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KxBurns
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Re: Hope



djohns64 wrote:
Hope really is the whole meaning in this story. The hope of finding Kim safe and ready to go to college. Hope changing into how it all could have been different. Maybe they should have kept a closer watch on her life style, her friends and acquaintances. But still the hope of finding her alive. Then the hope of just finding her to say goodbye and have a sense of closure. So they could move on in a stronger marriage and Lindsay growing independent  from her sisters shadow.


You and Bentley rightfully bring up Lindsay here. As the hopes of recovering Kim dwindle, Lindsay becomes the new vehicle for Fran and Ed's hopes. Not that they didn't always have hopes for both their children, but when Kim is gone, they channel all their hopes for how they could have done it differently with Kim onto Lindsay.
 
I think this makes her one of the most fascinating characters in the book, and I cant wait till we discuss her in greater detail a couple of weeks from now!
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KxBurns
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Re: Hope



bookhunter wrote:
SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE WHOLE BOOk!!
 
What happens when hope ends and has to move to acceptance of the worst?  Is there still hope after that? Someone suggested that HOPE could be a title of the book, but doesn the term apply to the ending chapters?  What hope, if any still is there for the people in the novel?
 
My first answer....the hope that this experience...Fran's activist work in particular...may prevent it from happening to someone else.  That is not hope within the family, maybe, but within the local and larger community.
 
Ann, bookhunter


Great point, Ann! Of all the shifts in hope, the one I found most intriguing and the saddest was when they begin to hope that Kim was one of Wade's victims so that they can at least have closure and get him to reveal the location of her body. It's a grim hope -- as you say an "acceptance of the worst" -- and even then Fran admits she would prefer it to be Wozniak so at least it would make sense.    
There can be no hope of a happy outcome for Kim, so the only hope at the end is to turn outward. I do think there's the small hope within the family that they can move on. One sign of moving on is when they notice Wooze visiting the grave and it pleases Fran to know Kim has regular visitors. It struck me, reading that, how much time has passed.
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va-BBoomer
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Re: Hope

Hope definitely varies as the story progressed.  From the beginning, hope was getting Kim back alive, however she would come back - on her own, or surviving anything she was subjected to.  At the end, then  hope was to have closure and her body back home.  When Kim is found and brought home, then hope turns to Lindsay and her family in that they can continue with life as best they can, and get some happiness with it.
 
Fran's hope in her dealing with the media and being a spokesperson/activist was in that no one else would have to go through what her family had to deal with.  In reality, one person is still a very well known and continuing activist and has had great success in finding kidnapped kids and catching the kidnappers/killers, etc since he started dealing with the media and Congress in trying to make things better and safer for other kids - John Walsh, who everyone knows lost his oldest child/son (so we assume that the presumed killer did it randomly, in that he didn't know the Walsh family) in a similar manner as Kim was taken; except that Adam Walsh was much younger. 
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hannah7299
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Re: Hope

[ Edited ]
I agree that the story is based around hope.  Hope is what kept the search for Kim alive.  Outside of the disappearance, I felt hope with other characters as well.  For Fran, hope that her relationship with Ed would survive, hope that she could bond with Lindsay in a way she had with Kim.  For Lindsay, hope that she could find peace in what had happened, hope that she would no longer live in Kim's shadow.  For JP, hope that he would be understood by Kim's family and hope that Nina would realize his feelings for her.  And for the older woman, hope that she would find Kim's body.  I felt like the hope to find Kim began to fade over time for Ed and Lindsay.  Fran was so hopeful to find Kim that she seemed to abandon her family's needs for her as a mother and a wife.  However, I think the overall hope for Kim's family was not only to know what happened to Kim, but to find closure and be able to move on in their lives after such a loss.


Message Edited by hannah7299 on 06-03-2008 07:29 PM
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BookSavage
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Re: Hope



thekoolaidmom wrote:
this entire novel is based on hope. -Crimefighter4444 
 
I agree.  I think the one major hope in the book is that there's a hope it could have all been prevented, or predicted, which we find out in the end it was utterly random.  It was definately easier to think Wooze had something to do with it, which would have meant they could have saved her.  A random crazy stranger is unforseeable.


I think the fact that it does end with the reader finding out that it was a random act makes the hope almost disappear at the end of the book.
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kiakar
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Re: Hope



BookSavage wrote:


thekoolaidmom wrote:
this entire novel is based on hope. -Crimefighter4444 
 
I agree.  I think the one major hope in the book is that there's a hope it could have all been prevented, or predicted, which we find out in the end it was utterly random.  It was definately easier to think Wooze had something to do with it, which would have meant they could have saved her.  A random crazy stranger is unforseeable.


I think the fact that it does end with the reader finding out that it was a random act makes the hope almost disappear at the end of the book.



But with Faith there is always Hope.   Even after the fact.  They will see her some day. They have her memories. And their hope for them selves through living with this tragedy.
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LucyintheOC
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Re: Hope

Next to the initial search period, for me the most difficult part in moving along with the story was the need to face the reality that the best they/we could "hope" for was a recovery of the body. Turning that corner is never easy and I found myself rooting for each of them -- the family and the friends, too -- hoping they could somehow recover themselves and move on as life moved on. The questions of how to do this and when to do this are not easily answered. The family has been mentioned quite a bit, but what about her friends? They were kind of just dangling out there without much help or guidance.
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pheath
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Re: Hope



LucyintheOC wrote:
[Clipped] The questions of how to do this and when to do this are not easily answered. The family has been mentioned quite a bit, but what about her friends? They were kind of just dangling out there without much help or guidance.





Possibly, but I think this is more a function of the fact that the story had to have a boundary. We aren't told much about how Kim's friends interacted with their parents during this time. I would hope that they were getting support through these channels. However it would have bogged down the story to try to give a full account of every character's actions.
-Philip
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dhaupt
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Re: Hope

At the start of the book there was hope by family and friends that Kim would be found safe which evolved into hope that her remains would be found at some point.
Her friends hoped that they at first didn't have to tell their secret and after they did they hoped that in didn't impair the investigation and in the end they hoped to be forgiven by the family.
Lindsay hoped at first to be able to do something to help, followed by hoping she wouldn't always be known as Kim's sister and in the end she just hoped it would all end.
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ELee
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Re: Hope



dhaupt wrote:
At the start of the book there was hope by family and friends that Kim would be found safe which evolved into hope that her remains would be found at some point.
Her friends hoped that they at first didn't have to tell their secret and after they did they hoped that in didn't impair the investigation and in the end they hoped to be forgiven by the family.
Lindsay hoped at first to be able to do something to help, followed by hoping she wouldn't always be known as Kim's sister and in the end she just hoped it would all end.

I think you are right.  There is a kind of evolution of hope, whose direction must change along with the growth of the characters.  The thing that struck me was O'Nan's perceptive observation of human nature in the hours following the discovery of Kim's disappearance.  His characters had a hard time moving forward.  It was as if taking any action would confirm that she was gone forever and remove her from a "new" history that they would create from this point on.   Each action that they could take to try to "recover" Kim and bring her closer only served to distance her farther from them.  Quite an interesting conflict.       
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bmbrennan
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Re: Hope

Do Fran & Ed finally focus on Lindsay because Kim is no longer there to overshadow her?  I always got the impression that when the family was whole, Lindsay was almost an afterthought.  I think that the parents initially hoped Kim was at a friends, then hoped she would be found.  I do like how O'Nan handled the dimensions of hope.
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krb2g
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Re: Hope


BookSavage wrote:
I think the fact that it does end with the reader finding out that it was a random act makes the hope almost disappear at the end of the book.





I don't think that the final word on what happened to Kim should change our response to the hope the family feels throughout the process. If anything, I think hope helps them move on with their lives both before and after they learn the truth. As Fran organizes the public campaign for Kim, she picks a song "Somewhere over the Rainbow" and a corresponding rainbow image that both express the family's hopes. (Kiakar also responded to this post and commented on the link between faith and hope--in the Judeo-Christian tradition, the rainbow is a powerfully charged symbol of hope). As other readers have noticed, the nature of hope changes throughout the book, but in all the stages, hope keeps the family from being entirely crippled by grief.
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nfam
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Re: Hope

Hope is the major theme of this novel. The parents needed hope. They couldn't have gone on without it. Hope was there until the very end and then there was the hope for resolution. They hoped that they would have closure, know what happened. I think this is a very human reaction at the end we hope for closure so that we can go on with our lives.
 
The character of hope changed throughout the book at times it was bright and shining, (if we can only do a little more we'll find Kim). Over the course of the novel hope waned. The focus changed from hope that Kim was alive to hope that they would be able to go on to come out at the end and still be a family. I thought it was very realistic.
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bmbrennan
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Re: Hope

I don't know if hope is the right word here, I reread the early chapters again last night and while initially the story line implies hope, when you see the characters all together everyone has their own agenda for helping in the search.  What kind of parents would they be if they did not search for their daughter?  Fran and Ed always seem cognizant of their public personnas.  Lindsay's  guilted into it by her father's "If you were missing, what do you think Kim would be doing?  Lindsay wants to be the one to save Kim for the first time in her life.  Lindsay hopes she doesn't become the focus of the family now with Kim missing she just wants to continue in the shadows where she's comfortable.  JP wants to find her because she left him.  The friends want to find her because they need their secret kept.  Then the friends hope the secret being discovered doesn't backfire on them.  So many agendas crashing on one plane.
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When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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JulieC82
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Re: Hope

I think that Nina, JP and Elise relied on each other. After a while, they had moved on with their lives, as teenagers often do. Especially as they began to remove themselves from the search.
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Peppermill
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Re: Hope

I was fascinated when I realized no subject labeled "Fear" was planned -- nor Fear/Panic nor Fear/Numbness.

But, we do have one labeled "Hope." Wonder what O'Nan thinks of such parsing.
"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
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pheath
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Re: Hope



Peppermill wrote:
I was fascinated when I realized no subject labeled "Fear" was planned -- nor Fear/Panic nor Fear/Numbness.

But, we do have one labeled "Hope." Wonder what O'Nan thinks of such parsing.




I didn't think that fear was as strong of a theme as hope. As has been stated in other threads, we don't see a lot of the emotions or hysteria in the reaction of the family or friends. It was almost a businesslike approach.

There was fear on a shallow level with Nina and JP over "the secret" and what would happen to them when it was revealed. That was really the only fear that I got from the book.
-Philip
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Peppermill
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Re: Hope

[ Edited ]

pheath wrote:


Peppermill wrote:
I was fascinated when I realized no subject labeled "Fear" was planned -- nor Fear/Panic nor Fear/Numbness.

But, we do have one labeled "Hope." Wonder what O'Nan thinks of such parsing.


I didn't think that fear was as strong of a theme as hope. As has been stated in other threads, we don't see a lot of the emotions or hysteria in the reaction of the family or friends. It was almost a businesslike approach.

There was fear on a shallow level with Nina and JP over "the secret" and what would happen to them when it was revealed. That was really the only fear that I got from the book.


Very Midwestern. Also very denial. I would say, however, that many of the actions spoke very loudly of fear to me. (Including Ed's [frantic] searches and Fran's immersion into "what does one do in this situation." ) It's not an emotion all cultures are willing to acknowledge very readily -- I find that to be especially true of north European backgrounds, but obviously that is too glossy a generalization. But much of the Midwest is or has been of those backgrounds.

Maybe one question is the costs of denial as a method of coping -- and how does one recognize whether denial is present?

PS -- see also Hannibal Cat's comments on fear on the first page of postings about Ed.

Message Edited by Peppermill on 06-05-2008 11:21 PM
"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
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sherdlan
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Re: Hope

Kim's friends hope their friend is found but then again hope their secrets are kept.  Kims parents as with any parents with a missing child hope their child is found and found alive & safe.
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wendyroba
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Re: Hope

As a volunteer in Search and Rescue, I have seen that the idea of hope is always there when a loved one disappears. Regardless of the circumstances, hope seems to be the one thing that everyone clings to...for a very long time.

I felt the main "theme" of O'Nan's story was not about Kim's disappearance, but about those left behind and how they deal with it. The only person who did not seem to hope for a positive outcome was Kim's sister who tells us she just knew Kim was dead from the first (I forget the page this was on).
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