. She would off load it to someone else, anybody else like her husband. Fran also conveniently could not take her other daughter out for driving practice and off loaded that job on Kim.

I think Fran worked everybody's hot buttons to get them to do whatever she wanted them to do out of guilt or because she made them feel badly about themselves. She had already called Kim selfish because Kim obviously working very hard wanted time for herself. It never occurred to Fran that she was being selfish by offloading all of her unwanted tasks and shouldering everybody else with some of her responsibilities.

Fran was quietly disappointed in Kim's choice for college and just like she was the queen of clipboards in the emergency room, it seemed like she did her job as mother as if she were simply checking off the tasks and saying to herself, "an item/task transferred is an item/task completed". Get the monkey off of your back and transfer it to somebody else, anybody else.

So far I am not that in love with Mom.

Message Edited by bentley on 06-02-2008 10:12 PM


Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
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BookWoman718
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Re: Fran (Chapter One - Description of the Person, When Last Seen)

book hunter wrote:

Ouch, ouch, bentley! You and many others are making me feel like I need to come to Fran's defense. I found a lot in common with her. It is very hard for me to transition from being the MOM all the time to being the mom of these young women that have suddenly appeared in my house. (My girls are exactly where Kim and Lindsey are in the book--even down to the driving practice. We don't have a DQ in our small town--it is a Sonic.) I don't THINK there are any drug secrets lurking in their lives, but I am sure there ARE things I don't know about.

I have to allow them some freedom to make their own decisions and can't hover over every move they make. The girls in the novel are sort of laughing at mom saying "just stay out of the police logs" but that is about where I am with my girls. I often say exactly what Fran said...call if you go anywhere else.

And I watch the news (and read novels!) that make me fear there is a dangerous stranger lurking around every corner just waiting for them. Do I lock them in the tower until they are grown (as I often threaten to do...) or do I hold my breath, say a prayer and let them have some freedom?

I also think these first impressions of Fran are seen through the eyes of Kim and Lindsey. What teen doesn't make a little fun of their folks? Mine just called me a "nerd" for sitting here at the beach on the computer participating in an online bookclub discussion!

Ann, bookhunter

PS I am editing this to add that I don't mean to get into an arguement about what the best parenting methods are! It was remarkable to me that Fran and her situation was so like me in many ways, but I really won't take it personally that you all don't like her! The book isn't about me!

Message Edited by bookhunter on 06-02-2008 11:15 PM

 

Ann, I just wanted to say that I tend to fall in line with your way of thinking about Fran. Having finished a while ago raising my own two kids and four steps, I agree that they need to be allowed to start finding their own way before that fateful fall day when you install them in their first dormitory room at college. They have to be allowed to MAKE some mistakes before they can learn from them. There’s a term that’s applied to many of today’s parents - ‘helicopter moms’ - always hovering. I saw a news show awhile back with some extreme examples, like the mom who calls her daughter at college every morning to wake her up, and keeps calling back time after time until she’s sure the ‘girl’ is up. And here I thought the idea was to raise responsible adults…

If Fran or Ed weren’t waiting up for 15 year-old Lindsey, that’s a problem. But for her to wait up every night, sacrificing her own sleep and job performance, for a young adult daughter, is equally a problem. Who’s going to be waiting up for her in three more months? Do you think colleges still act in loco parentis? Of course, Fran and Ed could set more boundaries since Kim is still in ‘their‘ house; hopefully they did when she was younger. But O’Nan sets the stage so that there’s no indication that Kim has disappeared because of anything her parents did or didn’t do. She made it home OK, she was on her way to work despite feeling like a day off. Acting responsibly. The idea that we as parents are responsible for everything that can happen to a young adult child is just wishful thinking. “If we just pay enough attention, do everything right, stay connected (despite the fact that kids should be learning how to DISCONNECT at that age), keep our marriages sound, etc. etc., then everything will be all right” We will be in control of the bad things that could affect an adult child’s life, as we were in her early childhood. That’s wrong. We won’t, we can’t, we shouldn’t be.

Fran does what needs to be done about Kim’s disappearance: tries to keep it in the public view. Everyone today is aware that media attention can be the key to locating a missing person. Ed wants to find her himself, that too is understandable, if a somewhat naïve and emotional reaction. But if Fran can inspire hundreds of people to look, to watch for Kim’s car, to keep her face in mind, who is more likely to be ultimately successful? I don’t like the way either of them overlooks Lindsey and her pain. I’ve never been in that situation for a prolonged period myself, so I can only hope that I never would have done that. But it happens when one child is emotionally disturbed, or chronically ill, or drug-addicted, or whatever. You give where you see the most dire need, and you almost can’t bring yourself to devote significant time to what seem to be the lesser needs of other kids, or a spouse.

As readers, we so much want to find Kim, to learn what happened to her, what went wrong, who might have been involved. We share, in a very minor way, what her parents and friends are going through. Unless we have been there, we dare not judge too harshly.

 

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DSaff
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Re: Fran



vivico1 wrote:

Hey guys, instead of Somewhere over the Rainbow, how about the song, Somewhere Out There, from that disney cartoon movie. I love that song lol, and at least it says, somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight, someone's thinking of me, and loving me tonight. Goes on to say and then we'll be together. Remember, the song about the little lost mouse that turned into a big hit? Just a thought lol. What is it with that song anyway? Was it her favorite? I dont remember. I know it makes her sister cry when she doesn't want to about the song, but I think I would too if it was that Hawaiian guys version who died. If its not her favorite, it is a kind of strange song for this. Somewhere Out There is a "Song for the Missing". :smileywink:


I like both songs. I love "An American Tale," and Fievel is one of my favorite Disney characters.  :smileyvery-happy:
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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nhawkinsII
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran

Fran became the family spokesperson...Imagine that! How tough it must have been to become the "media darling"...She stepped outside her normal life in Kingville and took the search for her daugher beyond the bounds of her town...It was the only way she could keep her daughter "alive"...

She and Ed were realistic enough to know when Kim didn't come home and none of her closest friends knew where she was they needed to contact the police. When the police weren't responding fast enough, they took "matters in their hands" with Ed searching locally (on his own and organizing daily search teams) and with Fran seeking media attention. Within a short period of time I think they both realized their daughter Kim was never coming home and they were attempting to bring her home for the last time.

It is not surprising Fran contacted her coworkers for support. (As I recall she was an only child...Ed's brother was not particularly close.) And I think her coworkers really provided her with that extra level of support...she had been fortunate in her choice of friends...
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thewanderingjew
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Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Fran

maybe there is no correct response or reaction but rather, simply, the "one" we have, or perhaps there is one reaction that we we choose at the moment which we think is the most appropriate or lacking that ability because of grief, the one we can handle best so as not to break down totally.  
once, when my husband was in the news because of a business controversy and my children were in grade school, i received a phone call from a child shouting "mommy, help me, someone has me". the conversation ended when mid-scream, the phone disconnected.
my reaction was sheer horror and disbelief and i was filled with an immediate nausea caused by fear. feeling like i was moving in slow motion, i called the school to check to see if both my kids were still at lunch and then, fearing that this was a warning, i collected them, took them home and smothered them with love and over protection, keeping them close and home from school for several days. my final tasks were to put a trace on the phone and get a state of the art security system because we were vulnerable. 
however, for me, fortunately, it wasn't real. i can't imagine the horror of waking up knowing my child was really missing. it would be the first thought in my mind and my last, like bookends threatening to crush me with the sheer weight of the fear that would follow. is there an appropriate response or do we simply blindly react, not caring or thinking that we are on display for others to judge in a soundbite?
i can remember when my dad was dying, i always steeled myself before walking into his room. i carried a smile in with me like baggage and always tried to have a cheery comment or story to tell. when my mom accused me of being cold, i was amazed. i was simply trying to keep everyone's spirits buoyed. when i was alone, i cried, ranted and raved at the injustice of it all while at the same time making arrangements to see every quack doctor alive in hopes of finding a cure for him.
on another occasion, after a car accident, i screamed and shouted rudely out of frustration, fear, confusion and a host of other emotions which hijacked me. it was totally inappropriate. if i was judged by reactions to either of these two occasions you would not know the real me at all.
don't we sometimes hide our emotions so as not to appear weak, even to ourselves? then again, aren't some people more private not wanting the world to see them appear vulnerable even in the face of awful circumstances?
often, we rush to judgement because without ever really know the underlying circumstances creating a particular reaction or image, at a particular moment, our 24 hour news coverage reinforces our first response. perhaps, giving the benefit of the doubt to all victims and accused would help us to more quickly reach a rational conclusion and lead us to follow the right clues and path to a solution.
twj


vivico1 wrote:

... I'm really not liking Fran. I really thought that she isn't showing enough hysteria for a parent of a missing child...
kmensing



...I really don't hear or feel any real hysteria or the kind of anguish I would expect from any of them right now. ...Someone would be reacting more, even with the shock, someones feelings would be just immense! I am not getting that and that part of getting into the story is not working for me. Again, now anyway.


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ELee
Posts: 418
Registered: ‎10-26-2006
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Re: Fran



thewanderingjew wrote:
maybe there is no correct response or reaction but rather, simply, the "one" we have, or perhaps there is one reaction that we we choose at the moment which we think is the most appropriate or lacking that ability because of grief, the one we can handle best so as not to break down totally...  
 
often, we rush to judgement because without ever really know the underlying circumstances creating a particular reaction or image, at a particular moment, our 24 hour news coverage reinforces our first response.

 
Is it a human tendency to personalize an experience like this by interjecting our own emotions and opinions into the equation?
 
Do we pass judgment based on what their reactions are, or what we think they should be?
 
 
 

 
Contributor
noannie
Posts: 21
Registered: ‎02-04-2008
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Re: Fran

I think Fran is the type of person who could not face reality. Before Kim went missing she always drank a bottle of wine before dinner. After Kim went missing she also drank, but also took sleeping pills and went into a coma every night. She seemed cold towards her husband and her daughter Lyndsey. To me she was selfish and only worried about herself.
 
noannie
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Maria_H
Posts: 791
Registered: ‎07-19-2007
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Re: Fran

Very well put!


thewanderingjew wrote:
maybe there is no correct response or reaction but rather, simply, the "one" we have, or perhaps there is one reaction that we we choose at the moment which we think is the most appropriate or lacking that ability because of grief, the one we can handle best so as not to break down totally.

[clipped]

often, we rush to judgement because without ever really know the underlying circumstances creating a particular reaction or image, at a particular moment, our 24 hour news coverage reinforces our first response. perhaps, giving the benefit of the doubt to all victims and accused would help us to more quickly reach a rational conclusion and lead us to follow the right clues and path to a solution.
twj



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dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran

I don't see Fran as a flawed character, to me she is dealing with something so horrendous that she's just flying blind and doing as she's coached by the people she trusts. I was saddened that she used alcohol and sleeping pills to cope, but in her shoes I'd probably have to buy stock in the pill company because I'd be using them regularly too. And also I don't know that she turned to those things I think she was a drinker before though I don't remember if the book mentioned that she took sleeping pills. I like her as well as the rest of the family and wish the book was based on fiction instead of fact. I don't know what I would do in this family's shoes and hope I never find out.
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mom2alexmegcoop
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎04-12-2008
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Re: Fran

The thing that kept striking me as the mother of girls, is that I tried not to be critical of her reaction to the situation, because I kept thinking I have no idea how I would react if I were in the same situation. Would I break down and be utterly useless or would I find a way as Fran did to solider on and coordinate search efforts and make flyers and do interviews. just don't know if I would be able to.

I think Fran was connected to Kim more so than she was Lindsey, or as much as any mother can be connected to their 18 year old daughter. I think Fran was really a strong woman, stronger than even she herself thought she could be, I definitely saw that as a strength.
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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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Fran (Chapter One - Description of the Person, When Last Seen)



BookWoman718 wrote:

book hunter wrote:

Ouch, ouch, bentley! You and many others are making me feel like I need to come to Fran's defense. I found a lot in common with her. It is very hard for me to transition from being the MOM all the time to being the mom of these young women that have suddenly appeared in my house. (My girls are exactly where Kim and Lindsey are in the book--even down to the driving practice. We don't have a DQ in our small town--it is a Sonic.) I don't THINK there are any drug secrets lurking in their lives, but I am sure there ARE things I don't know about.

I have to allow them some freedom to make their own decisions and can't hover over every move they make. The girls in the novel are sort of laughing at mom saying "just stay out of the police logs" but that is about where I am with my girls. I often say exactly what Fran said...call if you go anywhere else.

And I watch the news (and read novels!) that make me fear there is a dangerous stranger lurking around every corner just waiting for them. Do I lock them in the tower until they are grown (as I often threaten to do...) or do I hold my breath, say a prayer and let them have some freedom?

I also think these first impressions of Fran are seen through the eyes of Kim and Lindsey. What teen doesn't make a little fun of their folks? Mine just called me a "nerd" for sitting here at the beach on the computer participating in an online bookclub discussion!

Ann, bookhunter

PS I am editing this to add that I don't mean to get into an arguement about what the best parenting methods are! It was remarkable to me that Fran and her situation was so like me in many ways, but I really won't take it personally that you all don't like her! The book isn't about me!

Message Edited by bookhunter on 06-02-2008 11:15 PM

 

Ann, I just wanted to say that I tend to fall in line with your way of thinking about Fran. Having finished a while ago raising my own two kids and four steps, I agree that they need to be allowed to start finding their own way before that fateful fall day when you install them in their first dormitory room at college. They have to be allowed to MAKE some mistakes before they can learn from them. There’s a term that’s applied to many of today’s parents - ‘helicopter moms’ - always hovering. I saw a news show awhile back with some extreme examples, like the mom who calls her daughter at college every morning to wake her up, and keeps calling back time after time until she’s sure the ‘girl’ is up. And here I thought the idea was to raise responsible adults…

If Fran or Ed weren’t waiting up for 15 year-old Lindsey, that’s a problem. But for her to wait up every night, sacrificing her own sleep and job performance, for a young adult daughter, is equally a problem. Who’s going to be waiting up for her in three more months? Do you think colleges still act in loco parentis? Of course, Fran and Ed could set more boundaries since Kim is still in ‘their‘ house; hopefully they did when she was younger. But O’Nan sets the stage so that there’s no indication that Kim has disappeared because of anything her parents did or didn’t do. She made it home OK, she was on her way to work despite feeling like a day off. Acting responsibly. The idea that we as parents are responsible for everything that can happen to a young adult child is just wishful thinking. “If we just pay enough attention, do everything right, stay connected (despite the fact that kids should be learning how to DISCONNECT at that age), keep our marriages sound, etc. etc., then everything will be all right” We will be in control of the bad things that could affect an adult child’s life, as we were in her early childhood. That’s wrong. We won’t, we can’t, we shouldn’t be.

Fran does what needs to be done about Kim’s disappearance: tries to keep it in the public view. Everyone today is aware that media attention can be the key to locating a missing person. Ed wants to find her himself, that too is understandable, if a somewhat naïve and emotional reaction. But if Fran can inspire hundreds of people to look, to watch for Kim’s car, to keep her face in mind, who is more likely to be ultimately successful? I don’t like the way either of them overlooks Lindsey and her pain. I’ve never been in that situation for a prolonged period myself, so I can only hope that I never would have done that. But it happens when one child is emotionally disturbed, or chronically ill, or drug-addicted, or whatever. You give where you see the most dire need, and you almost can’t bring yourself to devote significant time to what seem to be the lesser needs of other kids, or a spouse.

As readers, we so much want to find Kim, to learn what happened to her, what went wrong, who might have been involved. We share, in a very minor way, what her parents and friends are going through. Unless we have been there, we dare not judge too harshly.

 

Yes,  UNLESS WE HAVE BEEN THERE  that is a powerful statement, that is so very true! If you have never had teenagers, you do not know the human strain, it is on parents to quizzibly wonder if they are making the right moves.  No one knows for sure, they are doing the right or wrong thing when it comes to teenagers. I don't think just being a teenager upt teen yrs ago does not make you knowledgeable on what or how to raise teens. Its a one day at a time scenio that takes all the patience in the world and then some more. And alot of times, people fail, but hey, we are all human.


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