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Stewart_ONan
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Re: Lindsay



KxBurns wrote:


the_mad_chatter wrote:
Lindsay's chapters gave us good information about other characters in the book especially Fran and Ed.  In her chapters we learned a lot of what life used to be like and in so many ways I have judged Fran and Ed thru her eyes and subsequently thru their innattentiveness to her needs.  While you get the sense that Lindsay will move on and get on with her life, I also get the sense that she will carry a lot of baggage and its made me very sad for her.


What an excellent observation -- it is through Lindsay that we get a sense for what the family was like before Kim's disappearance.
 
So did recognizing that the most harsh depictions of Fran and Ed (but particularly Fran) come from Lindsay's p.o.v. make you reassess your opinion of them in a more sympathetic light? Children of Lindsay's age can be harsh in their judgment of their parents' shortcomings...
 
Or did it make you view Fran and Ed even more critically?...


Good old point of view, the novelist's best friend.  By looking at how Lindsay sees her parents, we learn a lot about both them AND her.  It's not merely information that's coming across but feelings.  And you really do have to take Lindsay's (or Nina's, or Ed's) view of Fran with a big grain of salt (Big grains of salt!).  It's all filtered through the emotions of the POV characters--who and what they choose to focus on (and the implied why).


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hpthatbme
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Re: Lindsay

I think for Lindsay, the key moment was when she got over her crush on J.P. and discovered a world out side of Kim. Being the cup was part of the beginning of it all. No one knew who she really was as the cup, but she felt free from it all. She was the younger sister and lived in Kim's shadow for years, but as she grew up and discovered this "new world" she really blossomed. When Lindsay started to lose hope of Kim being alive, it seemed that she was feeling more out of anger than anything else. I think she really didn't want to believe it but if Kim was a runaway, I think Lindsay was wishing for some type of contact with her. Even though they had their problems and didn't seem close, remember that Lindsay kept remembering the last day with Kim.
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KxBurns
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Re: Lindsay



hpthatbme wrote:
I think for Lindsay, the key moment was when she got over her crush on J.P. and discovered a world out side of Kim. Being the cup was part of the beginning of it all. No one knew who she really was as the cup, but she felt free from it all. She was the younger sister and lived in Kim's shadow for years, but as she grew up and discovered this "new world" she really blossomed. When Lindsay started to lose hope of Kim being alive, it seemed that she was feeling more out of anger than anything else. I think she really didn't want to believe it but if Kim was a runaway, I think Lindsay was wishing for some type of contact with her. Even though they had their problems and didn't seem close, remember that Lindsay kept remembering the last day with Kim.

I agree -- Lindsay truly does hold on to Kim, even as she grows up and out from under Kim's shadow. During the funeral, she thinks, "She didn't need him to tell her about carrying Kim around" (p.284), in response to Father John's sermon.
 
In some ways, maybe Lindsay is better able to hold onto Kim than Fran and Ed (who perhaps instead end up holding onto an idealized version of Kim) because Lindsay can incorporate some of Kim's better qualities into her own life as she matures.
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Peppermill
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Re: Lindsay

Is there a line somewhere about Lindsay and one of her "lovers" later in life where she is recalling Kim? Somehow, I remember the line, but I can't find it again.

Its implications have been bugging me.
"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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BookWoman718
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Re: Lindsay



Peppermill wrote:
Is there a line somewhere about Lindsay and one of her "lovers" later in life where she is recalling Kim? Somehow, I remember the line, but I can't find it again.

Its implications have been bugging me.


Peppermill,
it's on the very first page:  "She did not hate the town, as, years later, her sister would tell one lover."
 
I took it to mean that Lindsay goes on to have an independent life - or at least a period of independence - wherein she has finished her education, not married too young, and has her choice of several men over time with whom to have relationships.   That fits with what we later learn about her going away to a good university and being ready to detach emotionally from her hometown.   The use of the word 'lover' - rather than for instance 'boyfriend' - implied to me that she was older, living on her own, more sophisticated. 
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va-BBoomer
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Re: Lindsay

I agree that Lindsay was the pivotal character in this book.  She was very different from her sister - brainy, not as social, conscientious.  She went about everything with full focus and intensity, even washing dishes.  Yet she did feel close to Kim; her continual memory of being with Kim on her last day obviously will forever stay with her. 
In all the activity and emotionality of Kim's disappearance, her parents really only had the emotional range to just make sure Lindsay was 'under lock and key and safe' and not pay too much attention as to what she was doing in the house.  But her mother would look over her shoulder to see who she was talking to on chat, and she had been pushed to have nothing to do with JP and Nina.
Lindsay's declaration of independence was when she was allowed to get her job, and when she got her car.  Everything loosened up after that for her.  Her lighter side did show as the Cup, and in the character suit.  But she was still a person with few close friends, but they were close - Dana especially.  Lindsay also didn't go crazy dating; one guy at a time, and she just wasn't as social butterfly as Kim had been, no matter how much freedom Lindsay had.  I feel her early appearance - braces, zits, very awkward early teens - didn't help her then, but once the braces came off and she had contacts, she was off at her own speed.
She took her studies very seriously, and while there was no report of grades, I could tell from what was said that she was taking college equally seriously, and not having any major problems with the transition from high school to college.  I've asked what college she ended up at - it was mentioned she was looking at Northwestern and UChicago, but nothing is mentioned definitely after that, though I'm betting on UChicago.  Both schools demand serious students who can deal with their high demands, and UChicago especially is a nerd's heaven.  College was now her new home, and she missed it quickly whenever she had to leave.
I think she will be fine as she goes along in life, but I, too, think there will be some baggage there that might crop depending on happenings.
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Everyman
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Re: Lindsay

While several people have suggested that Lindsay was the central character in the book, I think a point could be made that even though she was only "on stage" for a short period of time, Kim was still the central character. A book can revolve around an event or an item as well as a person. Almost everything done or thought in the book is done or thought because of Kim's disappearance.

I do think that Lindsay is the best model for the way to keep on going on; as Edgar says to Gloucester in King Lear, "Men must endure / Their going hence, even as their coming hither..." In other words, no matter what fate throws at one, one must keep on going on. Lindsey is the best example, in the remaining family at least, of going on.
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Peppermill
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Re: Lindsay

THANK YOU, BookWoman.

I agree with your description of implications. It is a darker interpretation that has haunted me: "one lover" seems to imply multiple attachments of an extent adequate to be labeled lover. Did Lindsay have trouble forming relationships whose depth might carry the pain she knew only too well in her groin, if not in her heart and mind, of separation?

The positioning of the statement in the book was what led me to falter -- why are we being told this now? How are we to understand it now, given that we know generally the plot of this story? Will we understand it differently later?

Pepper



BookWoman718 wrote:


Peppermill wrote:
Is there a line somewhere about Lindsay and one of her "lovers" later in life where she is recalling Kim? Somehow, I remember the line, but I can't find it again.

Its implications have been bugging me.


Peppermill,
it's on the very first page: "She did not hate the town, as, years later, her sister would tell one lover."
I took it to mean that Lindsay goes on to have an independent life - or at least a period of independence - wherein she has finished her education, not married too young, and has her choice of several men over time with whom to have relationships. That fits with what we later learn about her going away to a good university and being ready to detach emotionally from her hometown. The use of the word 'lover' - rather than for instance 'boyfriend' - implied to me that she was older, living on her own, more sophisticated.



"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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BookWoman718
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Re: Lindsay



Peppermill wrote:
THANK YOU, BookWoman.

I agree with your description of implications. It is a darker interpretation that has haunted me: "one lover" seems to imply multiple attachments of an extent adequate to be labeled lover. Did Lindsay have trouble forming relationships whose depth might carry the pain she knew only too well in her groin, if not in her heart and mind, of separation?

The positioning of the statement in the book was what led me to falter -- why are we being told this now? How are we to understand it now, given that we know generally the plot of this story? Will we understand it differently later?

Pepper



BookWoman718 wrote:


Peppermill wrote:
Is there a line somewhere about Lindsay and one of her "lovers" later in life where she is recalling Kim? Somehow, I remember the line, but I can't find it again.

Its implications have been bugging me.


Peppermill,
it's on the very first page: "She did not hate the town, as, years later, her sister would tell one lover."
I took it to mean that Lindsay goes on to have an independent life - or at least a period of independence - wherein she has finished her education, not married too young, and has her choice of several men over time with whom to have relationships. That fits with what we later learn about her going away to a good university and being ready to detach emotionally from her hometown. The use of the word 'lover' - rather than for instance 'boyfriend' - implied to me that she was older, living on her own, more sophisticated.





Hmmm…. Reflecting on the statement as well as its placement in the story, before we have even met ‘her sister’, perhaps it plants the germ of an idea about the girls and their relationship. The sense of the adult Lindsay living an independent, sophisticated life that includes (plural) lovers. The given fact that Kim did not hate the town; although she was looking forward to going away to college, she perhaps was simply anticipating the excitement of a new phase rather than trying to escape from something hateful. The implication that in Lindsay’s conversation with her lover, she is either exaggerating Kim’s feelings or, perhaps more likely, that even as an adult looking back on her murdered sister, she didn’t understand or know Kim very well .

A single short sentence that can pack all that in: surely the work of a very skilled and painstaking author.

Thanks for inspiring me to take a closer look at it, Peppermill. Since I was engrossed in the story, I imagine there are other sentences in the book that are equally evocative that I didn’t fully appreciate.

 


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Peppermill
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Re: Lindsay

A single short sentence that can pack all that in: surely the work of a very skilled and painstaking author.

Yes, and no. The sentence is "She did not hate the town, as, years later, her sister would tell one lover." I stumbled several times upon reading that sentence. What happens if one drops the "as"? But, as written, does it say that Lindsay told her lover "Kim did not hate the town"? Or does it say that Lindsay told her lover she (Lindsay) did hate the town (unlike her sister, who she may or may not have mentioned in the discussion)? Unfortunately, I found that there were a number of O'Nan's sentences that I had to re-read and, for a few, I never was certain of the meaning I should ascribe. In particular, in several places, I found myself faltering over the antecedents of pronouns and sometimes having to reread several times before being absolutely certain who was intended.

Also, if anything, I understood this sentence to imply that as she grew older, Lindsay understood her sister very, very well--she had lived with her memories of Kim so closely all these years. Yet Lindsay couldn't recognize and free herself from the impact their close sibling love and rivalry and its untimely disruption were still having on Lindsay's own ability to risk permanent relationships--which always carry the inherent danger of being rent asunder. And, in this sense, I quite agree that O'Nan can pack a lot into sentences one must be aware or re-read to catch or at least consider.



BookWoman718 wrote:


Peppermill wrote:
THANK YOU, BookWoman.

I agree with your description of implications. It is a darker interpretation that has haunted me: "one lover" seems to imply multiple attachments of an extent adequate to be labeled lover. Did Lindsay have trouble forming relationships whose depth might carry the pain she knew only too well in her groin, if not in her heart and mind, of separation?

The positioning of the statement in the book was what led me to falter -- why are we being told this now? How are we to understand it now, given that we know generally the plot of this story? Will we understand it differently later?

Pepper



BookWoman718 wrote:


Peppermill wrote:
Is there a line somewhere about Lindsay and one of her "lovers" later in life where she is recalling Kim? Somehow, I remember the line, but I can't find it again.

Its implications have been bugging me.


Peppermill,
it's on the very first page: "She did not hate the town, as, years later, her sister would tell one lover."
I took it to mean that Lindsay goes on to have an independent life - or at least a period of independence - wherein she has finished her education, not married too young, and has her choice of several men over time with whom to have relationships. That fits with what we later learn about her going away to a good university and being ready to detach emotionally from her hometown. The use of the word 'lover' - rather than for instance 'boyfriend' - implied to me that she was older, living on her own, more sophisticated.





Hmmm…. Reflecting on the statement as well as its placement in the story, before we have even met ‘her sister’, perhaps it plants the germ of an idea about the girls and their relationship. The sense of the adult Lindsay living an independent, sophisticated life that includes (plural) lovers. The given fact that Kim did not hate the town; although she was looking forward to going away to college, she perhaps was simply anticipating the excitement of a new phase rather than trying to escape from something hateful. The implication that in Lindsay’s conversation with her lover, she is either exaggerating Kim’s feelings or, perhaps more likely, that even as an adult looking back on her murdered sister, she didn’t understand or know Kim very well .

A single short sentence that can pack all that in: surely the work of a very skilled and painstaking author.

Thanks for inspiring me to take a closer look at it, Peppermill. Since I was engrossed in the story, I imagine there are other sentences in the book that are equally evocative that I didn’t fully appreciate.




"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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Everyman
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Re: Lindsay

You're absolutely right, Peppermill. I had missed that, but the sentence can be read with two different meanings depending on how you choose to parse the grammar.

Peppermill wrote:
A single short sentence that can pack all that in: surely the work of a very skilled and painstaking author.

Yes, and no. The sentence is "She did not hate the town, as, years later, her sister would tell one lover." I stumbled several times upon reading that sentence. What happens if one drops the "as"? But, as written, does it say that Lindsay told her lover "Kim did not hate the town"? Or does it say that Lindsay told her lover she (Lindsay) did hate the town (unlike her sister, who she may or may not have mentioned in the discussion)?
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Lindsay



BookWoman718 wrote:


Peppermill wrote:
THANK YOU, BookWoman.

I agree with your description of implications. It is a darker interpretation that has haunted me: "one lover" seems to imply multiple attachments of an extent adequate to be labeled lover. Did Lindsay have trouble forming relationships whose depth might carry the pain she knew only too well in her groin, if not in her heart and mind, of separation?

The positioning of the statement in the book was what led me to falter -- why are we being told this now? How are we to understand it now, given that we know generally the plot of this story? Will we understand it differently later?

Pepper



BookWoman718 wrote:


Peppermill wrote:
Is there a line somewhere about Lindsay and one of her "lovers" later in life where she is recalling Kim? Somehow, I remember the line, but I can't find it again.

Its implications have been bugging me.


Peppermill,
it's on the very first page: "She did not hate the town, as, years later, her sister would tell one lover."
I took it to mean that Lindsay goes on to have an independent life - or at least a period of independence - wherein she has finished her education, not married too young, and has her choice of several men over time with whom to have relationships. That fits with what we later learn about her going away to a good university and being ready to detach emotionally from her hometown. The use of the word 'lover' - rather than for instance 'boyfriend' - implied to me that she was older, living on her own, more sophisticated.





Hmmm…. Reflecting on the statement as well as its placement in the story, before we have even met ‘her sister’, perhaps it plants the germ of an idea about the girls and their relationship. The sense of the adult Lindsay living an independent, sophisticated life that includes (plural) lovers. The given fact that Kim did not hate the town; although she was looking forward to going away to college, she perhaps was simply anticipating the excitement of a new phase rather than trying to escape from something hateful. The implication that in Lindsay’s conversation with her lover, she is either exaggerating Kim’s feelings or, perhaps more likely, that even as an adult looking back on her murdered sister, she didn’t understand or know Kim very well .

A single short sentence that can pack all that in: surely the work of a very skilled and painstaking author.

Thanks for inspiring me to take a closer look at it, Peppermill. Since I was engrossed in the story, I imagine there are other sentences in the book that are equally evocative that I didn’t fully appreciate.


I agree with this interpretation, particularly the fact that it primes the reader to bring some skepticism to the various depictions of Kim that will be presented by her friends and family in the chapters to come.
 
The use of the word "lover" connotes emotional distance to me, although I see how you could also say it indicates a certain sophistication. However, when you consider that Lindsay hadn't even told her friends at college about Kim (in the last chapter, they think she's gone home for her grandmother's funeral), the fact that she eventually tells a lover anything at all about Kim represents continued growth on her part -- or at least improved ability to share this part of her life with people. It's neat that the reader can take this little nugget of information presented on the first page of the book and use it to enhance our final impression of this character.
So glad you guys brought it up!
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daylilies1126
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Lindsay

Lindsay was most definitely my favorite character of the novel.  Her reaction to the disappearance was the most realistic of any sibling.  I liked how the author teased her reaction throughout the entire novel, not really bluntly stating it, the way it was done with Kim's parents.  You can see the grief in Lindsay's reaction, and I thought that it was interesting that Lindsay knew more about Kim's life than her parents, even though Lindsay was kind of in the background of Kim's life.  The part that I found interesting was where Lindsay says that she knew Kim was dead early on.  It seems that Lindsay as she aged and matured, learned from Kim's mistakes and grew as a result.  I think there will always be a part of her life that will be deeply affected by Kim's disappearance.  I could see Lindsay moving far away from her parents as a result of this experience and then treating her own children with the same overprotectiveness that she disliked in her parents for fear of losing them like she lost Kim.
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