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vcgosox
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

Mr. O'Nan does a good job of showing the stress and guilt each family member feels. They want Kim to be alive but they also want the situation to end so they can return to a normal life. They know the chances of a "happy ending" grow smaller as each day passes.
 
  
Vicky
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Pepergirl
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

I find this middle section so sad and so like it must really be.  The beginning of the book is like when someone dies and everyone is trying to help and being sympathetic, etc.  Then, you have the funeral and everyone else begins to move on.  This is the same except there has been no funeral.  Everyone else has kind of said "good bye" but the inner circle has been left in limbo to do what?  It seems like evey time they do something "normal" they feel guilty.  What a horrible existance.  When you see these stories on TV, you never think about how the family deals with life once the attention has waned.  I keep hoping that they will turn out okay in the end, even if Kim never returns or they ever find out what happened.  It seems hard to believe anyone would ever be okay after this. 
 
There is so much talk in society today about grief counselors and therapy.  I keep hoping that they will understand that they all need someone outside the family to really talk to.  It seemed like Ed almost had his mom, but she is going away, too.  And what about his brother--where the heck is he?  And does Fran have any family? 
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Peppermill
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



KxBurns wrote:
Hey, since several of you mentioned the importance of the football game scene, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the contrast between the halftime ceremony in Chapter 24 and the "moment of hope" at Lindsay's softball game in Chapter 15, "The Loser's Bracket."
How has time changed the tenor of these rituals? How has the purpose behind them changed?



The change in the tenor of the rituals over time is one of the areas where I feel Lovely Bones is particularly strong, perhaps stronger than SFTM, although generally I think I prefer SFTM and would recommend it over LB -- still, all in all, they are very different perspectives on the same phenomena.
"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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jawilt26
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

The search does seem to take off a bit when they do find her car and the police in the next town take up the search. But there doesn't seem to be any clues and make the whole situation very up in the air. Kim Father's is away from the family and helping the police in the other town but he seems to be a of no help and is just kind of stands there while he watches the police search. This gives Kim's mom more time to get more involved in her cause and poor Lindsey is left with really nothing she is just left in the dust.
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jawilt26
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

There is a big difference because in chapter 15 everyone shows up for this event and there is many tables and booths set up with flyer's and balloons for the event there seems to be a lot of support for the family at this point. In chapter 24 it seems as if the community has had enough of the dramatic and have sort of moved on from the disappearance the community seems to know that Kim is never coming back. But Kim's parents especially Fran does not believe that.
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bmbrennan
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



KxBurns wrote:
Hey, since several of you mentioned the importance of the football game scene, I'd love to hear your thoughts about the contrast between the halftime ceremony in Chapter 24 and the "moment of hope" at Lindsay's softball game in Chapter 15, "The Loser's Bracket."
 
How has time changed the tenor of these rituals? How has the purpose behind them changed?


The softball game is closer to the time of Kim's disappearance and you have the attention of the town.  As time goes on, it becomes less of a priority for them.  They don't live with this day by day  the Larsens however do so their commitment is greater.  Thanksgiving is a family oriented holiday and I cannot fault the town for concentrating on their own families.  Remember, the half time ceremony was supposed to be a thank you while the softball game was still a call to arms so to speak.
bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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bmbrennan
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



FrankieD wrote:
Ed and Fran are so busy with keeping Kim in the public eye that they are ignoring Lindsay...perhaps more than they ignored Kim before she disappeared. There's a lot of turmoil in Lindsay's mind about her sister and their relationship and now she has to deal with being in Kim's shadow even when she is gone. I think that the circle at half-time was very difficult for Lindsay more than anybody else.
 
                                                                                        FrankieD :smileyhappy:


I think it has more to do with Lindsay not being comfortable being the center of attention.  She was used to the background and Kim's disappearance has thrown an unwelcome spotlight on her life.
bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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Redhead525
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

I really agree with the observations that the community seems to have reached saturation point and has somewhat moved on and resumed their daily lives - as evidenced at the football game.  It is the family and friends who are still holding the torch, feeling their loss and looking for answers.
 
In a related but somewhat aside observation from real life, I live in the community where Carly Brucia was kidnapped and murdered.  Although the time span from the committment of that crime to the discovery of her remains was short, there was an incredible community response not only to trying to find her, but every parent changed the way they "protected" their children...for awhile.  The District Attorney who tried the case against her killer told me that she thought that the case brought attention to this issue and seemed to imply that there had been permanent changes in how parents viewed their children's safety.  I told her that I disagreed, that it was true for awhile, but you could still see young kids walking alone all over town.  It seems as if we do get to a point where to continue to focus on these tragedies and their implications is overwhelming.  It isn't that we stop caring.  It isn't that we don't worry that something similar could occur again.  Somehow we begin to think that these are isolated cases, that it won't happen to us or our children and we go back to operating as we did before.  The news media moves on to the next story, the police to the next case, and the family is alone.
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Teapharm03
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

The author has been able to show quite well what are the effects of this tragic event on the family. The strain on the marriage and the younger daughter is highlighted against the dynamics of the community. The community is like another character in the book and as the story goes on we get see how they handled the situation. A tradegy like this is not an isolated event. 
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umlaut
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



Jennd1 wrote:
I agree with the idea that the characters are stuck. They all realize that there is not much hope that Kim will return, but they are unable to move on with their lives just in case.




I agree, i wanted to add my little take. Its kinda strange how all the characters are displaying their gender role and age, focusing on the search, Dad seems to be doing all the "looking" around, while Mom is baking/cooking, organizing and she is the spokesperson (PR) for the family, while JP seems to be confused of his feelings, like a teen should. However the sister (Lindsay) seems to be displaying borderline depression, she just wants to be left alone and live a normal teen life...
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Bedelia
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

I agree - at this point the intense interest for me is waning and I'm getting just a little tired of all the endless searching and minute descriptions of everything. I wonder why the mom Fran seems less affected by events. I completely understand Lindsey and her feelings.
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lavender
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

To me, this was the saddest part of the book. The family was in limbo. During the halftime "circle of hope" it seemed like Kim's friends were resigned to the fact that she was never coming home. But parents can't ever really give up hope until they know for sure.
 
Others have mentioned Fran's transformation into a media spokeswoman and I noticed that too. Either a parent withdraws or tries to keep his or her child's case in the news all of the time (case in point: Natalee Holloway and others).
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EbonyAngel
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



Bedelia wrote:
I agree - at this point the intense interest for me is waning and I'm getting just a little tired of all the endless searching and minute descriptions of everything. I wonder why the mom Fran seems less affected by events. I completely understand Lindsey and her feelings.

I don't think she was less affected by events but what she is doing is trying to cope with everything and to me, that's just seems to be her way.  As far as Lindsey, I understand her feelings also.  At her age, and being the "younger" sister.
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julyso
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



pigwidgeon wrote:


detailmuse wrote:
I thought the timing and presentation of a body being found (p173) was well done.
 
We actually end the previous chapter happy, hooray-ing with Lindsay and Fran because Lindsay passed her driver's test. And then the first line on the next page comes, BAM! "Right outside Geneva, two kids taking a shortcut through the woods behind a rundown motel found the body." O'Nan made me feel, as much as a reader can, the out-of-nowhere shock that the characters must have felt.





I, also, felt a huge lurch at this point. It was like getting hit by a mac truck from out of nowhere. You got to admit, the man has style....

I agree with both of you, this was a great point in the story-I really wasn't expecting it at all.
Julie
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Chomp
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

Kim's parents attempt to get back into the routines of their lives while not giving up hope or their efforts to find out what happened. Lindsay is the one who unequivocably believes that Kim is dead, and has been since the beginning. Nina and J.P. have varying reactions as the story progresses.
 
One key scene is the halftime ceremony, where most of the crowd no longer cares enough or is interested enough to stick around and honor/remember Kim; it is obvious that most of them believe she is dead and there is no reason to dwell on it anymore.
 
Of the family members, I find Lindsay's reaction very realistic. her parents think she should be more visibly upset or make more of an effort to help without being asked, but really all she wants is to be left alone to handle her grief in her own way.
 
Carol  
So many books, so little time...
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streamsong
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

I totally agree with what detailmuse wrote below.
 
In fact, I hate to say it, but I saw it happening to me in this section of the book.
 
Although I was one of those disturbed by the lack of emotion the characters showed, I do think it gave lots of room for all the readers to project their own emotions into the story. And by the middle of the book--I was emotionally worn out. I was like the people who were no longer in the stands. In my own way, I found that continuing to look at the family's grief when it was becoming obvious that Kim wasn't coming home was very uncomfortable for me.
 
Like some others have said, I skipped forward a through parts of this middle section. Once things were truly resolved in the closing chapters, then I went back and read the middle section. :womanwink:
 
 
 
 


detailmuse wrote:
That scene was well written and motivated, I was as shocked as the parents to see the empty stands!
 
But I think the townspeople have moved into a more self-protective phase, not a self-centered one. Kim is their friend/neighbor/acquaintance, not their daughter; their reaction shouldn't be the same as Fran and Ed's.
 
Years ago, Dr. Andrew Weil recommended that people limit/eliminate their exposure to the news -- he said that people are built to react to the joys and sorrows of their local community ... that we're not equipped to deal with the global community, to differentiate what is societally tragic vs personally tragic ... that a person can't bear the grief of the planet. On a smaller scale, I think this is what the people in Kingsville were doing.



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DarcieB
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")

Here are some of my thoughts about this section -
 
It amazes me how accurate the description is of traveling through Ohio.  I have always lived in the mid-west and travel frequently from Kentucky to Illinois and have see many a muscle cars and many Winnebagos as described on page 96. 

I am amazed that Lindsay thinks Kim is dead so early on - she is the first one to loose hope(117).

The Balloon release at Lindsay’s game was important I thought.  The symbolism of releasing their balloons last.  Also, I think it is the start of letting Kim go. 

Sad that Cooper recognized the car and expected Kim to get out of it – in some ways more raw emotion is shown by Cooper – from him butting against the door – pooping on the floor or chasing the car – things that they all would like to show in their own ways I am sure.

I think it’s difficult to know how little the parents know of Kim’s investigation (i.e. when Fran calls about the cell phone charges and the police said they checked them 2 weeks ago).  If my daughter was missing I think I would compulsively have to sit in the police station until they let me help investigate.  But then also I wonder if they are still suspecting the parents as most investigations do.  I would think the Police would be more forthcoming in giving them information.

I can’t imagine how hard it would be to start living your normal life again knowing your daughter isn’t there and you don’t know where she is.  Or the expense Fran & Ed have searching for her, not working, on top of the normal bills.  Or watching her friends go to college – that would be tough knowing that she should be there.

What is up with JP?  What is he not telling us that he told the police?  Was Kim really having an affair with Wozle? It's Frustrating not knowing what happened or what happened that makes them feel responsible.

It is sad that Ed doesn’t want to take a sleeping pill because he wants to dream of Kim.  I think this shows his sacrifice and love for his daughter – to see her one more time even if it is in his dreams. (149)

Elise seems less stigmatized by Kim’s disappearance which highlights how the guilt of having some participation in Kim’s last day is effecting JP and Nina.  It’s a very interesting contrast.

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KxBurns
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Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



julyso wrote:


pigwidgeon wrote:


detailmuse wrote:
I thought the timing and presentation of a body being found (p173) was well done.
 
We actually end the previous chapter happy, hooray-ing with Lindsay and Fran because Lindsay passed her driver's test. And then the first line on the next page comes, BAM! "Right outside Geneva, two kids taking a shortcut through the woods behind a rundown motel found the body." O'Nan made me feel, as much as a reader can, the out-of-nowhere shock that the characters must have felt.





I, also, felt a huge lurch at this point. It was like getting hit by a mac truck from out of nowhere. You got to admit, the man has style....

I agree with both of you, this was a great point in the story-I really wasn't expecting it at all.


Yeah, the lull being interrupted by another heartstopping discovery was really well done, in terms of putting the reader in the family's shoes.
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KxBurns
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



no4daughter wrote:
It seems to me that by the end of the middle chapters, and especially at the football game, Kim has become less of a person and the rememberances have taken on the same sort of media spin that accompanies a national "brand".  Fran has anchor woman hair and wears a suit, Ed is like Fran's handler when he holds her coat while she speaks and uses 2 hands to flip her hair for her, Kim has become Kimberly, the posters on lightpoles are now foamcore heads and the people at the game tune out just like they would if a commercial were on their telvision.    
  


This is true -- the whole thing has become more rote; the family members, more professional at handling it. But I feel like O'Nan does keep reminding us that in spite of appearances to the contrary, the family is still in the thick of it and the situation is still very immediate and very painful for them. Can you think of such instances? 
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KxBurns
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Re: Middle Chapters ("The Motorist's Prayer" through "Halftime Entertainment")



bmbrennan wrote:


FrankieD wrote:
Ed and Fran are so busy with keeping Kim in the public eye that they are ignoring Lindsay...perhaps more than they ignored Kim before she disappeared. There's a lot of turmoil in Lindsay's mind about her sister and their relationship and now she has to deal with being in Kim's shadow even when she is gone. I think that the circle at half-time was very difficult for Lindsay more than anybody else.
 
                                                                                        FrankieD :smileyhappy:


I think it has more to do with Lindsay not being comfortable being the center of attention.  She was used to the background and Kim's disappearance has thrown an unwelcome spotlight on her life.


I like your perspective on Lindsay; I too felt like her isolation wasn't the result of neglect or being overshadowed so much as a function of her own personality and coping style. I hope you comment on this when I post the Lindsay thread tomorrow!
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